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How Can We Resolve Boundary Line Disputes?

Your home and the grounds that surround it are part of your property. When you purchase a house, it includes all the property that is part of the deed. From time to time, property disputes can arise between neighbors when someone takes over part of your yard. Disputes over boundary lines are most likely to occur when someone constructs a fence or other structure. You need to do everything you can to protect your property and maintain your investment. A dispute can make life miserable and it can impact your acreage. When you have a boundary line dispute, it is often a good idea to seek guidance from an experienced attorney.

Establishing Property Boundaries

Property lines are typically determined with a land survey. The survey provides details of the precise borders of your lot and is usually completed as part of a real estate transaction. Another reason to get a survey is when you wish to put up a fence or other structure. You need to know the exact borders so you do not take or give up any land. Legal property ownership generally stems from a deed that provides a written description of the property, along with a land survey that demonstrates the actual borders. Wisconsin law provides guidelines for adverse possession of real estate boundaries.

What is Adverse Possession?

A person can claim legal ownership over property due to adverse possession. Adverse possession happens when someone unwittingly takes possession of property and it goes undisputed for more than 20 years. For example, someone builds a shed on their property. Years later, the neighbor finds that the shed was built partially on their property. The person who built the shed may be able to claim legal possession because they have had claim to it for many years without any question by the other homeowner. Disputes such as these can arise when an owner sells property after owning it for a long time. The new land survey may show that the shed extends past the actual boundary.

Resolving Boundary Line Disputes

When your neighbor begins building a fence and you think it is on your property, you want to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. Discuss the issue with your neighbor and review the survey that they used to determine the location of the structure. If you do not agree, do not take matters into your own hands. Instead, contact an experienced attorney to negotiate a resolution. If you are purchasing a home, it is imperative that you review the boundaries and compare them with the survey before you complete the transaction.

Boundary line disputes can be complex and they can cause serious problems with your neighbors. Property line issues can be costly when someone may need to move a structure such as a fence, garage, or driveway.

It is best to contact an attorney as soon as possible to help protect your rights and resolve the matter promptly and professionally. To learn more about resolving boundary line disputes, contact our legal team at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. by phone at (608) 784-8310 or email for a consultation.


Published July 23, 2021
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