Sometimes, land boundaries in California can be challenging to define. Your neighbor might believe that you are encroaching on their land, or you might feel like they are refusing to give you the right to access when you believe you have an easement. In these cases, it is important to take the necessary steps to resolve your boundary dispute as amicably as possible.
Resolving boundary disputes in California
When you are up to your eyeballs in a boundary dispute with your neighbor, the first thing you ought to do is find a property surveyor to come out and look at the disputed area. A property surveyor can help you determine your property’s legal boundaries and where exactly the disputed area is located.
With this information, you can begin to resolve the issue with your neighbor alone without involving third parties. However, if they are unwilling to listen to reason, you might need to explore other avenues, such as mediation or arbitration.
Mediation involves sitting down with a third-party mediator who will help you and your neighbor agree in the disputed area. Mediators are facilitators; they will not make any decisions for you, and your resolutions will remain informal unless you both agree to sign them with witnesses and then get a judge to notarize them. In contrast, an arbitrator will listen to both sides of the story and then decide who is right and wrong. Their ruling is binding, meaning you will have to go along with whatever they say.
If the issue has escalated beyond an informal sit-down or your neighbor is unwilling to partake in any of those alternative methods, real estate litigation might be your best bet. This is obviously a much more serious route to take and should only be considered as a last resort. You will need to gather the appropriate evidence to build a strong case.
Boundaries are often the most contentious disputes in California, especially with the booming real estate sales in the market today. If you believe that your neighbor is taking advantage of you or infringing on your property rights, it is essential to take action and protect what’s yours.