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Land Use And Property Disputes

Addressing Land Use and Property Disputes

For the most part, adjoining property owners live side-by-side without any issue or dispute. Every day life is filled with trees that go up, fences that come down, and small trespasses by the neighborhood children. However, when issues do arise between neighbors, it can lead to a lot of hostility and resentment.

The best policy is to address land use and boundary issues with adjoining property owners or neighbors early on. Contacting a property lawyer, such as Sami Perez, can diffuse and solve an issue between neighbors before the circumstances become a much bigger problem. The longer a land use or property dispute exists, the more emotional the situation becomes and the more difficult it is to solve.

Handling Accidental or Intentional Encroachment

One of the most common issues between neighbors is a small encroachment across the property line. In many instances owners are uncertain where the exact boundary line is, and a fence or new gardening may cross the actual delineation. There are some situations when an adjoining owner intentionally ignores the actual property line.

In either instance, you may want to address the infringement on your property. The first step is often a discussion with your neighbor. It might be easy to remove or rearrange the encroachment to solve the problem, but this is not always the case. A real property attorney from Long Island will be familiar with the laws in New York that can help you solve the problem.

Leaving an unwanted encroachment on your property is problematic for two reasons. First, if you ever sell or transfer your property the encroachment must be disclosed to a buyer. Second, if the encroachment remains long enough, the adjoining owner could acquire that portion of your land by adverse possession.

The Issue of Adverse Possession

Many property owners in New York are unfamiliar with adverse possession. Under the New York Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law a property owner could lose their land to another party through adverse possession. Of course, there are specific conditions and circumstances that must exist, but if a non-owner is using or encroaching on your property it is not something to delay.

Adverse possession requires another party to openly and obviously use your real property, without objection or legal action, for a period of 10 years. This can be use through an encroachment, such as a driveway or swimming pool that crosses the property boundary or actual use. However, completing small tasks, such as mowing a portion of your lawn, does not equal adverse possession.

Sami Perez has counseled a number of property owners concerned with adverse possession, and is prepared to answer your questions on the actions, building, or gardening of your neighbors.

Access Issues and Right of Way

Another common issue between neighbors involves access and right of way agreements. In most instances, neighbors want to make life and home ownership easier for one another. One way is allowing a neighbor to occasionally use your driveway or water feature on your property; perhaps it is a constructing a shared driveway or fence. These agreements should be put into writing to prevent disagreements or issues down the road.

The Law Offices of Sami Perez can advise on terms for access or right of way agreements. Additionally, after years of experience, Sami Perez can counsel on potential pitfalls and issues with these arrangements, to help you avoid common and more obscure issues.