Falling out with a neighbour is never a good thing; it can make life very awkward. Property boundary disputes are often a cause of such fallouts. This is why you want to avoid them if possible. At the very least, you need to know what to do for the best, if someone builds over the boundary line of your property.
The more you know about property boundaries, how to define them and how to deal with disputes, the easier it is to avoid problems, or deal with them as quickly as possible.
Define boundaries as soon as possible
When you first move into a property, there are certain things that you need to do. Making sure that the property boundary is defined does not need to be done immediately, but you do need to think about it as soon as possible. Doing so can help avoid problems occurring in the first place.
If the boundary is not currently defined it’s worth hiring a licensed surveyor, to do the job for you. They can define, and mark out, the boundary so that it’s legally recognised.
The dangers of not defining the boundary
If a boundary is not defined, there is always the chance that you could end up having to deal with someone building on your property. Hopefully, if you suspect that the structure your neighbour is planning to build will encroach on your land, you should be able to discuss the issue and resolve it. This may involve hiring a surveyor at this point. The problems really start if the dispute escalates.
What to do if your neighbour builds over the boundary line
If the boundary line between your property, and your neighbour’s property, has already been defined, they should be deterred from building over it. If it has not been defined, and you believe they have built on your property, you can ask them to have the boundary marked and they must comply.
If they have built on your land, and the fact has now been legally proven by a surveyor, you can take the matter to court. The first step is to seek legal representation. Once you have that in place, going to court can result in several different outcomes; the boundary may be re-defined, you may be offered compensation or a demand may be made for the structure to be removed.
If you can prevent land disputes from occurring in the first place, you should do so. Hiring a professional surveyor to define a boundary costs money, but can be cost effective in the long term. Once a dispute happens, you may be able to resolve it amicably. If this is not the case, you need to follow the correct procedures to take the matter before a court, and get an official ruling. You may still have a strained relationship with your neighbour, but as least the matter will have been dealt with, in a professional manner.