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What happens when there is a property boundary dispute?

by | Sep 7, 2020 | Real Estate Practice

The sale of a home in Pennsylvania should be a relatively easy process, but unforeseen issues might complicate sales. A boundary dispute could surprise a seller and lead to a delayed sale. Thankfully, there may be legal remedies available to settle the dispute.

Buyers and sellers must realize that fences and other barrier structures do not necessarily indicate the property line. A survey from the local municipality reveals where the property lines between neighbors begin and end. Hopefully, the fence rests on the boundary line. If not, a dispute may arise.

The situation might become even more complicated if someone purchases the home and discovers that he or she has less property than initially believed. Lawsuits can arise out of such disastrous situations. There’s a reason why insurers issue warnings to real estate agents about telling buyers that the fence reflects the property line; making an inaccurate statement, by accident or by design, creates trouble.

Homeowners can take steps to clarify any questions about boundaries. Reviewing property measurements and survey plans should provide more information. Absent these documents, the title company’s plat map may offer some helpful information. It might be advisable to pay for a new land survey if necessary. Without any documents of boundary proof, a surveyor could measure the land to determine the boundaries.

With available evidence of boundaries, homeowners and neighbors might sign a lot line agreement. This document reveals the acknowledged boundary line. Unfortunately, a legal disagreement may remain, so mediation or a lawsuit might arise to settle the matter.

An attorney experienced in real estate law might explain the rules surrounding property disputes. If necessary, the attorney may initiate litigation to settle the matter and take over the situation on the homeowner’s behalf. An attorney might speak for the client and represent him or her in legal proceedings.