Perigon Legal Services: Your Boundary Disputes Attorneys


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Boundary Disputes: What Are They?

Boundary Disputes can be difficult to navigate. For help solving your legal problems in court, contact Perigon Legal Services. Schedule a consultation today!

Author: Stan Faulkner, Founder, Perigon Legal Services, LLC

Mr. Faulkner is an experienced counselor and litigator with 15 years of experience, having held bar licenses in four states (Mo, Il, Ct and Ga). Stan Faulkner uses this experience and focuses his skills in the pursuit of assisting individuals in probate (trust and estate) matters, guardianships and conservatorships, estate planning, business disputes and contract disputes. Published on March 15, 2023.

Boundary disputes are a common problem that can arise between neighbors. These disputes can be over the location of property lines, shared areas such as driveways or fences, or any other issues. While these disputes may seem minor, they can often escalate into major property line disputes.

If boundary disputes end up in court, it is essential to understand the law and your rights. A real estate attorney in Atlanta can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights.

Common Causes of Boundary Disputes

There are many different causes of boundary disputes. Some of the most common include the following:

Lack of Clarity in the Original Agreement or Deed

Over time, it can be easy to forget the details of an agreement or deed. If there is no clear record of what was agreed upon, it can lead to disagreements about the boundary line. If you plan to buy land in Georgia, it is best to visit the Georgia Land Survey office before buying it to avoid future problems.

Changes in the Landscape

Trees, fences, and walls often mark boundary lines, but these features can change over time. For example, a tree may grow taller and block part of the view you previously enjoyed. This can result in arguments about moving the boundary line.


New Construction

In most cases, neighbors disagree about the boundary line when one person builds a new structure, such as a deck or garage. This is especially the case when there are no formal plans in place for the construction.


Personal Disputes

Sometimes, boundary disputes have nothing to do with the property itself but are simply a result of neighbors not having a good relationship and having personal conflicts between them.

Types of Boundary Disputes

Below are four types of boundary disputes that can arise between neighbors:

Access Disputes

Usually, access disputes arise when one owner enters or crosses another owner’s land. They occur when an individual or company assumes that the entrance (access) to their property is in their own boundary or is public property. Many access disputes can be complicated to resolve, since there is no clear answer. An appropriate approach is to agree on how the property should be used.


Lot Line Disputes

A lot line dispute frequently arises during real estate sales. These problems may arise when a property owner obtains a survey in order to refinance or start a construction project. Surveys will often show that the lot line is not where previously believed, resulting in a dispute regarding where the line really lies.


Adverse Possession Claims

Adverse possession claims arise when one neighbor claims ownership of a piece of land that the other neighbor owns. To succeed in an adverse possession claim, the claimant must prove that they have been using the disputed land for a particular time and that they have done so without the rightful owner’s permission. If the claimant can prove these things, they can take ownership of the disputed land.


Fence, Landscaping, and Outbuilding Disputes

Fences, landscaping, or outbuildings that cross the boundary line can lead to boundary line disputes. The dispute is essentially a lot line dispute, but it also involves deciding what to do with the item (or items) that have been located incorrectly.

If fences, landscaping, and outbuildings are located either totally or partially on the wrong side of a boundary line, adjacent property owners typically have limited options available to them. However, the property owner may be able to have the infringing improvement removed and placed on their property. But it depends on what the issue is.

The offended party may also grant a license or easement to the owner of the improvement, allowing them to use the owner’s property. Depending on your choice, the improvement owner may have to pay a one-time fee or a recurring fee.

A third option is for the property owner to sell a portion of the land with the offending improvement. However, this can depend on the specific area where the properties are situated. It is worth noting that subdivisions of this type can be denied or declined.

Resolving Boundary Disputes

Property boundary dispute laws vary from state to state, but some general principles apply in most cases. It is essential to first try to resolve the dispute amicably with your neighbor. This can involve meeting in person to discuss the problem and try to agree on the property boundaries. If you cannot reach an agreement, you need to consult an attorney or mediator who can help you understand your legal options.

If you and your neighbor dispute where your property boundary lies, there are a few ways to resolve and avoid problems. The first step is to try to negotiate and come to an agreement with your neighbor. If you can’t resolve the boundary issue, you can hire a licensed surveyor to establish the property’s exact boundaries. If the surveyor’s report shows that the boundary is in dispute, you can mediate or hire a lawyer to file a lawsuit.

In some cases, property owners can resolve boundary disputes through arbitration or mediation. A neutral third party will listen to both sides and decide how to resolve the dispute. As well as being quicker and less expensive than going to court, arbitration, and mediation can help preserve neighborly relationships.

How Can an Attorney Help in Boundary Case Between Adjacent Property Owners

An attorney can help in a boundary case between adjacent property owners by providing legal representation and advice. They can also help to negotiate a settlement between the parties involved. In some cases, an attorney can even take the case to court and obtain a ruling from a judge. This can be helpful in situations where the parties cannot agree on their own.

Depending on your land dispute, your attorney may also conduct a title search in Georgia process to uncover legal descriptions and prior easements that can help you decide how to proceed. 

Therefore, if you have a boundary dispute with your neighbor, it would be best to find a real estate litigation attorney to address it quickly before it becomes a bigger problem.  

If you need legal representation or want to know more about boundary dispute cases and your property rights, don’t hesitate to contact Perigon Legal Services for assistance.

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