What Is Encroachment In Real Estate? (Solution)

Encroachment is defined as one property owner violating their neighbor’s rights by building or extending some feature and crossing onto their neighbor’s property lines. Your neighbor builds a fence, and it extends onto your property. A structural addition to their home extends beyond the legal property boundaries.


How do you determine if there is an encroachment?

If your neighbor builds something that’s either partially or wholly on your property without an agreement, it’s considered an encroachment. In fact, illegal encroachment problems that drag on for years may legally allow your neighbor to claim an adverse possession of said property.

What are the types of encroachment?

Encroachment Examples

  • Unlawfully entering, trespassing, or walking through a neighbor’s property without first receiving permission.
  • Building a fence that goes past your own property line and into your neighbor’s.
  • Possessing a tree or hedge that has branches that cross between property lines.

How do you handle property encroachment?

3 Best Ways to Handle Encroachments

  1. A Land Survey Works Wonders for Boundary Disputes. If you feel like your neighbor has or is developing on top of your land, you may want to get a professional land survey.
  2. Talk it Over and Offer Concessions.
  3. Bring on a Neutral Third Party.
  4. Hire a Qualified Estate Attorney.

What is the legal definition of encroachment?

An encroachment is an unauthorized intrusion onto a neighboring property through the creation or extension of a physical structure (including flora) above or below the surface of land.

Which of the following is an example of an encroachment?

There is a term for this battle of land: “encroachment.” An encroachment happens when a fence or another piece of your neighbor’s property crosses the property lines. Other examples of encroachments could involve trees, parts of a building, fencing or any other fixtures located on both pieces of property.

Is encroachment a crime?

Land grabbing, trespassing, and land encroachment is a legal offence. According to Section 441 of the IPC (Indian Penal Code), 1860, an action can be termed encroachment when a person trespasses or enters the land (or any property) owned by another without seeking legal permission to do so.

What is an encroachment agreement?

An encroachment agreement is a legally binding real estate document signed by neighboring property owners when a property encroachment is found to exist. This encroachment could be on or by a private property or municipally owned land.

What is the difference between encroachment and easement?

People often confuse encroachment is sometimes confused with easement. Both involve a property owner making extensions over their neighbor’s property. While encroachments are the unauthorized use of the neighbor’s property, easements are agreed upon by both parties.

Is encroachment civil or criminal?

If encroachment is in public or Government land, then it’s seen as a ” Civil Wrong under the principle of the Law of Torts”. On the other hand, in India, if the encroachment is in anyone’s private property, then the remedy is available under both Civil and Criminal laws.

How do I remove encroachment?

The penalty for encroachment is provided under Section 447 of the IPC and it includes imprisonment of up to three months and/or fine of up to Rs 550. If you want to deal with encroachment in a legal way, you should approach the court as per Order 39 (rules 1, 2 and 3) for an order of injunction and claim damages.

How can I stop my neighbor from encroaching my property?

Here are some tips, ranging from a simple conversation to a lawsuit.

  1. Talk To Your Neighbors. This is the first step to take.
  2. Put Up Signs And/Or Fences. If you live in an area with a lot of open land, it can be useful to put up signs to deter trespassers.
  3. Conduct A Title Search.
  4. Hire A Land Surveyor.
  5. Hire An Attorney.

How can encroachment be prevented?

How plot owners can prevent encroachment

  1. Keep all your property documents safe.
  2. Ask your neighbours, if there are any in the vicinity, to keep an eye on the plot.
  3. In case of encroachment, report it immediately to the police.
  4. Hire a local lawyer to keep an eye on the property and manage it.

What document detects or demonstrates the existence of an encroachment?

A survey may be required to detect or demonstrate the existence of an encroachment. An owner may sue for removal of an encroachment or for compensation for damages.

What is easement in real estate?

An easement is a legal interest in real property that gives you the right to use another person’s property. A common example of an easement is when one person is given the right to cross or access a road across another person’s property. Other common examples of easements are phone, gas, and power lines.

Is encroachment a tort?

Encroachment is an act in which a property is either used or interrupted by someone, who doesn’t have any right over that property. An encroachment on a private land is not an offence in itself but a remedy is available against it under law of torts.

