In real estate, encroachment is a situation where another property owner, usually a neighbor, unintentionally or intentionally violates your ownership rights by extending or building a structure on your property or land. For example, one of your neighbors has extended a wall or built a shed, but he is not aware that it is taking a portion of your residential premises. Or, he might have expanded his porch too much that it has ended up crossing on your property lines. These cases are considered as encroachment.
Sometimes, you would choose not to be bothered by these situations and not to take actions to address it. Perhaps, you would like to preserve a good relationship with your neighbor. However, by the time you put your property on sale, it is important to disclose the encroachment to potential buyers. This way, they will be able to include such an issue in their decision of purchasing your property.
In case you are facing an encroachment dispute, here are steps that you should take:
- Know exactly where your property’s boundaries are.
- Go to court if all else fails.
Talk to your neighbor about the encroachment and come up with certain arrangements, like moving the structure or offering to sell the encroached area to him.