You searched long and hard to find a home that you think you can love for decades to come. You’re done living in a starter home, and you’re ready to begin having a family.
As soon as you move in, however, you realize there might be a problem. You didn’t notice when you were looking at the house initially, but, according to the surveys and maps you have, it looks like your neighbor may be encroaching on your property. What can you do?
How could this happen?
It is actually pretty easy for something like this to happen. Maybe the previous homeowner didn’t know exactly where the boundary lines were but didn’t raise any objections when the neighbor built a fence or put up a new shed. They didn’t really mind, and they just let it go. Now that you’re moving in though, you may be more conscious of the fact that you own a specific portion of land that someone else is using and thinks of as their own.
You do have some options
The good news is that you have options, starting with simply talking to your neighbor to see if you can agree on the boundary line or have them make a change. In some cases, such as with a fence, it may be fairly simple. But other cases may be more complex, or your neighbor may argue that you are wrong and it is actually their land.
In a case like that, you may want to consider having a new survey done, or even pursuing a quiet title lawsuit to have a judge make a ruling. This may not be ideal because it could hinder your relationship with your brand new neighbor, but you can protect your property if it’s clear that they are using land that belongs to you.
Whatever you do, don’t assume that you just have to accept it. Take the time to carefully consider all of the legal options at your disposal.