Property disputes with your neighbor can make your home life uncomfortable. Boundary disputes are common and are resolvable. If you are currently involved in a property dispute with neighbor, here are some tips for reaching a settlement.
One of the most cost-effective methods of settling a property dispute with your neighbor is to try mediation. During mediation, you and your neighbor can discuss the land involved and attempt to work out a resolution.
Mediation is an opportunity for both of you to discuss the issue without involving the court system. A trained mediator can help to guide the negotiations so that personal attacks do not derail the settlement talks.
Another upside to mediation is that if you and your neighbor are unable to reach an agreement, you can both walk away from the table and explore other options for settling the matter. If the court was involved, the judge could make a decision that is unsatisfactory and both of you would be obligated to follow the court's order.
Obtain a Land Survey
If you are still unable to settle the dispute with the neighbor, now is the time to obtain a land survey. A land survey will give you definitive proof of where your property begins and end. A survey also gives you concrete proof of your property boundaries in case you have to take legal action in court.
There are several types of surveys that are available. Ideally, you should opt for an ALTA/ACSM survey. The survey is the most detailed survey available to homeowners. In the survey, you not only get information on your boundaries, but you will also receive information about the adjoining landowners.
Survey results can be highly technical. If you are unclear of what the results reveal, consult with the land surveyor again or a real estate attorney who has experience with reading the results. Once you are clear of the boundaries, share the results with the neighbor.
Take Action in Court
Unfortunately, your dispute could end up in the courtroom. If your neighbor is unwilling to respect your property boundaries, a court can provide you with an order that can help resolve the matter.
In court, you will have a chance to present your survey results. You also have an opportunity to discuss your attempts at resolution with your neighbor. While in court, keep in mind that your neighbor is still your neighbor. Skip the personal attacks and stick to the facts to avoid stirring hostility between you and your neighbor. For assistance, talk to a professional like Burget & Associates Inc.