Boundary and Easement Disputes
Most people think that when they purchase real property, such as a home, that the boundaries of their lots are where the fences were constructed. However, a County Tax Assessor once testified for one of our clients in a trial involving a boundary and easement dispute, that fences are rarely constructed exactly on the property line. In that case our clients won the right to move the fences six to eight feet to the true surveyed property line, despite the fact that the fences had been in the wrong location for nearly 25 years.
In most cases, particularly involving urban and suburban properties, the exact location of the property boundaries can be determined by a land surveyor within fractions of an inch, utilizing property legal descriptions that are on the deed to the property, subdivision maps that are sometimes incorporated into the deeds, and physical monuments which may be located in the streets or sidewalks, sometimes blocks away. Notwithstanding the precision that exists in modern survey equipment, there are many legal doctrines, such as: agreed boundaries, adverse possession, recorded easements, prescriptive easements, implied easements, easements by necessity, and good faith encumbrances, which can affect the property lines, or the rights of a non-owner to use another person's property. Specific legal requirements exist for each of these different doctrines to apply, so if you can't work things out with your neighbor, the advice of an experienced real estate attorney is often warranted. The passage of time, such as the continuous adverse exclusive use of someone else's property in California can, if all of the conditions are met, actually result in the change of property boundaries through adverse possession. One of the required conditions for adverse possession is the payment of taxes, which is often difficult to prove. However, it may still be possible for someone to obtain the right to permanently continue a limited use of someone else's property under various easement doctrines.
If you find yourself in a dispute with your neighbor about the property boundaries, or you or your neighbor are in a dispute over the use of the property of the other, contact Mehlman Law Group. We are experienced in resolving property line and easement disputes, or litigating the disputes to quiet title, if the parties cannot resolve the issues. We are also experienced in utilizing tools, like recorded easements, license agreements, road maintenance agreements, lot line-adjustments, and other recorded agreements and instruments to resolve boundary and easement disputes.
Call us today at 925-935-3575 for a free consultation, because the passage of time can affect your legal rights.
We serve the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Mehlman Law Group is centrally located in Walnut Creek, on the border with Concord, in Contra Costa County, California. Our office is easily accessible with ample free parking.
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Mehlman Law Group