If you’re planning on putting up a fence or planting a garden, it’s important that these items don’t encroach on your California neighbor’s property. Of course, it’s possible that you may accidentally do so despite your best efforts, and there are a myriad of ways to resolve boundary disputes.
Come to a friendly agreement
You and your neighbor may simply agree to overlook the encroachment if it doesn’t materially impact either party’s ability to use their land. However, it’s generally a good idea to create a written agreement stating that allowing a fence, shed or other item to exist doesn’t give you the right to claim ownership of that land.
Alternatively, you can agree to buy the land that you accidentally usurped from your neighbor. These options may be the best way to avoid real estate litigation that can be costly and take months to resolve. Litigation may also cause a permanent strain on the relationship with those living next to you.
Have the property surveyed
If you are adamant that you haven’t encroached on your neighbor’s land, you could have the property surveyed. A survey will provide a more accurate assessment of where your property ends and your neighbor’s property begins. Having a survey done may also be ideal if you think that your neighbor is encroaching on your property. You have the right to pay for your own survey even if your neighbor decides to have one done as well.
You have the right to enjoy your property free of incursions by neighbors or other parties that don’t have any ownership rights to it. While litigation may be an option, mediation or arbitration may also be helpful in coming to an amicable conclusion to your case in a timely manner.