How to address a neighbor encroaching on your property

On Behalf of | May 22, 2023 | Real Estate Disputes

As a property owner, it can be frustrating and stressful to discover your neighbor has encroached onto your property. Encroachment occurs when a neighbor builds a structure or plants something on your property without your permission. However, this doesn’t have to result in legal disputes and strained relationships with your neighbor. 

Before taking action, you should assess the situation to ascertain that your neighbor trespassed over your real estate boundaries. If your suspicions were right, determine the extent of the encroachment by taking pictures of the encroaching structure or plant. If necessary, this information will be useful when you have no choice but to take legal action. In the meantime, here is what you can do to address encroachment onto your property.

Communicate with your neighbor

Communicating directly with your neighbor is the first step in addressing encroaching onto your property. Approach the situation calmly and politely, and explain the issue at hand because they might be unaware of their fault. 

Ask your neighbor to remove the encroaching structure or plant, and provide them with a timeline for doing so. It’s important to document this communication in writing, such as via email or a certified letter, in case legal action is necessary in the future.

Establish a legal strategy 

If your neighbor is unresponsive or unwilling to remove the encroaching structure, it may be necessary to establish a legal strategy to address the issue. This process might involve reviewing property documents and looking into your legal rights as a property owner. At this point, you might consider sending a demand letter, and hopefully, it will be enough to resolve the issue without going to court.

Consider mediation

Mediation may be a good option if you would like to avoid legal action and maintain a positive relationship with your neighbor. A mediator can facilitate a discussion between you and your neighbor to find a mutually acceptable solution. This can be a cost-effective and efficient way to resolve the issue without going to court.

Dealing with a neighbor encroaching onto your property can be frustrating. However, approaching the situation professionally and effectively can help resolve the issue and maintain a positive relationship with your neighbor.