Unfortunately, a common problem arising with property ownership, is the discovery that the fence erected to delineate the separation between two properties is actually not an accurate representation of the division.
There are several different ways in which to approach the inaccurate fence scenario:
- Talk to your neighbor and explain the situation. Ask whether the fence can be removed or repositioned, in order to accurately reflect the property boundaries.
- If talks fail, you may have to resort to other remedies, including filing suit, to have the fence forcibly removed.
- If the fence has been in place for a long period of time, your neighbor may be able to claim a right to keep the fence in tact, on the basis of the legal doctrine called "adverse possession." This arises when a person has used the property in question, without interference, for a certain term of years. The property legally transfers title to the adverse possessor.
Depending on how long the fence has been in place, you may have a few different options. You may reach an agreement with your neighbor in which you split the cost of constructing a new fence. Alternatively, if the neighbor has enjoyed the use of the fence for a term of years, you may be able to negotiate a scenario in which the neighbor pays you for the amount of square footage of the lot encroached upon. Whatever the case, you can consult with an experienced Real Estate attorney today to discuss your case, and determine what your legal options are.
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