Common Texas boundary issues

| Sep 10, 2020

Real estate developers must remain familiar with the many Texas and municipal zoning laws that affect their projects. For example, a boundary dispute can derail a potentially lucrative new development.

Review the common boundary issues that affect Texas real estate projects.

Lack of a land survey

Sometimes, landowners rely on the fence to mark a property line when it does not match the legal land boundary. Developers should always commission a professional survey before making an offer on a commercial property. If the survey uncovers a discrepancy, owners of adjacent land can make a written agreement about the true boundary line. When they cannot reach an agreement, either can file a legal claim about the encroachment of a fence, barn or other structure within the legal boundary line.

Adverse possession

When property goes unused for several years, a nearby landowner may encroach on part of the property. Depending on the length of time in question, the court may find that he or she owns the land by adverse possession. If a developer purchases a property with this boundary issue, the encroaching person or entity must prove that he or she has these rights.

Real estate developers may own significant acreage that goes untouched until a construction project begins. Protecting these land boundaries with fences can prevent adjacent property owners from claiming adverse possession.

While requirements for a legal claim for boundary disputes vary based on the specific circumstances, real estate developers generally have three to five years to file a claim after discovering this type of issue.