While it’s possible to shop around for the perfect home, it’s impossible to choose who your neighbors will be. At the very least, you and your neighbor should respect each other’s space and privacy to avoid conflict and awkward confrontations.
But when it comes to disputes like property boundary issues for Los Angeles homes, legal steps might need to be taken to resolve the issue. So, if your neighbor accuses you or you believe your neighbor’s boundary line is inaccurate, it’s important to hire a real estate lawyer and let them handle the issue. Here’s what you should know.
What Happens During A Property Boundary Dispute?
If two plots of land are established right next to each other, there should be a boundary line that separates your land from your neighbor. A dispute arises when either you or your neighbor finds that one of you is exceeding the boundary and either claiming more land than you really own or have certain features (such as fences, hedges, trees, walkway, landscaping, and more) that slip over the boundary and into the other person’s property.
Property boundary disputes happen between adjacent properties due to several reasons. However, as soon as you or your neighbor notices the discrepancy, it’s in their best interests to have it resolved. Not only is one party unjustly benefiting from the discrepancy, but when you finally decide to sell your home and the buyer finds that your land isn’t as big as you advertised, it could cost you part of your land.
Why A Real Estate Lawyer Can Help
Even if it’s just a few square feet of land, it’s important to stand your ground and fight it. You may feel uncomfortable with having to lawyer up against your neighbor, considering you’ll be living next-door to that person indefinitely. However, land is a valuable asset and can lead to many legal and financial ramifications if you do not claim what is rightfully yours.
A real estate lawyer in Los Angeles can handle property boundary issues and give you sufficient legal protection for your interests. Cases of property boundary disputes do not necessarily have to end up in a court of law; depending on the issue and the relationship you have with your neighbor, this can be easily settled without the need to go to court. However, it is still recommended that you have a lawyer to oversee the agreement to avoid getting the shorter end of the stick or not getting back the land that is actually yours.
With a real estate lawyer, property boundary issues can be resolved in many ways:
Agree To Let The Neighbor Use Your Property
If you have a good relationship with your neighbor and their encroachment does not bother you, you can allow them to continue using your property at no additional cost. However, to protect both parties, you should get it in writing that you are allowing them to use part of your property, so if future conflict arises because of that same feature, it shows that your neighbor recognizes that they are using part of your property.
Should you decide to sell your house, however, you will need to disclose the encroachment to your potential buyers. Depending on the contract or agreement you and your neighbor have, the encroachment may either continue or discontinue, so this may affect buyers’ decision.
Sell The Encroached Property
This is the ideal solution if your neighbor has installed something like a porch or shed that resulted in an encroachment on your property. Rather than allowing them to use your property, you can simply sell that portion of your land to them. Legally, the land you own will shrink, but you will be paid for it. And your neighbor will own that portion of land and can use it without having to worry about encroachment. Again, a real estate lawyer will be necessary so that you can ensure that you’re getting a fair market price for your land.
Go To Court
If you find that you and your neighbor cannot work on a solution on your own, you may need to go to court to resolve the dispute. In this case, having a real estate lawyer to litigate on your behalf can protect your interests.
A judge will determine factors like the substantial cost of the encroachment, whether it was an innocent mistake or if the boundary was deliberately ignored, and how the dispute can affect both your interests. They can order you or your neighbor to move or remove anything that does not follow the boundaries.
In case you and your neighbor come into a property boundary dispute, a Los Angeles real estate lawyer can protect your property and your interests. Whether or not you and your neighbor have a good relationship, having a lawyer ensures you are properly protected and get everything in writing to minimize conflict in the future.
At the Law Offices of R. Grace Rodriguez, we protect your real estate interests from various legal matters, including boundary line disputes, property ownership disputes, and other complex legal cases that involve real estate. With over 20 years of experience, we’re ready to represent you and get you the best possible outcome. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.