Many property owners have a difficult time determining the boundary line between their property and an adjacent property. Often, neighbors will agree on a property line even though it may not be the true property line. This can lead to many problems because of inconsistencies at a later date. A boundary line, also known as a property line, marks the legal boundaries of a plot of land. It is usually established by the measurements of a professional surveyor. However, more recently, GPS technology is also being used to establish property lines. Property lines often follow natural features of the land, such as rivers, ditches, creeks, or trees.
In many cases, property lines are described in the actual recorded title to the property. Property line disputes are common between adjoining neighbors, businesses that are near each other, and instances where a business is located very near to residential property.
Yes. Two neighbors can agree on where they want the boundary line to be. After both parties agree to the boundary line, they will make a “lot line agreement,” which would then be legally binding between the parties. These lot line agreements are made official and binding just like signing a contract or signing a deed that describes in detail the agreed boundary line. It is also important that the neighbors check the local zoning and subdivisions lines before making any kind of boundary agreement just to make sure its not overlapping anything and they are in compliance.
Any boundary line agreement made between two adjoining neighbors will be enforceable even if a surveyor later determines the true boundary line. However, the agreed boundary line must have been effective because of confusion or uncertainty as to the true boundary line.
There are various elements that are necessary for an agreed boundary line. These elements include:
If one of these elements is not met the agreed boundary line might not be legally enforceable.
The agreed boundary doctrine binds future parties to the new boundary. There may be no property records in effect but the agreed boundary doctrine of parties will bind future owners. This occurs frequently when the agreed boundary line has been in effect for many years with the previous owners.
Property line disputes can often arise if there is some question as to the legal boundaries of the property. These can involve a broad range of property disputes, including:
The law regarding agreed boundary doctrines can be difficult. A real estate attorney can help property owners to put their agreements in writing to make sure no inconsistencies or disagreements occur. A lawyer can also check the relevant state laws in your area to determine what steps are necessary to finalize an agreed boundary line.
Last Modified: 05-01-2018 02:02 AM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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