Encroachment: What It Means In Real Estate

While seeking to purchase a house, your real estate agent will most likely recommend that you have a professional property survey performed to assist you identify property lines as well as any current difficulties, such as potential encroachments on your area. What is an encroachment? What are the different forms of encroachment? What is the difference between encroachments and easements? And what can you do if an encroachment creates a stumbling block in your house purchasing process?

Encroachment Issues During A Home Purchase

Although the encroachment may not worry you in the slightest, there are a few things to consider if you’re in the market to buy a house.


For starters, if a neighbor constructs a building on your property and anything occurs as a consequence of the usage of that structure, you may be held accountable and be required to make a claim with your homes insurance company. While it is tempting to put off thinking about the prospect of an injury or severe damage, doing so might result in increased insurance rates, which is less than ideal.

Resale Value

Consider the resale value of the property in the future. Although you may be fine with someone maybe utilizing your property for a certain purpose, this does not imply that the next person will be as accommodating. In addition to infringing on their property rights, an encroachment may necessitate their paying extra for title insurance since they will be required to assure the encroaching structure’s stability. Title issues arise as a result of encroachments because the nature of encroachments causes property borders to become ambiguous.

What Types Of Encroachment Are There?

When it comes to encroachments, the importance of each category might vary on a sliding scale depending on the situation. Get to know the many types of encroachments, including minor, large, and structural, in order to become a knowledgeable homeowner.

Minor Encroachment

The majority of prospective encroachments do not necessitate a significant level of disruption. Fences, gardens, and other similar features are among those that are unlikely to have a significant influence on the ability to get title insurance or the resale value of a home. Even something as basic as a shrub or tree that has grown beyond your neighbor’s property border might constitute an invasion on your land. Although your next-door neighbor may have had a garden growing right down your property line for years, flowers and veggies have a tendency to draw people together rather than causing conflict between them.

Major Encroachment

Some instances of property infringement should raise a red flag without a doubt. The construction of a garage or a portion of a home on your property would fall under this type of expenditure. A tree limb that extends from your neighbor’s property onto yours, as well as an overhang, are examples of objects that might cause problems.

If any of these structures collapses, there is the potential for significant property damage and perhaps catastrophic harm, therefore this is something that should be taken into consideration.

Structural Encroachment

Construction of a structure on land that a property owner does not have permission to develop occurs in the case of structural encroachment. Because streets and sidewalks are frequently the property of the city for the benefit of the public, this is generally a dispute between neighbors; however, it might also be a dispute between a property owner and the government. Among the many examples of structural encroachment are an upper-floor deck or balcony that partially overhangs your property or a neighbor’s road that has been constructed to infringe on your land.

A neighbor who was having a particularly terrible day may inquire as to whether or not your children had a permission to set up their lemonade stand in the neighborhood, depending on the location of your property borders and how they were set up.

Encroachment Vs. Easement

The most significant distinction between an intrusion and an easement is the existence of reciprocal neighborly consent and the existence of ownership rights. Despite the fact that the same usage of a neighbor’s land might result in either outcome, both property owners often agree to an easement, which is legal permission to use someone else’s property rather than ownership of it.


If your neighbor constructs anything on your land that is either partially or entirely on your property without your permission, this is referred to as an incursion. In fact, if your neighbor’s illegal encroachment problems continue for years, your neighbor may be able to lawfully claim adverse possession of the land in question. If you’re dealing with an encroacher who is refusing to give up their claim to your land, you should speak with an attorney who is aware with the local code regarding squatter’s rights as soon as possible.


An easement might also begin with the construction of anything on or above your land. The most important distinction is that the neighbor has obtained permission to use that area of the land, which is frequently for a specified reason. Let’s take a look at a few of real-world instances to understand when an easement would be appropriate.

  1. Consider the following scenario: your neighbor had constructed a shed on your land prior to it being completely developed for residential use. You may offer to allow them access to their shed in exchange for an easement. It’s possible that you and your neighbors have a large common driveway that they utilize to get access to their property. Another instance in which an agreement on an easement may be appropriate would be the following:

Although this is the case, depending on your state’s laws, a neighbor may still be able to get legal access to your land without your explicit approval if they’ve been using the property for a specified period of time, which is referred to as a prescriptive easement.

What Can I Do About An Encroachment?

A number of options are available to you when it comes to dealing with encroachments while purchasing or selling real estate. Here are a few to consider.

