Philadelphia Property Boundary Lawyers
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Philadelphia Property Boundary Lawyers
Property Boundary Dispute
The city of Philadelphia is home to both new and old homes. Whether you own a home or a business property, boundaries are important. You need to know where your property ends and another one begins. For legal reasons, it matters whether an accident occurred on your property. It affects your liability. Even without legal implications, you do not want non-owners on your property. After all, you pay the mortgage for your property and pay to maintain it.
At Freundlich & Littman, LLC, we want you to maintain control over your own property. To do that you need to understand a few basic premises of property law. Property law dates back to common law from England. The laws are old and, therefore, complex. Every property boundary dispute is different. The best way to handle a dispute is to seek legal counsel. We are property boundary dispute lawyers. We can help you.
How To Handle A Property Boundary Dispute
You have two options for a property dispute with your neighbor. First, you can negotiate with your neighbor. A friendly chat may go a long way. They may accept adverse possession of the property.
If the neighbor fails to respond to your requests, your next step is to seek legal help. Legal representation will file a lawsuit on your behalf. In the lawsuit, we make a demand for adverse possession. A court officially determines adverse possession. If a judge agrees, your neighbor will need to comply or face disobeying a court order.
Another legal action is a petition for Quiet Title. A petition for Quiet Title determines who owns a property. If adverse possession is not met, a possessor of land should file this action. Through this legal action, a court determines who holds title to a property. With this title in hand, a rightful land owner can push illegal possessors off their property.
Quiet title is not always simple. It takes a fair amount of work to prove ownership. If a neighbor claims ownership to the property as well, the complications only multiply.
How To Find a Property Boundary
It is vital that homeowners know where their property lines fall, not only so that they don’t accidentally encroach a neighbor’s property, but also so that they can fully enforce their own property rights and they can be confident about the land in any future property transfers. Every piece of property that is owned carries a deed, which conveys the title of the property to the deed holder. Whenever a property is developed, the property lines are established and written in the deed. Deeds are available through your local government, which maintains a record of deeds accessible to the public, so they are a great place to look at the designated property lines assigned to the land.
However, sometimes deeds are unclear, or their description of the plot of land is inadequate to determine the boundary line. In this case, it is helpful to review the “plat map” of the neighborhood or area in which you live, which is a map of all of the property outlines in a neighborhood. If they are available, they should also be available through your local government’s office.
If the deed to your property and a plat map still are insufficient to determine the property line, or if they are unavailable, the next best option is to hire a professional surveyor. A surveyor can take precise measurements relying on the language in the deed to determine the property lines intended by the language of the deed. They can often leave markers such as stakes in the ground as well, so that you can determine where the property line is in the future.
Property Boundary Maps
As discussed above, when large plots of land are divided and developed, it is common for a plat map to be drawn up, indicating the outlines of all of the property boundaries in an area of land. These maps are an important resource not only for planning purposes when land is being developed, but also for reference when a description in a deed is ambiguous.
How to Mark Property Boundary
If you have recently researched your property line and found it is different from where you had originally believed it, take pictures of the old and new line to ensure accurate depictions of the property boundaries in the future. To mark your property boundary, regardless of whether it has been changed or not, the more permanent the marks are the better.
Relying on natural features of the land can be nice if you don’t want to add a fence or stakes, but trees can fall or grow, the makeup of land can change, and natural markers may not serve as long-term boundary markers. Fences are a really clear option for marking boundaries, but it is also possible to do so with tall stakes – often times these stakes can be seen with orange flags or spray paint on them to make them clearly visible. Orange spray paint is also often used across trees that sit on a boundary line. Wood stakes can be a good temporary option, but the shorter the marker and the less durable the material, the less likely it will withstand the years that can pass between boundary inquiries.
Devon Thorsby, How Do I Find my Property Lines, U.S. News, March 19, 2020.
Gregory H. Clark, The Land Around You, Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors 2015.
Property Boundary Dispute Attorneys
Did your neighbor file a lawsuit against you for an unfair boundary dispute? Is your neighbor contesting the boundaries between your properties? Need an attorney to handle a boundary dispute?
If you are facing an issue with the boundary of your property, the property attorneys at Freundlich and Littman, LLC., are happy to help ensure you have clear language in your deed. Call us today at 215-545-8500 or email us at [email protected] to schedule a free consultation.
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