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How can owners resolve a boundary line dispute in New York?

On Behalf of | May 4, 2023 | Residential Real Estate |

Square footage matters to many Albany-area property owners. Many people sometimes try creative, quirky things in their hopes of maximizing what their property is worth. In some cases, these behaviors end up infringing on the rights of their neighbors and cause boundary line disputes. For example, installing a fence and placing it six inches over a property line could make a minor but noteworthy difference to the total square footage of each yard.

Property owners who are unsure about where the boundary line falls between their property and an adjacent owner may be  in limbo until they resolve the matter at hand. So, how do people typically settle disagreements about property boundaries?

They refer to their paperwork

Buying a home means executing a deed that makes someone the official owner of record of a specific parcel of land and the improvements erected on that land. The deed will typically include a legal description that carefully details the exact placement of the property boundaries.

Unfortunately, the language used in legal descriptions can be either confusing and archaic or highly technical. In some cases, referencing a legal description and a deed will resolve the disagreement. However, in other cases, homeowners will still disagree with one another about where the boundary between their properties actually falls.

A surveyor can resolve the matter

There are real estate professionals trained for exactly this scenario. Professional surveyors have the school and education necessary to review a legal description and then determine the location of the actual boundary for the property. They can then place markers so there are no mistakes when someone pours a driveway or installs a fence.

Where there is a significant boundary dispute and neighbors have experienced a serious conflict or a breakdown in communications, litigation may be necessary to stop an improvement until after the resolution of the dispute or to address some change to the property that infringes on one owner’s rights. Working with an experienced legal professional to address such concerns is often the best first step forward.