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Precise land maps with property lines protect landowners against the unforeseen legal and monetary impacts if there is a property boundary disagreement. Thus, it’s critical to recognize where the property lines start and finish on your property, as well as the land or house you are interested in buying. Boundary disputes can wreak havoc on a landowner.

While it’s more likely, in many cases, that the owner of the neighboring property would communicate concerns before doing something that could affect your property; that’s not always the case, and things can easily get out of your hands.

Land Maps with Property Lines Prevent Potential Legal Disputes with Your Neighbor

Boundary disputes are often frustrating and can be expensive to deal with. A boundary dispute between you and the owner(s) of surrounding properties usually occurs when a neighbor illegally occupies a portion of the land or claims ownership of it.

Not every boundary dispute that arises is major. In many cases, boundary disputes are insignificant, such as when a neighbor wants to remodel a shared driveway or wishes to fell a tree on their property for some reason.

In the worst scenario, property line disputes can get you in serious trouble when you have a lack of information about your property lines and a despiteful neighbor deliberately invading your property.

A landowner might encounter a lawsuit, need to rebuild fences or other issues. We recommend property buyers and sellers get legal boundaries surveyed if they are considering building anything on or near the boundary of their property to avoid any boundary disputes in the future.

  • Disputes over Property Line

Property line disputes, also known as lot line disputes, often arise because of disagreement between landowners about the location of property’s boundaries. This happens usually when the actual boundaries are discovered after the survey of the property.

A landowner can scrutinize the property records and maps to get accurate information but that information may contain errors. However, if you are building near or on the property line it is always best to rely on surveyed property lines.

  •  Access Disputes

Owning a property with access restrictions or disputes can be a nightmare. For instance, a rural property owner needs to go through a neighboring property to access a road.

It’s highly recommended to ensure you do not need to enter or cross surrounding properties to access yours. Also, you don’t want others to intrude on your property, make sure they can access their property without trespassing yours. In case you need to cross the neighboring property to access your property, make sure you have that permission in writing.

Also, in many cases, there are deeded access or rights of way. This information is contained in current or historic deeds.

  • Adverse Possession Claims

It is one of the common disputes between neighboring property owners that involves a claim for adverse possession. An adverse possession dispute occurs when one party occupies a portion of land and claims its ownership.

Adverse possessions are not always intentional; one might have incorrect land maps with property lines and occupy or construct on the neighboring property by mistake. According to adverse possession law, a party can claim the rights of a property after using it continuously without an owner’s consent for a particular time frame set out by the state. Thus, it’s critical to resolve adverse possession disputes when they are discovered and be aware of rules and regulations of adverse possession of a state.

Property Lines Prevent Encroachments on Your Property

Encroachment seems common and might be considered a small issue but can turn into a source of long-term stress if left unresolved. It happens when a property owner constructs a structure that extends onto neighboring property, a tree or shrubs crosses onto your property. Encroachment can cause some unexpected problems in your life, restricting you from completely using your property. In the worst case, a landowner could be held responsible for the structure on their property even though they didn’t build it.

Landowners often unknowingly build a structure on the neighboring property due to incorrect boundary lines and can be resolved without any trouble. Both parties can agree on use terms and turn the encroachment into an easement for mutual benefits. And finally, a landowner can take the matter to the court when the owner of the neighboring property isn’t willing to cooperate.

  • The Fencing Problem

If you are building a fence, It’s recommended to property owners to build fences offset from surrounding properties. You might want to build fences right on the property line, but incorrect property lines may lead you to build on your neighbor’s property.

In the case of conflict with neighbors, you might need to remove fences or sell a land portion to your neighbor. To be on the safe side, avoid building structure until you get accurate details of your property lines. A fence that touches two adjacent properties would require both owners to bear the expenses of maintenance.

Ways to Find Property Lines

As mentioned above, knowing the starting and endpoints of land you own can prevent encroachments, disputes, and fencing problems.

  •  Physical Markers

Physical markers are the best options for landowners to define boundaries. In many cases, there are stakes that define property lines from previous surveys.

  •  Maps

Having land maps with property lines is probably the most cost-effective way to define property lines. These maps represent a property in the form of a graphic with its boundaries.

If you don’t have any idea how to find a property lines map, you may use land mapping software to create land maps for your property with essential details of boundaries, roads, and resources. Using these maps, landowners can get reasonably accurate property lines but keep in mind that these sources are not perfect.

  •  Deed or Surveys

A sale or transfer deed is an important document used to transfer an asset’s ownership from one party to another. Also, it provides a detailed description of a property. A property owner can have the property surveyed to get the most accurate information on the property’s boundaries, size, and location.

Now you are well aware of the reasons and benefits of having accurate property lines. We hope you are also confident about what to consider when buying land. If you are planning to invest in rural property and want to gain all the advantages of buying land, ensure you choose a trustworthy source and do your due diligence.

Related: What Do I Need To Know Before Buying Land?