Boundary lines are the imaginary borders of a piece of land. There are four basic boundary lines found on residential property lots: land, water, air, and sub-surface. Each type of boundary line has a set of rules that dictate how they are determined.
Usually property boundaries are defined by the property's deed. There are cases, however, where the deed can be superseded, such as:
Two common law rules address the issue of water boundaries that may move over time. Accretion occurs when the location of a water boundary moves slowly due to gradual buildup of soil; a property line shifts with accretion. However, avulsion occurs if there is a sudden change in the location of such a water boundary, in which case the property line is deemed not to have moved.
It is increasingly accepted that a landowner owns only the airspace that is reasonably necessary for the use or enjoyment of the land, not all the airspace above the land.
The traditional rule was that the ownership of land included ownership of everything underneath the land surface down to the center of the earth. But as an exception the rule, the surface owner does not necessarily own any subsurface oil and gas. In some states oil belongs to the first person to capture it through extraction.
If you are uncertain as to your property's boundary line, are attempting to recognize a new boundary line, or are in a dispute about a current boundary line, you may find the counsel of a real property attorney to be very helpful. Because of the complicated nature of this field of law, a real property lawyer can answer important questions and give advice on what is the best way to proceed with your case.
Last Modified: 11-29-2017 01:35 AM PSTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.