Ever wonder where your exact property lines lie? Are you feuding with a neighbor over where your joint property boundaries lie? Who owns and is responsible for the fence that separates you from your neighbor? What about the tree that is planted near the property line? The confusion over property boundaries is the basis of many neighbor disputes. The real estate attorneys at Robinson and Henry can help you define these boundaries and stop your neighbor from using your property without permission — either knowingly or unknowingly.
The biggest property boundary issues revolve around the ownership and responsibility for fencing that separates properties and trees planted on or near the boundary. Unless property owners agree otherwise, fences on a boundary line belong to both owners. Good neighbors should agree to split the cost of the repair of fences or common boundary walls. Both owners are responsible for keeping the fence in good repair, and neither may remove it without the others permission. In the event that tree limbs overhang from one property to another, the property owner may cut tree limbs and remove roots where they cross the property line, provided that such pruning will not damage the basic health and welfare of the tree.
Other boundary disputes revolve around encroachment issues. An encroachment is when a neighbor puts up a structure that intrudes on (or over) your land. This may happen when a neighbor builds a shed with an edge over the property line, builds a fence on your side of the property line, or expands his house so that a porch ends up on your property. You might decide that your neighbor’s encroachment doesn’t bother you and do nothing about it. However, if you ever sell your property, you will need to disclose the encroachment to any potential buyers so that they can consider the issue as part of their purchasing decision.
Fortunately, there are number of ways to handle an encroachment. First, talk to your neighbor about it. He might be able to move the structure or you might come to some alternate arrangement. If you and your neighbor decide to leave the encroachment in place, you may consider giving him written permission to use your property. This can prevent a later claim of adverse possession. If your neighbor is unable or unwilling to remove the encroachment, but is otherwise open to resolving the issue, you may wish to consider selling the encroached-upon property to him. That way, you get some money for the loss of your property, and your neighbor gets to use the land without worry. if you are unable to resolve the issue between yourselves, then you should consider hiring an attorney and getting the court system involved. The real estate attorneys at Robinson and Henry can offer guidance on the process of quiet title and ejectment or possibly a prescriptive easement.
If you have property boundary issues that you are unable to resolve with your neighbor, give the real estate attorneys at Robinson and Henry a call at (303) 688-0944 for your free, no obligation consultation. We represent clients in real estate matters throughout Colorado, but most frequently along the Front Range including Castle Rock, Colorado Springs and Denver metro area.