Boundary issues can be unexpected and frustrating for a property owner. You may feel that your area is well-defined, but ownership and property values could be affected if a dispute arises showing differences for a plat or deed. Because your real estate investments are important, it is helpful to work with an experienced lawyer who understands boundary issues if such a dispute arises.
In some cases, adverse possession may be used to resolve a disputed boundary issue. This principle involves the use of property by an adjoining owner for a defined length of time. In such a case, the individual using the land in question must be physically present, and the use must be obvious for an unbroken period of time. In addressing these issues with your lawyer, you will want to be able to identify how long the area in question has been in use. You will also want to identify whether the actual owner has been aware of the situation and whether a complaint has ever been raised over the issue. Another critical issue related to encroachment and adverse possession is who has been responsible for the payment of property taxes.
Although the law is an important factor in addressing such boundary disputes, case law plays a significant role in related decisions as well. Because such issues can be complex, it is crucial that a lawyer representing your interests be experienced in this area of law. Assertive negotiation can also be beneficial in resolving a claim of encroachment as settling may limit time in court as well as legal expenses for both parties.
If you are dealing with a claim of encroachment, effective representation may be important for proving your use of the land in question. If your property has been breached through open and notorious trespassing, you may want to act promptly to protect your rights. Read more about these issues on our civil disputes page.
Source: Chenoweth , "Portland Boundary Dispute Attorneys", December 10, 2014