Land and Boundary Issues Attorneys in Warrenton, VA

Resolve Legal Disagreements Over Land and Boundary Issues.

Land and boundary disputes can arise from time to time. If you are struggling with them, real estate attorneys at Ashwell & Ashwell, PLLC, can help.

What Is a Boundary Dispute in Virginia?

Suppose your neighbor’s fence is on or crossing your property line. If they unlawfully encroach on your property, a boundary dispute can occur. On the other hand, you could also be the one encroaching on the neighbor’s property. Whatever the case, a disagreement about a property can quickly ruin a good relationship with your neighbors.

Disputes over land ownership or usage and property lines are troublesome but are also common in rural, residential, and urban settings. Your arguments with a neighbor about tree trimming, parking, garbage removal, noise, lighting, drainage, or any other issue may escalate if you do not reach a mutually agreeable resolution. 

It is usually best if you can settle a land or boundary dispute before you incur losses or before you – a private individual or a representative of a business – and adjacent property owners become warring neighbors. Alternatively, your land use dispute might involve a government agency instead of or in addition to an adjacent property owner. 

Let the attorneys at Ashwell & Ashwell, PLLC, assist you with resolving property disputes as quickly as possible.

Common Causes of Land and Boundary Issues

Land and boundary issues often arise from a variety of issues:

  • Unclear Property Boundaries: The most common cause is the lack of clear property boundaries. Over time, original boundaries can become obscured, leading to lot line disputes between neighbors.

  • Encroachments: Disputes may occur when one owner’s property improvements, like a neighbor’s garage or fence, encroach onto another’s property.

  • Easements and Right of Way: Conflicts over prescriptive easement or right of way, where one neighbor may block access to another’s property, can lead to disagreements.

  • Adverse Possession Claims: These occur when one party claims ownership of a piece of land that they’ve been using openly and continuously for a certain period, as defined by state laws.

  • Title Issues: Sometimes, issues with a title insurance policy or misunderstandings about what was purchased can cause disputes.

Understanding Property & Boundary Disputes

Boundary line disputes with an adjacent neighbor are fairly common issues. Sometimes, neighbors know where the property line is but don’t agree about the right to cross it.

However, in some cases, the owners don’t know where the boundary lines are. Then, building a deck or a driveway can result in a dispute. In other cases, an argument may arise because of the need to remove existing landscaping.

A fence encroaching on a neighbor’s property is a common boundary dispute. If the problem is not resolved, the encroaching party may eventually acquire a property right of the land within the fence through adverse possession.

Determining the lines would be a good starting point. Many line disputes are resolved immediately after completing a full title search or survey. When getting the land surveyed, a surveyor will come and determine where exactly the property line is.

Whether your challenge involves permitting, property upkeep, commercial or residential zoning, or other issues, legal counsel is essential. That is especially the case if you hope to ensure that the problem is resolved without excessive penalties and will not fester or reoccur.

What Legal Steps Should Be Taken in a Boundary Dispute

In resolving a boundary dispute, several legal steps should be considered:

  • Property Survey: Conducting a boundary survey by a licensed surveyor is crucial. This will establish the physical object marking the boundary based on legal descriptions.

  • Consult an Experienced Real Estate Attorney: An attorney can review the survey and advise on property rights and state laws.

  • Review Title Documents and Insurance: Examining the title insurance policy and any existing property documents can provide clarity on the property’s legal boundaries.

  • Negotiate with the Neighbor: Often, disputes can be resolved amicably through discussion. An experienced real estate lawyer can assist in these negotiations.

  • Legal Action: If negotiations fail, legal action may be necessary. An attorney can help file a claim in court to resolve the dispute, potentially through a quitclaim deed or by seeking a court ruling.

  • Prevent Future Disputes: To prevent future issues, owners may consider updating their title insurance policy or formally recording any agreed-upon boundary changes.

Taking these steps can help property owners resolve boundary disputes effectively while protecting their legal interests and maintaining good neighborly relations.

Examples of Land and Boundary Disputes That We Help People Resolve

Ask our lawyers for a case evaluation. Then, work together with one or both of them on a strategy to resolve a land or property dispute such as the following:

  • A succession, conveyance, or inheritance problem
  • A land survey error or a property description error on a title, deed, or mortgage
  • An application for, or presentation of arguments against, a construction permit
  • A disagreement over solar, utility, or road easements
  • A landlord-tenant dispute over property usage, lease modification, or termination of a lease
  • Any condominium-related property use rule or law
  • A fence, easement, or any other boundary issue

The list above is just a sampling of the many land and property use issues we have seen over the years. Our vast knowledge of real estate, regulatory compliance enforcement and civil litigation can work in your favor.

The attorneys at Ashwell & Ashwell, PLLC, guide clients in the direction of amicable and efficient land dispute resolutions when feasible. However, sometimes, there is no choice but to face a challenge aggressively. A neighboring property owner may have damaged something on your side of the property line. They may have already filed a lawsuit alleging that you have encroached on their space or violated their rights. A government body may have issued a citation or ultimatum. 

Our years of experience have prepared us to guide you in the right direction as you seek to put an end to any such conflict.

Get Advice And Assistance With Your Land Or Boundary Conflict

Learn how our Fauquier County attorneys can help you resolve your challenge decisively and cost-effectively. To schedule a consultation, call our law firm or send an email inquiry.

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