It may only be a small sliver of land, perhaps only a few inches wide, but a disagreement between neighbors over who has rights to it may develop into a bitter feud. A dispute over the issue of boundary encroachment may even go as far as leading to a destruction of property.
Tempers may flare, and an overly aggressive individual may also breach the boundaries of what typically reflects normal civility. As reported by Bankrate, a dispute over a garage encroaching on an adjacent property led to one aggrieved homeowner demolishing half of his neighbor’s offending structure. This type of “self help” may result in serious legal consequences. On the other hand, doing nothing may result in the encroaching neighbor eventually gaining the right to permanently maintain the encroaching structure on the innocent landlowner’s land.
Proving encroachment to settle a dispute
As noted by the Corporate Finance Institute, encroachment disputes may take different forms, but often involve a structure, such as a garage or fence, allegedly extending over a neighbor’s property line. Determining the precise limits of an adjacent property may, however, require hiring a professional land surveyor. Providing credible third-party proof of an encroachment may serve to convince a neighbor of the need to remove or alter the offending structure.
Giving consideration to other arrangements
In some cases, it may make more sense for the parties to perform a lot line adjustment or for the neighbor to purchase the land needed to accommodate the questionable structure. A written agreement granting temporary or permanent permission to make use of the required portion of land may also resolve the dispute. The parties involved may consider including a mutually agreed concession so that the agreement feels even-handed.
Keeping things civil
Maintaining a good-neighbor sense of civility is usually the desirable approach, even if calling in a mediator becomes necessary. Unfortunately, a boundary dispute may become a heated affair, even when it involves an exceedingly small area of land. When an amicable agreement appears unreachable, it may require a legal action to resolve the issue.