Providing Real SolutionsSince 1999
Brent D. Ratchford photo

How do I settle a boundary dispute with your neighbor?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2023 | Real Estate Disputes |

Wouldn’t it be great if we all had neighbors we can get along with? Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Some neighbors are simply difficult to get along with. Perhaps, they let their dogs stray into your property, refuse to shovel snow from their sidewalk or trim their side of the fence. Whatever the case, feuding with a neighbor is never a great idea.

Disputes with a neighbor can worsen when you cannot agree on the property line. Boundary disputes can take a nasty turn if they are not addressed in time. So what do you do when you have a property line dispute with your neighbor?

Types of boundary disputes

To figure out how to resolve a boundary dispute with a neighbor, it helps to start by understanding the type of dispute you are dealing with. There are basically two types of boundary disputes: 

  • Encroaching – this happens when a neighbor crosses over the property line by putting up a structure or extending a feature. This can be something as simple as your neighbor letting their tree branches grow over into your yard.
  • Trespassing – this happens when a neighbor knowingly occupies your property without your permission. Depending on where it happened, trespass can be a civil tort, a crime or both.

Settling a property boundary dispute

Depending on the prevailing circumstances, you can take the following approaches to settle a boundary dispute with your neighbor:

  • Talk to them amount the dispute – this is probably the first and most logical thing to do. Talking to your neighbor about their overgrown fence or before putting up a structure can avoid problems down the road.
  • Conduct a title search – if mediation fails, you might want to take up the matter with the authorities. To do this, you need to start off by conducting a title search. This will reveal the disputed property’s legal owner. 

Boundary disputes are fairly common, especially where large tracks of land are involved or where neighbors have no fences or other landmarks to denote property lines. Find out how you can protect your rights and interests when handling a boundary dispute.


FindLaw Network