Imagine going away for a few weeks on vacation. You knew before you left that your neighbor planned to build a new deck on the side of their house, and it looked like it was mapped out to be on their property.
When you came home, you saw that the deck was much larger than you thought. It appears now to be on your land. On top of that, they fenced their yard, and that fence appears to be on your property.
What can you do if your neighbor built on your land?
Before jumping to conclusions, the first step is to make sure that the neighbor’s new structures are actually on your property. You may want to have a residential property surveyor come out to determine the exact boundary lines. If you’re friendly with your neighbor, then you may also ask if they had a survey done.
If the new structures are on your property, you have a couple of choices. The first is to ignore the issue, which is what many people do when they have a good relationship with their neighbor. For example, if the deck is tight against the property line but perhaps only over by an inch or two, you may leave the situation alone.
On the other hand, it is your right to protect your property’s boundary. You can talk to your neighbor about the build and express that it is over the boundary. Some people work out solutions such as making a one-time payment to the homeowner who has lost property or negotiating a way to give back a portion of land elsewhere.
You can take your case to court if you need to
If push comes to shove, you do have the right to take your neighbor to court over the boundary dispute. If you had a survey done and have proof that the new fence or deck is on your land, then the court may agree that the deck and fencing has to be removed at your neighbor’s expense. The court may also help you find another resolution that you can be happy with.