How to Resolve Property Line Disputes

A row of well maintained, colorful homes along a quiet street - Property Line Disputes concept

While many property line disputes with neighbors can be easily resolved, some can turn ugly. Here we offer tips to minimize the potential for litigation and resolve property line disputes amicably, but It is often wise to seek legal help to discuss your situation. The real estate lawyers at Fremstad Law can provide advice, explain your legal rights, and help come to a resolution. 

Understand the Nature of the Property Line Dispute

First, you should fully understand the nature of the boundary line dispute. Before you go head-to-head with your neighbor, it is important that you fully understand your rights and the law that applies in your case. It is wise to consult with an attorney so you understand your rights and the applicable laws, but it is often best to leave the attorney in the background at first.

Sometimes a property dispute like this is really a proxy for neighbors to vent months or years of anger. Your goal should be to remain civil and work to resolve the dispute calmly, quickly, and fairly. There may be a misunderstanding that could easily be cleared up. A personal visit or a letter from you will be better received than a letter from a lawyer and could pave the way to a quick, inexpensive, and civil resolution to a property line dispute. 

Have a Lawyer Explain the Applicable Laws 

The real estate lawyers at Fremstad Law will ask questions to learn about the specific nature of your situation. We will request information about the property description, when the encroachment began, and how long it has lasted. We will evaluate legal considerations, including property line boundaries, state and local laws, fences, adverse possession, trespassing, zoning, nuisance laws, and more. 

Conduct a Boundary Line Survey 

In a dispute over a property line, it is often wise to hire a surveyor to identify the exact location of the property line and provide you with documented proof of their findings. The City of Fargo website advises that a “Professional Land Surveyor or survey firm licensed to practice land surveying in your corresponding state are the only entities that can legally locate property boundaries.”

Resolving Your Property Line Dispute Outside of Court

The surveyor’s report might be enough to convince your neighbor of the error of their ways and lead to a quick, relatively painless resolution. Once you and your neighbor have reached an agreement, Fremstad Law can prepare a deed identifying the property boundary that you both can sign or other appropriate settlement agreement.  

Send a Demand Letter

If your attempts to resolve the dispute have failed, it might be time to bring in a lawyer. This will show your neighbor you mean business. Our property line dispute attorneys can prepare a demand letter that explains the issue and asks your neighbor to take specific action to resolve the dispute. 

Reaching a Settlement

In some cases, a settlement might be the best resolution. Settlement might include dividing the property, modifying the boundary lines, or providing monetary compensation to resolve the dispute. If you reach a resolution, have a lawyer record the decision in writing and file the documents with the appropriate state or local agency. 

Lawsuits to Resolve Property Line Disputes

If the dispute appears close to settlement, we will work towards reaching a resolution. This can keep legal expenses in check and help preserve your relationship with your neighbor. We may be able to resolve the dispute early on in the litigation, which can reduce legal expenses.

If attempts to settle the dispute are unsuccessful, a trial may be necessary. Fremstad Law has decades of experience litigating property disputes and stands ready to be your advocate in court. We will help you evaluate the cost of the land versus the expense of litigation and will protect your financial interests while working for the best outcome in your case.   

Fremstad Law: Moving You Forward

The attorneys at Fremstad Law are here to move you forward and protect your interests. If you have questions, contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help.