Resolve A Property Line Dispute In GA
How are property lines determined?
Have you ever seen a person in a vest looking through a gizmo on top of a tripod, wearing a hard hat and holding an odd stick? That was probably a land surveyor taking measurements.
To plot out the boundaries of property these days, surveyors use lots of high-tech equipment like drones, 3D scanners, and special software. Back in the colonial days, surveyors primarily used a surveyor’s compass to measure horizontal angles, especially in wooded areas, and mark out property boundaries. Famous people in American history who were land surveyors were George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Daniel Boone.
A surveyor’s results are filed with the local government and do not change, even if landmarks on the property do. However, over time, with houses and property being sold and resold, individuals may have little idea where their property lines are. This is the primary reason that property line disputes occur.
According to LegalBeagle.com, “Georgia residents can research survey maps through their county's courthouse, the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority, or their municipality's historical society. Research of property survey public records is usually free, but there may be a small fee attached.”
Property line disputes and encroachment in Atlanta
Property line issues in Atlanta usually arise over misunderstandings. It’s rare that someone will try to steal or unlawfully use your land, but it does occur.
If your Atlanta neighbor builds a fence or structure over your property line, that is called “encroachment.” You’ve heard the saying “possession is 9/10s of the law.” This is true in the case of encroachment in Georgia and is known as “adverse possession.” If you do nothing about encroachment on your property, your neighbor can begin to establish ownership. So, settling this type of dispute quickly is imperative.
You must have proof of where your property line is in order to settle property line disputes in Atlanta. Whenever a property is sold, the seller passes over the deed, which has a legal description of the property’s boundaries, but sometimes the descriptions aren’t easy to understand. In that case, it’s important to have a current legal land survey of your property. The licensed surveyor will read your deed, measure your property, and mark your land boundaries for you. According to HomeGuide.com, in Atlanta, “the average cost to purchase a land survey is $380 to $540 with most homeowners spending about $420.”
How to handle property line issues and encroachment with your Atlanta neighbor
Show the results of your survey to your neighbor. That may be all you need to do. If an encroachment has taken place, inform your neighbor that the encroaching structure or fence must be moved, and give them a deadline. They may accept this, or they may refuse or put it off.
You also have an option to write up a legal easement so that their structure can stay where it is, but keep in mind that easement issues can cause problems when you sell your property. Buyers may not like your easement arrangement.
If all else fails, you may have no recourse but to hire a good attorney and take the perpetrators to court.
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