Talk To Your Neighbor

If anything on your land is readily moved, such as a garden, your neighbor may be ready to help you relocate it to theirs. Often, a simple pleasant talk may suffice to remedy the situation.

Sell The Land To Your Neighbor

It’s also possible to sell the land that your neighbor is encroaching upon to that neighbor, if that’s what you want to do. If you do it this way, your neighbor will not have to deal with the bother of removing something that may be difficult or impossible to uproot, and you will still receive some recompense for the section of your land that you would be giving up. As a precaution, if your neighbor decides to purchase the land, you should check with your mortgage lender and/or a real estate attorney to ensure that you can complete the transaction with appropriate land survey records.

In addition, your lender must be notified of the situation since it is crucial to remember that your home acts as security for any current mortgage you may be owing.

Go To Court

If you and your neighbor are unable to reach an amicable or equitable arrangement, you always have the option of going to court. In order to protect your interests, you should definitely consult with an experienced real estate attorney. A court may have a number of legal options available to him or her, including issuing an easement or determining the worth of the encroached property for the sake of selling it.

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The Bottom Line: Don’t Wait To Deal With Encroachments

We hope you now have a better understanding of the fundamentals of encroachments. At the end of the day, encroachments must be dealt with as quickly as possible and in a diplomatic manner. When you initially bring up the matter with your neighbor, give him or her the benefit of the doubt. When considering whether to enter into an encroachment agreement with your neighbor, make a list of the ways in which a potential adverse possession or prescriptive easement might affect your property value.Before knocking on your neighbor’s door, make sure you are prepared with a thorough understanding of all your (and their) property rights.

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What Does Encroachment Mean?

An encroachment scenario in real estate occurs when a property owner intentionally or unintentionally infringes on the property rights of a neighbor by constructing on or adding to his or her land or property, whether or not the neighbor consents to the encroachment. Encroachment is a common problem along contested property lines, particularly when a person decides to willfully violate his neighbor’s limits, or when a property owner is unaware of his own property’s borders.

Key Takeaways

  • A property owner who trespasses onto their neighbor’s land by erecting or expanding constructions beyond their property boundary is referred to as an encroachment. Property owners may purposefully or accidentally trespass on the rights of their neighbors. When a property owner constructs or expands a structure into a public place, this is known as structural encroachment. A land survey can be used to determine the location of boundaries and property lines. Although similar in nature, easements are created by agreement and give reasonable compensation to the legal property owner in most cases.

Understanding Encroachment

Property and land surveys are an important aspect of being a responsible homeowner. Not only do they assist in determining the worth of a property, but they also aid in the establishment of property lines and borders. The completion of these surveys is the responsibility of professional surveyors. Many homeowners receive their first survey when they apply for a mortgage because lenders need them to do so in order to guarantee that the loan amount matches the worth of the property. Property owners can request surveys at any time, which is particularly useful when someone disputes or encroaches on their property borders.

  • Encroachment occurs when someone crosses property lines that have been marked out in a survey, so infringing on the rights of another property owner.
  • An intruder on another’s property is a homeowner who constructs or adds to an existing structure, or who extends their fence beyond the legally defined lines that divide the two properties.
  • Someone who installs a fence or adds an extension to their home despite being aware of the property borders is doing so on purpose and with knowledge of the consequences.
  • Suppose a property owner allows a hedge or a tree limb to grow beyond the boundaries of his or her own land, accidentally encroaching on the property of his or her neighbor.
  • In the majority of circumstances, sidewalks and residential streets are considered public property, and are thus held by the local government.

Aside from that, the property owner may not be paid for any losses that result from the demolition of his or her own building or buildings.

Special Considerations

The fact that a property survey defines the physical layouts of a property, including the measurement of metes and bounds, might result in a physical incursion on a neighbor’s land if the survey contains incorrect information. Unintentional encroachment issues may sometimes be handled by having a straightforward talk between the two persons involved. If, on the other hand, the argument over whether someone’s property right was violated continues, the matter may be brought before a court of law for resolution.

It is recommended that property owners who desire to make alterations near their property lines consult with their neighbors or have a land survey completed to ensure that the work falls inside their own property borders.

