Property lines, while being invisible, come with real and definite consequences. So before just building a shed on your yard, planting trees, or adding more space to your kitchen, you need to make certain where exactly your property lines are. Being fully aware of where your land starts and ends could help you avoid property disputes with your neighbors.
In order to do this, you need to get a land or property surveyor to perform a survey of your property so that you could determine the specific characteristics of your property. A property survey could provide accurate results about your property’s exact measurements and boundaries. In some cases, however, disputes could still arise even with the results of a property survey in place.
Disputes Regarding Property Surveys
Although property surveys, provided that a reputable surveyor conducts them, are usually reliable, there is an instance wherein they could still result in legal disputes such as the ones stated below:
- Conflicts concerning fence and other kinds of boundary lines
- Neighbor disputes that involve shared property borders
- Issues regarding zoning and land use
- Disagreements about legal rights to natural resources such as trees
- Disputes between the property survey results and the written descriptions of legal documents such as a sales contract, deed, or a will
Pertaining to the last example, property descriptions in legal documents must be as crystal clear as possible, meaning that the land or property’s description must be able to completely identify the said land or property even from the description contained in the legal document, advises one of the top land surveyors in Salt Lake City. This would reduce the need to have a property surveyed in the first place.
Resolving Property Survey Disputes
Majority of disputes involving property surveys are typically resolved via awards of damages to the plaintiffs to compensate them for their losses. For example, if you built an outdoor seating area that turned out to be over your neighbor’s property line by several inches, it might be better for everyone involved to compensate your neighbor instead of taking down the structure you built and relocating it by a few inches.
In some instances, if a property survey was performed early on in the construction process, the construction workers could easily remedy the issue before the completion of the structure. Also, you could also hire another land surveyor, in cooperation with your neighbor, to determine whether or not the existing property survey results on your property is accurate or not. This would likewise eliminate bias or prejudice towards one party as well as help determine any ambiguities in different property survey results.
Getting Help for Property Survey Disputes
If you get involved in a property survey dispute, it is recommended that you seek advice from a reputable property surveyor and/or a real estate lawyer to help figure out what you need to do next. These professionals would help you understand how state laws would affect your case and inform you of your rights, responsibilities, and available options.