Established boundary lines may change based on encroachments and disputes between neighbors. MillionAcres.com reports that encroachment occurs when a neighbor intrudes over a boundary line without the property owner’s authorization.
When a garden grows onto a neighbor’s property, for example, a nuisance encroachment occurs. A property owner may ask the neighbor for permission to cut the intruding plants. A trespass, however, occurs when a neighbor builds a fence or paves a driveway that crosses a boundary line.
Rights of a property owner when encroachment occurs
Some property owners may not mind an encroachment. A necessary encroachment may, however, require adding an easement to a property’s deed. An easement provides a right of way for a neighbor to use another individual’s property. By recording the right of way in the deed, it transfers to a new owner when selling the property.
If a property owner discovers a continuous encroachment, legal action may offer relief. If, for example, a property owner paved a driveway that crossed a borderline, an upset neighbor may file a lawsuit to repair the damage. The court could force the owner of the paved driveway to remove it or purchase the encroached land from the affected neighbor.
How an encroachment may affect a property’s sale
As reported by Deeds.com, failing to record a change in a property’s legal description may cause issues with its title. When an encroachment alters a parcel, a surveyor assists in recording the precise changes. An owner may then describe the property’s new dimensions and borderlines on its deed.
Before closing a real estate sale, a buyer’s lender may need to see a clear title. If a title search reveals an unrecorded encroachment, the seller may need to correct the discrepancy to complete the transaction.