Encroachment vs. Easement

When it comes to a property survey, incorrect information in the survey might result in physical incursion on a neighbor’s land since it specifies the physical layouts of the property, including the measurement of metes and bounds. Unintentional encroachment issues may sometimes be handled by having a straightforward talk between the two persons involved in the situation. It may be necessary to take the matter to court if there is continued disagreement over whether someone’s property rights have been violated.

A land survey or consultation with neighbors may be required for property owners who desire to make adjustments near their property lines in order to ensure that the work falls inside their own property limits.

What Does “Encroachment” Mean In Real Estate?

In the event that you own a home or are preparing to acquire a home, you do not want anyone to be able to bring their own stuff onto what is intended to be your land. However, border disputes can occur, and they may be quite unpleasant. Land invasion is a word used to describe this type of conflict. Entanglement occurs when a fence or another component of your neighbor’s land spans the boundary between your two properties. Some other instances of encroachments might include trees, portions of a structure or fence, or any other fixtures that are present on both pieces of land.

  • This is most often the case when neighbors are at odds with one another.
  • Zoning permits will be required in these instances by the federal government.
  • If you’re dealing with a neighbor, you might want to start out by being courteous.
  • They are sometimes completely unaware of the invasion.

The seller may be able to work with whomever it is that owns the land where the encroachment is located to either have the encroachment removed or to settle any difficulties that arise so that the title is clear at the time of closing if an encroachment is discovered during the sale of a home.

When it comes to dealing with property boundary lines, it is normal to discover errors.

The manner in which the encroachment occurred is less important than the documentation of the encroachment and the manner in which the issue is remedied.

Once the transaction has been completed, the property owners may move in and no longer have to worry about disputing with their neighbors over whose property is whose – which is never a nice thing when you are living near to someone you don’t know well.

Related articles about encroachment in the real estate industry:

  • Before purchasing a property, check for invasion concerns. When attempting to sell a home, disagreements with neighbors ensue. Following an inspection of the property boundary, a neighbor hurries to sell
  • More articles about invasion on Inman’s website

A Guide To Encroachment in Real Estate

Real estate has traditionally been the preferred investment for people seeking to accumulate long-term wealth for their families and future generations. By subscribing to our complete real estate investment guide, you will receive assistance in navigating this asset class. Imagine a line drawn in the sand, and you’ll have a better understanding of encroachment in residential real estate. It is your property to own one side of what is behind the border, and your neighbor’s property to own the other.

Encroachment can also occur when you, as a property owner or investor, enter a public area without permission.

Two types of encroachments

The trespass form of encroachment occurs when an incursion is made onto a physical piece of property. A fence on your neighbor’s property or a shed that is partially on your neighbor’s land would be considered trespassing and encroaching on his or her property.

2. Nuisance

The term “nuisance encroachment” refers to an intrusion into airspace. Consider the consequences of growing a tree with branches that extend into your neighbor’s yard or constructing a structure that inhibits sunlight from reaching your neighbor’s solar panels.

Are encroachments legal?

When you infringe on another person’s land, you are infringing on their property rights. Therefore, encroachments are not permitted. No one has the right to infringe on another’s property without their permission. However, if the encroachment has been in place for several years, the person who is encroaching may be able to claim ownership of the land under the doctrine of adverse possession. In order for adverse possession to occur, the following conditions must be met for a period ranging from seven to twenty years, depending on the jurisdiction.

  • The encroacher is required to continue to make use of the property on a continual basis. The encroacher did not get authorization
  • He was hostile. Open: The intrusion must be clear (that is, it must be visible). Actuality: According to a survey that illustrates the limits, there has been an invasion. Encroachers act as though they are the owners of their respective invading territories
  • Exclusive:

In the case of an encroachment, it is possible that the encroacher was unaware that they were invading. It’s possible that the encroacher was mistaken about the limits of the property. If you didn’t realize you had encroached but subsequently discovered that you had, you may wish to come up with a solution that everyone can live with, even if it involves eradicating the encroachment. In certain cases, encroachments are done on purpose. Some people may be interested in seeing how far they can get away with something.

That’s probably not a smart idea in the long run. A lawsuit will very certainly be filed against someone who is intentionally infringing on another’s real property or on common land and refuses to do something about it. More on it in a moment.

