The city of Philadelphia is home to both new and old homes. Whether you own a home or a business property, boundaries are important. You need to know where your property ends and another one begins. For legal reasons, it matters whether an accident occurred on your property. It affects your liability. Even without legal implications, you do not want non-owners on your property. After all, you pay the mortgage for your property and pay to maintain it.
At Freundlich & Littman, LLC, we want you to maintain control over your own property. To do that you need to understand a few basic premises of property law. Property law dates back to common law from England. The laws are old and, therefore, complex. Every property boundary dispute is different. The best way to handle a dispute is to seek legal counsel. We are property boundary dispute lawyers. We can help you.
A big area of contention amongst neighbors is property boundaries. The best way to know your property limits is to consult a surveyor. These measures are not without fault, however. You could rely on a surveyor, but they sometimes make mistakes.
If there is a dispute over property, there are several ways to figure out a discrepancy. First, you can check with government records. Their records may reflect a more accurate detail of the true property boundaries. If you find a discrepancy in the boundaries, it may not matter.
In property law, there is a concept called, “adverse possession.” Adverse possession is an old concept in the law. The concept is basic, but the exceptions are many. In order to explain this concept better, take this example.
You own a house. There are 1,000 feet between your home and your neighbor’s property. For years, you both believe that property line for both homes was 500 feet from your home. When you go to refinance your mortgage, the company completes a land survey. It turned out the real property line extends 600 feet from your house, past your neighbor’s fence.
That property is technically yours, but your neighbor owns it through adverse possession.
Adverse possession is far from automatic. The use of the property must meet statutory requirements. In Pennsylvania the requirements are as follows:
The statutory period varies from each state, but the other requirements generally remain the same. The 21 year period is not per owner. Through a process called “tacking”, the law allows owners to tack on time from previous owners. If a previous owner held the property for ten years, their possession will add onto the time you were in adverse possession of the piece of property.
The law on adverse possession is complex. If you think you might be in adverse possession situation, contact us immediately.
What To Do About A Property Boundary Dispute
You have two options for a property dispute with your neighbor. First, you can negotiate with your neighbor. A friendly chat may go a long way. They may accept adverse possession of the property.
If the neighbor fails to respond to your requests, your next step is to seek legal help. Legal representation will file a lawsuit on your behalf. In the lawsuit, we make a demand for adverse possession. A court officially determines adverse possession. If a judge agrees, your neighbor will need to comply or face disobeying a court order.
Another legal action is a petition for Quiet Title. A petition for Quiet Title determines who owns a property. If adverse possession is not met, a possessor of land should file this action. Through this legal action, a court determines who holds title to a property. With this title in hand, a rightful land owner can push illegal possessors off their property.
Quiet title is not always simple. It takes a fair amount of work to prove ownership. If a neighbor claims ownership to the property as well, the complications only multiply.
Property Boundary Dispute Attorney
Did your neighbor file a lawsuit against you for an unfair boundary dispute? Is your neighbor contesting the boundaries between your properties? Need an attorney to handle a boundary dispute?
Our dedicated team is here for your adverse possession disputes with your neighbor. If you need help crafting a formal demand letter, we can help.