What is an encroachment and what can be done about it?

You might be on amicable terms with your neighbors until they construct a shed that is built partially on your land. This might have been an honest mistake; sometimes it is difficult for property owners to know exactly where the property borders lie. You may not have such an issue with the shed being built partially on your land, and would rather not create an unnecessary conflict. However, it could have some consequences in regard to the value of your home if you decide to sell. So what's the best way to deal with an encroachment is a diplomatic way?

Dealing with an encroachment without a conflict

Usually when it comes to encroachment and other issues relating to your neighbors, honesty is the best policy. Is it better to bring up the subject with your neighbors when you notice it; bringing it up two years later might create resentment and will put you at a disadvantage. Coming to an agreement about what to do next will save you a lot of hassle and legal fees.

Your neighbor may acknowledge the problem but is unwilling to remove the shed, and might offer to buy the land from you. If this is the case, you should have the land valued by a real estate agent or attorney.

If your neighbor is noncompliant, then you may need to take legal action. In order to resolve an encroachment, you should be able to first prove that you own the land in question, and that the neighbor is using the land illegally.

Source: Findlaw, "What Can You Do About an Encroachment?," accessed Nov. 29, 2017

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