Knowing your boundaries

On Behalf of | Jan 23, 2024 | Real Estate Law |

Understanding the rights and obligations regarding property lines is essential for any landowner in New Jersey. Boundary disputes can be a source of significant tension and confusion, but with the right approach, you can resolve these issues efficiently and effectively.

Before you can address a potential boundary dispute, you need to know exactly where your property lines lie. The first step is to review your property’s deed, which contains a description of your property’s boundaries. However, deeds are not always clear because the language used can sometimes be open to interpretation.

If you find yourself in a situation where the boundary lines are unclear, consider hiring a professional land surveyor. A surveyor can provide a precise map of your property, delineating the legal boundaries. Armed with this information, you can address any disputes with a clear understanding of where your property begins and ends.

Resolving the boundary dispute outside the courtroom

When you discover that a neighbor’s fence, shed or landscaping encroaches upon your property, it is crucial to approach the situation calmly. Start by engaging in a friendly conversation with your neighbor and see where that leads. Often, these disputes arise from simple misunderstandings or a lack of information, and you can resolve them without resorting to legal action.

If a casual conversation does not lead to a solution, you might consider mediation. A neutral third party can facilitate a discussion between you and your neighbor, helping both parties reach an agreement that respects each other’s property rights.

When court intervention becomes necessary

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, an amicable resolution is not possible. In such cases, you may need to take legal action to enforce your property rights. New Jersey law provides mechanisms for you to assert your boundary claims, one of which is filing a lawsuit for a “quiet title” action. It is a legal proceeding that allows you to determine and establish the rightful owner of a piece of property, which can effectively settle the dispute over the property line.

Remember, when you find yourself in a legal battle over property boundaries, you must ensure you have the proper knowledge and information before you assert your rights.