Most people living in California strive to maintain good relationships with their neighbors. Unfortunately, confusion over boundary lines can sometimes lead to friction between homeowners with properties that are next to each other. Over time, this uncertainty can have severe repercussions for the parties involved.
One issue that frequently crops up for property owners is that of encroachment. This happens when one property owner begins building a structure, such as a garage, outbuilding or fence, and the new structure strays onto the property of a neighbor. As the construction encroaches onto someone else's property, difficulties can arise.
It is often up to the homeowner whose property has been encroached upon to take action. Failure to challenge or stop the encroachment may lead to the loss of control of that property or even a loss of the property itself to the other neighbor. This can create significant problems with obtaining property insurance as well as being able to sell the property at a later date.
In most cases, legal experts advise property owners to keep an eye out for any construction near their property line. If there is a dispute about the location of the property line, homeowners should hire a surveyor to determine where the boundaries actually lie. In situations where neighbor insists on proceeding with construction even before the survey is done, the other neighbor may wish to seek a court injunction prohibiting the building until the survey is complete.
Individuals who are dealing with a neighbor dispute over property lines may benefit from speaking with an experienced attorney. A lawyer may be able to review the client situation and make recommendations regarding legal action that protects the homeowner's rights while also preserving a good relationship with his or her neighbors.