Encroachments vs. easements

Encroachment and easement are both legal terms that refer to individuals taking over a portion of another’s land. The distinction is that an incursion is not permitted, but an easement is permitted. When it comes to easements, there is usually a good justification for accessing the land of the owner. An easement is commonly granted to utility providers in order to install cable, natural gas, and utility lines along the edge of people’s land. In most cases, they have been granted an easement that allows them access to do so without seeking permission beforehand.

As another instance, you may agree to allow a neighbor to go across your land in order to reach a shared beach; alternatively, you might be required to travel over your neighbor’s land in order to get access to your own property.

How to know if an encroachment takes place

Every piece of property has a legal description that may be verified in a court of law. It is more comprehensive than a street address description since it specifies the exact boundaries of the property. This information can be found in the deed of a property. A surveyor has access to this information and can use it to determine the boundaries of a property. In addition to a survey, persons who believe someone is encroaching on their land are likely to commission a title search to confirm their suspicions.

If a neighbor of the new owner was granted an easement to utilize a portion of the land or was given a title that transferred ownership of a specific piece of property, this may be considered a gift.

A title check generally reveals any easements or prospective deed agreements on the property, and the potential buyer may then determine whether or not they still want to purchase the property, or whether or not they will purchase the property at a lower price.

What can happen if you’re encroaching on your neighbor’s land?

If the encroachment is small and your neighbor isn’t bothered by it, you are under no obligation to take any action. Keep in mind, however, that if your neighbor decides to sell the property in the future, they will be required to disclose the encroachment problem to prospective purchasers. Because not everyone will be pleased with it, the majority of neighbors are likely to object. Regardless of whether or whether your neighbor is concerned about an encroachment on their property, they have every right to file a complaint against you in order to force you to correct the problem.

  • Rather than approaching you or contesting the encroachment in court, they should first demonstrate that an encroachment has occurred.
  • In the event that you intrude on a neighbor’s property, the following can happen: 1.
  • They’ll almost certainly want to know if you were aware of the encroachment and if you’re willing to have it removed.
  • It is usually preferable to find a solution to an issue without going to court.
  • You might try to negotiate with the neighbor about purchasing the land.
  • In the event that you and your partner agree on this solution, it is usually preferable to use the services of a real estate agent to conduct the deal, as you would be purchasing real estate.
  • It’s possible that you’ll receive a letter.
  • Consider attempting one more thing to avoid going to court at this time.
  • As a result, unless a substantial sum of money is at stake, going to court may not be worth the bother for your neighbor.
  • 4.You may find yourself in a position of having to protect yourself.
  • If you are not infringing on someone’s property, you should be able to obtain documentation of this by having a survey done that indicates the property borders.

Alternatively, you may have acquired ownership of the land through an easement or transfer. If, on the other hand, your neighbor can demonstrate that you are intruding on his or her property, you may expect the court to find against you.

The bottom line

Before embarking on a major restoration job, double-check that you will not intrude on adjacent property. While a tool shed that crosses over to your neighbor’s property should be relatively simple to settle, a detached garage expansion may not be so straightforward. If you have been accused of encroachment and are involved in a boundary dispute, you should have a survey performed to ascertain whether or not there has been an incursion. If that’s the case, it’s important to come up with a solution with your neighbor before they decide to sue you.

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Encroachment: What Are Encroachments in Real Estate

What exactly is encroachment? When you’re associated with one, you’ll undoubtedly want to know the answer to this question, so keep reading. When you are buying or selling a house, the subject of encroachments may arise and become a source of contention for the parties involved. A land survey may reveal an encroachment on the property you are considering purchasing, which may cause you to rethink your decision. In fact, if this occurs, you may wish to get legal counsel from a knowledgeable real estate lawyer.

It will be critical to understand how encroachments might affect the sale of a home, whether you are buying or selling.

You will also be much more prepared to cope with a problem of encroachment on your land.

  • Defining an encroachment
  • Identifying the many sorts of encroachments
  • Purchasing a home that has an incursion
  • Understanding the process through which encroachments arise
  • Typical examples of invasion in the real estate market include: How to cope with an intrusion on your property
  • What is an encroachment agreement and how does it work? What is adverse possession
  • What is the difference between easements and encroachments
  • What is an encumbrance
  • And more. Encroachment vs. trespassing are two different things. What are encroachment permits, and how do they work?

What is Property Encroachment?

