Most property owners consider their home and land as their most valuable asset, so it is important for them to have a clear distinction on where their property ends and the next one begins. Boundary disputes can result when there is confusion between neighbors about where property lines really are.
Many homeowners have never actually viewed their deed in detail, so they may be uncertain about their property lines. In some cases, there can be mistakes between deeds for neighboring homes that show overlapping lines.
With any type of boundary dispute, a South Florida real property litigation lawyer can offer assistance with resolving the dispute or moving toward litigation if it is necessary.
Defining property lines
It is usually easy to clarify property lines for a condominium or apartment unit, as each unit is distinct and separate. In other cases, it can be difficult to define property lines, especially for single family residences and suburban or rural settings.
Natural boundaries like roads, trees, creeks, ponds, or driveway are often used to mark property lines. In other cases, it can be an arbitrary line without any visible markers. The landscape can also change over time, such as the removal of a tree or alteration of a road.
In these situations, property owners and their neighbors can have a differing idea on where their boundary lines are, leading to problems such as construction of a new wall or fence in a disputed area or the removal or damage of a neighbor’s tree.
What happens when a dispute occurs
In general, property owners should try to resolve any disagreement on property lines with their neighbor without resorting to litigation. A real property lawyer in South Florida can assist with this type of mediation and even draft an agreement to establish new boundary lines, once some legal conditions are met. It is important to hire an experienced attorney to draft a boundary agreement because it must meet specific criteria to be valid if it is ever challenged in court.
Tree and landscaping damage disputes
Tree damage by a neighbor is a common type of property dispute that can result in lawsuits. In the state of Florida, property owners can recover damages against anyone who purposely damages a tree on their property.
Recoverable damages can include the cost the owner paid for the tree as well as the cost to replace it. This includes any trimming that results in injury to the tree or damage from chemicals used to destroy trees or plants that can seep from one property to another.
There are several requirements for property owners to recover damages that result from tree or landscaping damage, and a real property litigation attorney in South Florida can explain them to you. If you are involved in any kind of boundary dispute and would like legal advice, contact Schecter Law today at (954)-779-7009 for a consultation.