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How should you handle boundary disputes?

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2019 | Real Estate Law

Your house is the one place where you can relax and feel secure. You have the right to trust that nobody will come onto your property without an invitation. However, there is always the chance that a neighbor may encroach upon your property in Pennsylvania. Most often such an incident involves building a fence or other small structure that happens to cross over the boundary line between your homes. If this happens to you, do you know what you should do?

According to HouseLogic, the first thing you should do is remain calm and think clearly about how you should handle the boundary dispute. Your first instinct may be to rush over and start arguing with your neighbor, but that will only increase tension and prevent you from talking things through in a logical manner.

Gather proof

You need to arm yourself with the proof of your boundary lines. You should have the plat to your property that you can reference. If you do not, it should be on file with the county in which you live. You can request a copy of it from the local office or you may be able to get it online.

Once you have the plat, you can approach your neighbor and discuss the issue. If your neighbor becomes angry or is combative, then you should walk away.

Send a letter

Your next step is to send a letter to your neighbor demanding he or she removes the structure from your property. Include a copy of the plat with the letter and make sure you get proof of delivery.

Try to negotiate

In some cases, you may be able to or willing to lease that part of the land to your neighbor or come up with a solution that works for both of you. Perhaps it was an honest mistake that you can solve through discussion. Ideally, this will happen.

However, if things get too hostile, you may need to call law enforcement and report your neighbor for trespassing. Eventually, you may have to go to court to settle things. This information is for education and is not legal advice.