This article is provided by Jesse Hughs.
Most people tend to get on with their neighbors, but from time to time there can be differences of opinion. One of the problems you can have with a neighbor is if they encroach on your property by building over the boundary line. The problem with this is that it can be difficult to establish exactly where the boundary line is. The only way to legally establish where the boundary is, is to hire a building or land surveyor. Once the boundary has been marked then it is illegal to build over it.
You can see why it is so important to hire a professional to establish the boundary between two properties. If you do not establish where this boundary is then it is not possible for you to take action against a neighbor for encroaching onto your property. We are going to examine why establishing the property boundary is so important and what happens if the boundary has been crossed.
Why do you need to know where the property boundary is?
If you think that your neighbor has built across the boundary of your two properties then you are obviously going to want to do something about it. If you want to take any sort of action you need to be able to prove that the boundary has been crossed. It follows that you can only do this if the boundary has been legally established. This is why you need to hire a qualified professional to do the work. Once the boundary has been established it is not legal for your neighbor to build across it.
What happens if the boundary is built across?
If your neighbor does build across an established boundary line you can take the matter to court, if no amicable solution can be found. It is possible for the court to make several different findings. It may state that any structure which has been built should be removed, it may make an award of compensation in relation to the encroachment or it may make an order for the land involved to be transferee or leased to the person who has encroached. It is not possible to say what decision will be made if you have a problem with a neighbor building over the boundary line; every case is different.
If you want to try and avoid boundary disputes with neighbors it is usually a good idea to get boundaries legally clarified when you first move in. This may sound a little harsh and formal but it can help to prevent problems down the line. Of course there is no guarantee that your neighbor will not encroach on your property anyway, but at least you will know where you both stand should this ever happen. If it does then hopefully you will find the information we have provided useful in bringing the problem to a successful conclusion.