What to do when a neighbor crosses your property line

| Jul 21, 2017

Is someone else using your land? Depending where you live, It could be as minor as letting pets wander where they shouldn’t, kids playing a little too far from their own home or a fence crossing over the border. In rural or large lots, it could be something more egregious, such as hunting or even a building that crosses your property line.

Property disputes are common in Texas and, depending on the violation and the personalities involved, they can require different levels of resolution. Sometimes talking it out or reaching a compromise will do. Other situations require legal action.

Steps to follow

Generally speaking, there is a five-step process to addressing boundary disputes with your neighbors.

  1. Review existing titles and deeds. If you don’t possess these documents from when you bought the land, conduct a professional survey, appraisal and title search.
  2. Raise the subject with your neighbor in conversation, citing evidence and offering solutions.
  3. If the issue can’t be resolved in conversation, consult an attorney to begin more formal resolution.
  4. Your attorney will send a demand letter explaining the situation in the appropriate tone.
  5. If the issue still is not settled, litigation may be necessary.

Conversation, compromise and litigation

While conversation and compromise is the cheapest solution, it’s not always the best for you. Compromises might include moving property, building fences or selling a portion of your land. There are many reasons for boundary disputes, and each has unique issues.

Your property is a major piece of your overall estate. It’s investment and, typically, your home—which means an issue with your neighbor isn’t just about money, it’s about your peace of mind. When working on such an important dispute, it’s important to compile professional evidence and information to back your case. By speaking with a real estate attorney, you’ll be able to present the evidence in a manner that backs your legal claim and protects your property.