Common causes of real estate boundary disputes

Boundary disputes can arise in both residential neighborhoods and commercial areas. In either case, tensions can flare to heated and often costly levels.

Real estate disputes often concern relatively small strips of land, meaning that the cost of pursuing legal action can sometimes exceed the value of the land itself. You can protect yourself from incurring these costs and being on the wrong end of litigation by familiarizing yourself with some of the most common causes of boundary disputes.

New property features

When one property owner decides to build a feature or improvement on their land, it can cause a dispute if the new construction appears to cross boundary lines. This is particularly common with features such as fences that homeowners typically erect along property borders.

Acts of interference

Any act that interferes with another individual’s regular property use can also be grounds for a boundary dispute. For example, building a structure that is legally on your own property can still be a violation if it blocks a neighbor’s driveway.

Errors in legal description

If one property’s deed has a faulty description of where the boundaries lie, then that deed’s holder might mistakenly overstep property lines. It is not always apparent when a deed contains an error in legal descriptions, but you can start by comparing the document with information available in state property records.

Many boundary disputes are the result of a misunderstanding rather than any sort of malicious intent. Even so, a simple miscommunication can lead to a prolonged legal battle that is to the detriment of both parties involved in the dispute.