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Boundary Disputes

Boundary disputes are common in real estate transactions.  Property surveys, quiet title law suits, agreement on boundary lines and the doctrine of adverse possession are some of the means to address boundary disputes.  Prior to erecting a fence on a boundary line in the disputed land, an updated survey could be ordered to determine the accurate boundary lines.  When such a survey fails to resolve the boundary dispute, the aggrieved party can request the court to determine the boundary lines of the property.  This is called a quiet title law suit.  This procedure involves filing fees and is generally more expensive than a survey. Another alternative in a boundary dispute between adjacent property owners is to agree on something like a fence that could serve as the boundary line between the properties.  In such a case, each owner will have to sign a quitclaim deed to the other, granting the neighbor ownership to any land on the other side of the line agreed upon.

If the property in dispute has been used by someone other than the owner for a period of time, the doctrine of adverse possession may apply.  In order to attract adverse possession, the possession by the non-owner must be open, notorious, and under a claim of right.  The time requirement fro adverse possession varies from state to state.

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