Encroachment concerns may be frustrating for homeowners, but specific approaches can give a better level of resolution than others. Homeownership comes with responsibilities, one of which is making sure that any modifications or upgrades stay within the confines of your property boundaries.
Knowing your property boundary lines as documented on a recent survey, as well as the ways you could unknowingly infringe on neighbouring land, can help to guarantee that any property encroachment issues that may arise are minimal. Property boundary disputes, such as encroachment claims, may quickly become nasty, turning friendly neighbours into scowling foes in the quest for a settlement.
Real estate language can be challenging to comprehend. Several terms appear to be equivalent, yet, are defined quite differently. Understanding the terminologies will help you better grasp your rights as a homeowner, buyer, or seller — to learn more about how you can protect your property with insurance, visit this site.
In this article, we’ll go over some fast and effective ways that you can handle an encroachment issue in Canada.
- 1 What is property encroachment?
- 2 How does it work?
- 3 Types of encroachment
- 4 Ways to deal with encroachment of property
- 5 Endnote
What is property encroachment?
Encroachment occurs when someone infringes on the owner’s property rights. It might imply building construction on someone else’s land or property. Property encroachers frequently target abandoned or unattended properties. Encroachment on property is usually done on purpose when a person chooses to breach the boundaries of another person’s property or land.
Encroachment, for example, occurs when one of your neighbours renovates their house in a way that a portion of their property extends into your region. It might be a balcony or terrace that extends into your parking spot. It might also be an extension of any other place that extends your patio, obstructing or hindering ventilation.
Encroachment may occur due to the passage of time (such as the development of a tree) or as a result of an unintentional incident when property borders are not recognized or property titles are erroneously recorded during the building process.
How does it work?
When you buy a house, you’ll almost have a survey done. This process, which is carried out by a professional, creates the property’s official boundaries. A homeowner can also request another survey at any time, which might be helpful if there is a disagreement amongst neighbours.
Since a survey establishes your property borders, anything your neighbour constructs on or over your line may be deemed an encroachment. This can occur purposefully or accidentally, but it is always done without consent.
Types of encroachment
There are two types of encroachments:
A minor encroachment does not have a significant impact on the neighbour’s property rights. It is a predicament that can be resolved via a simple discussion or negotiation. A garden or a fence, for example, may only overlap property lines by a few inches.
Communication with your neighbour and reaching an agreement on what to do can often fix these difficulties.
A major encroachment can have a negative influence on the value of a property. It refers to a situation that requires negotiation, authorization, or legal action.
For instance, suppose a neighbour’s tree has branches that overhang onto your property, and a child is injured while climbing it. Even though the tree is in your neighbour’s yard, you may need to make a responsibility claim against your homeowner’s insurance policy.
More permanent structures placed beyond your property limits may have an impact on the value of your home if you decide to sell it in the future.
Ways to deal with encroachment of property
Fortunately, there are numerous options for dealing with encroachment. However, before you do anything, be sure you understand your property’s borders. You’re ready to start a conversation with your neighbours, and you don’t want to start a feud over misplaced boundaries.
Conduct a professional land survey
The first step in determining whether or not there is a potential border or encroachment concern should always be a professional land survey. In certain circumstances, what one homeowner perceives as an invasion problem may not be one at all.
It is always preferable to figure this out before jumping to any conclusions. A professional land survey can help guarantee that the boundaries between adjacent properties are precisely defined.
Letting the space out
You can lease out the land to the encroacher or permit them to use your property for a specific amount of time in exchange for money if the encroacher does not desire legal possession of the property but only wants to use it for a set period. Before this goes into effect, be sure the legal settlement is finalized.
Discuss it with your neighbour
You can and should talk to your next-door neighbour about it. He could be able to shift the structure, or you may come up with a different solution. Avoiding legal bills, the stress of hiring an attorney and going to court by resolving any disagreements outside of court can save you both money and time.
Neighbours that are willing to talk things out usually come to an agreement that both agree on.
Claim the damages
If the encroachment party refuses to cooperate, the best alternative is to take them to court and seek financial restitution for their illegal conduct. The regulations give property owners the right to sue for damages incurred due to land grabbing or encroachment.
The term “damage” refers to the amount of money the defendant may be required to pay the plaintiff for the landowners’ damages. When it comes to trespassing or land encroachment, the property owner can sue for physical harm.
If neither you nor the encroaching neighbour comes to an agreement that is fair to both parties, but you don’t want to go to court, you can seek the help of a neutral third party. This is far less expensive than engaging an attorney, and the mediating person can assist in finding a middle ground between both parties. This is generally known as arbitration.
Property disputes can be challenging to resolve. Exchanges concerning encroachment and other issues can be tense due to large sums of money and emotional attachments. Encroachments must be handled as quickly as possible.
When you initially bring up the matter, give your neighbour the benefit of the doubt. Before finalizing an encroachment agreement, consider how an adverse possession or prescriptive easement can affect your land value. Work with a qualified, local real estate attorney today to resolve your encroachment issue.