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What is the legal definition of encroachment?

| Jan 19, 2021 | real estate encroachment disputes

As a property owner, you need to actively protect your property and ensure that no one impinges on your rights. Being vigilant in this regard will help you to prevent a complex situation, since taking action as soon as a problem begins will most likely lead to an easier resolution.

One of the most common issues that property owners face is encroachment. Encroachment is a situation in which another person, whether intentionally or unintentionally, builds a structure on land that is your legal property. This can quite often happen mistakenly because of unclear property boundaries, but it is important to address because it could significantly affect the value of your property. The following is an overview of what you should do if you believe that a neighbor is encroaching on your land.

Communication is key

Everything starts with honest and transparent communication. It’s likely that the best first step is to simply talk to your neighbor about your concerns. It’s best to do this in writing so that you have a record of the communication. In the best case, your neighbor will realize that they made a mistake and simply remove the structure on your land. This will save both of you time, stress and legal costs. However, if your neighbor believes that the land belongs to them, or they are otherwise unwilling to remove the structure, you will need to consider other options.

Selling the land is an option

One way to solve the issue is to sell the land to the encroaching neighbor. However, it is important that you contact your lender as well as other professionals who can advise you on how to do this to your advantage.

Going to court is the last resort

If you are unable to resolve the dispute, you may need to go to court so that they can decide the outcome.

If you are concerned about encroachment, make sure that you understand how the law would be applied to your situation.

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