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What should you do when encroachment is suspected?

On Behalf of | Oct 21, 2022 | Residential Real Estate |

Encroachment generally refers to a neighbor’s unauthorized use or invasion of your property. As reported by, encroachment includes constructing or extending physical structures over a boundary line.

If a neighbor creates an intrusion onto your property, you may amicably discuss its removal or consider filing a legal action. Gathering evidence such as a property survey, photos or videos, could help you show the court an encroachment occurred and the harm it caused.

What are some examples of encroachment?

An unintentional encroachment may seem harmless, but it could affect your property’s marketability. Examples include a neighbor’s trees or rose bushes that grow past the boundary line and onto your property. A yard full of fallen apples, for example, could make it difficult to sell your home.

Intentional encroachment could occur when a neighbor builds a structure over the property line. Before building a fence or paving a driveway, a neighbor must measure the boundary lines prior to purchasing materials. Failing to take measurements and ordering more materials than necessary could lead to three or more feet of fence extending onto your property.

What happens when someone crosses the property line?

You may ask your neighbor to remove an encroachment, or you could ask the court, which may then award damages. A judge may also order a neighbor to remove an offending object and repair the harmed property.

A neighbor might also affect the use and enjoyment of your property by interfering through sight or sound. Setting up a pole barn or other structure may block an attractive view that shaped your decision to buy the property. A neighbor who Installs a swimming pool and hosts frequent backyard parties could create a noise nuisance that audibly encroaches onto your land.