How to Settle Property Line Disputes with a Neighbour?

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(1) Introduction: 

The property line dispute may arise very commonly with our Neighbour. Sometimes it may be directly or indirectly. But many times we have indeed facing such kind of issues regarding our property boundary line with Neighbours. There is no straitjacket formula to find out of every property line disputes. Here are many types of boundary dispute can arise.

E.g. Sometimes, a Neighbour uses our property’s boundary for pathway purpose and passing of the long period they would claim for his easement right. 

Sometimes, in the deed of property boundary does not show an accurate description between two boundaries, and they try to enforce our possession and use our property by way of adverse possession, and claim ownership for the property. 

Sometimes, it happens that we do not create accurate records of our property areas, and they get benefits with bad intentions to cover our property boundary line into his area. In the same way, when we not to create any records of our property, they try to claim his ownership of our property.

You will live with a Neighbour for some time, So it is advisable to resolve that problem without damage your relationship with your Neighbour. This article will discuss how to resolve property line disputes with the Neighbour.

(2) Understand the boundary line issue from your side:

First, you have to know and identify the real issue of the property line from your side. First, you have to find out the cause and type of nature of the dispute. For that, you need to understand the boundaries of the property. 

Then, you can conclude the question of whether your Neighbour encroaches your property boundary or not. And if that is true, then know the fact how they do encroach the boundary line of your property. Here one thing you must know that without finding a fact, you can not allege regarding the property boundary line issue.

(3) Survey the property:

After considering the real issue, you have to collect all details of your property, and you need to verify it the property dispute has arisen or not.

For that, hire an authentic property surveyor who has a license and authorized to survey the property. The surveyor will make a boundary after identify the property boundary line.

He makes remarks to the boundary line, which helps you to find out whether your property will encroach or not.

Here, One question will arise that whether the property line issue will rise, then who will pay for the survey?

For the answer to this question, we can say that of course, you have to pay for a survey of your property to define the exact location and boundary line. 

Because sometimes, your Neighbour is not aware of that issue that’s why it’s maybe they will not agree or ready for the survey. For that to sort out this issue, you have to pay for a survey of the property. 

If you are willing to afford the cost of a survey, your neighbor will not oppose you for the survey, and you can easily find out the real issue whether your Neighbour has encroached your property boundary line or not.

Sometimes, if to find out the fact you would also need to survey your Neighbour’s property, and they are not willing for that, you have to need to convince them, and for these purposes, you have to pay for survey charges of your neighbor’s property.

(4) Search a title of your property: 

You need to search the title of your property because the title documents show which type of property rights you have of your ownership of property, and how you acquire right from whom?

You need to hire an advocate, who works for you to search the title of your property, an attorney will collect of recorded documents which are available in various areas and help you to find out the legal title of your property.

In this way, an attorney can guide you about your title and what is the legal rights of your property, as well as this title survey, will help you to find out the property boundary line issue with your Neighbour.

(5) negotiate and freely discuss with your Neighbour: 

This step is a good and easy way to sort out the property line issue ( if any). After identifying your property by the survey, and verifying your title search through an attorney, if some issue arises that your neighbor has trespass your property line doing a violation and trying to damage your property right.

You need to get a happy ending with your neighbor for that, start the negotiation and make freely discuss with your Neighbour about that topic.

For that, you may contact your Neighbour to freely talk with them about the property boundary line, contact your Neighbour as per his convenience, and start communication with them.

To contact your Neighbour, make a personal visit or phone call is a very convenient way. But if it is not possible, you can send them an email or letter for your subject matter regarding the boundary line issue.

Basically, a personal meeting is more effective than other ways to contact your Neighbour because in this way you can show and share your property survey directly face to face.

If the property boundary line issue is created by misrepresentation or due to unawareness of the boundary line, you can talk with them with your proof.

During this discussion, if your Neighbour wants to survey his property, you should give him time to assessment of his property. Discuss with them to resolve all the disputes in a smoothly and openable way.

(6) Choose a mediator:

If all the discussions going to smooth, You should sort out the dispute through a mediator, Select a mediator who is trusted by both parties. A third-party mediator can easily communicate with both parties.

This action is also beneficial for both parties to resolve the property boundary line issue. A mediator can help you to sort out the real issue he can analyze all documents from both sides, and help to resolve the issue by way of settlement.

(7) Create a written agreement with your Neighbour:

After a discussion with the mediator, if both parties come to the result of settlement then, you should try to convert your settlement in writing form.

In the written settlement agreement must specify all terms and conditions which is binding to you and your Neighbour too. It is necessary to avoid a future dispute about the boundary line issue.

The mediator plays an important role, in preparing a settlement agreement, according to the understanding of both parties.

You have to read carefully, all terms and conditions before signing an agreement because it also binding to in the future.

But after all, if they’re no result through negotiating, or by the way of the mediator. There is no other way for you to resolve the dispute except to file a lawsuit against your neighbor, to protect your property right. 

(8) File a lawsuit against your Neighbour to resolve the property line dispute:

After considering the above options, if there is no result regarding your property line dispute with your Neighbour. 

Then here is the last option for you to file a lawsuit against your Neighbour about your property line dispute.

Here one thing you should know why we are talking that to put the last option to file a suit? Because all of the above actions are not much expensive compared to file a lawsuit. Of course, it maintains a smooth relationship with your Neighbour too. 

But compared to other options, file a lawsuit is much expensive in terms of money and time (in years).

When you choose to take legal action against your Neighbour for that, you need to hire an attorney who can handle property disputes according to laws.

The first step of your process to file a lawsuit, you have to consult a civil lawyer, who can help you to get success to sort out a property line dispute with your Neighbour.

In the case of E. Achuthan Nair  Vs. P. Narayanan Nair and another, (AIR 1987 SC 2137)[1]. The supreme court observed that A suit for demarcating the boundary of a property is maintainable. In India, the question of whether a suit is cognizable by a civil Court is to be decided with reference to S. 9. If the suit is of a civil nature, the Court will have jurisdiction to try the suit unless it is either expressly or impliedly barred. A dispute regarding the identification of boundary, property line dispute between two adjacent property owners is certainly a dispute of a civil nature, and it is not barred either expressly or impliedly. The technicalities of English law and the distinction made by the English Courts between legal estates and equitable estates, cannot be imported into our jurisprudence.

In the case of Laxman Wamanrao Nagapure Vs Shankar Haribhau Adhau (2014(6) ALL MR 635),[2]. The Bombay High Court observed that, Suit for removal of encroachment from and possession of the immovable property. A plaintiff must be careful to describe the property by its boundaries. Survey Number/Gat Number with area mentioning boundaries on North, East, West, and South of property. Without such a description, the trial Court may not be assisted properly by the plaintiff to pass an effective decree if it is passed for the removal of encroachment from the suit land/property in such cases.

Reference:  

(1) E.Achuthan Nair Vs. P. Narayanan Nair and another, AIR 1987 SC 2137.

(2) Laxman Wamanrao Nagapure Vs Shankar Haribhau Adhau,2014(6) ALL MR 635.

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