Encroachment occurs when a neighbor constructs anything on your land that crosses the property boundary into your yard. It makes no difference whether the construction is erected on your property or just overhangs. It is nonetheless something that might have an impact on your ability to use your property. As a result, an encroachment is defined as when a property owner breaches the rights of their neighbor by constructing anything on their land that extends over the neighbouring lot borders. In addition, such incursion would be in violation of municipal zoning regulations.

Home Buying and Encroachments

If you are considering purchasing a house that has an encroachment, it is possible that you will not be concerned about it. It is possible for legal issues to arise even if the encroaching construction does not appear to be causing significant problems for the property. Because the neighbor’s property is encroaching on your land, you may be held accountable if something were to happen while you were using the neighbor’s property. It is possible that you will need to make a claim on your house insurance, which could result in higher rates in the future.

Just though you have no objections about a neighbor’s construction crossing your property line, don’t assume that a buyer would feel the same way about it.

The impact of encroachment on property values may cause purchasers to make lower offers on a home they want. As a result of these possible issues, you may find that your buyer decides not to proceed with the transaction.

What Are The Different Types of Encroachments

Encroachment difficulties may be classified into several categories. Not every infringement on private property is the same. Occasionally, when a building exceeds the barrier, it causes less of a problem than it might in other circumstances. If a property survey reveals encroachments onto your neighbor’s land, you must determine how substantial the encroachments are. There can be both small and severe encroachments on one’s property. When a property owner is determining the boundaries of their property, it is common for them to uncover an encroachment problem.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these potential encroachments in further depth.

Minor Encroachments

There are several instances in which the incursion is not likely to cause any difficulties. It might be a momentary and insignificant issue, such as a plant or shrub that has grown beyond the property’s border line. Similarly, poorly placed fences that do not really cause an issue but are theoretically encroaching on your property might be included in this category. These are difficulties that are unlikely to have an impact on the home’s sale price or on the likelihood of obtaining title insurance in the future.

A slight intrusion of someone’s property is rather typical in real estate.

These property surveys are referred to as mortgage plot plans, and they are used to determine the location of property borders.

They inform a prospective buyer and a lender that a boundary line has not been crossed and that the property complies with local zoning regulations.

More Serious Encroachments

There are some issues that you need to take more seriously than you already do. A neighbor’s house or garage that has been built over your property boundary should cause you concern. Despite the fact that it may just be an inch or two over the boundary, it has the potential to be a more serious problem than plants or fencing. Overhanging tree branches of a similar size and shape are a source of concern. The risk for damage to your property or personal injury if a branch gives way is high when dealing with something like this.

It is important not to overlook a significant incursion.

Obviously, a tree branch that is hanging over a property may be readily repaired, but it would be beneficial to address the problem as soon as possible.

Construction Encroachment

If a homeowner has purposefully constructed a structure on someone else’s property, this will be a far more serious issue. Even while this type of incident is more commonly associated with neighbors, it can also include the local government. It is possible that sidewalks and roadways have been created in the incorrect location, or, more often, that a homeowner’s property has been developed on city-owned land. Balconies and decks that are far bigger than they should be, and that overhang a neighbor’s property boundary, are examples of structural invasion.

Get these issues resolved as soon as possible. It is in your best interests to do so. Failure to handle them now might result in financial difficulties in the future. They might have a negative impact on your capacity to sell for top pay.

Examples of Encroachments

  • Unauthorized construction was done on the property border by a neighbor’s fence. A garage was constructed on the other side of the property line. The neighbor’s house is being overshadowed by tree limbs. There is a violation of set back restrictions or other zoning rules

How Do Encroachments Happen?

Encroachments occur rather frequently when homeowners perform do-it-yourself house upgrades without obtaining building licenses or engaging professional contractors. As an example, in most jurisdictions, a permission would be required in order to erect a fence. Professionals frequently take the time to double-check that they are not putting an improvement in an area where it is not intended to be. Having a professional surveyor check over the legal description of the property might assist reduce the likelihood of encountering such issues later on.

A homeowner may also purposefully establish an incursion in the hopes that it would never be detected.

How to Deal With Encroachments

What should you do if anything is encroaching on your property, or if something similar has been discovered on a home you are considering purchasing? In order to remedy the issue and eliminate the problem, several methods are available. Sometimes, if the problem is relatively minor, merely talking to your neighbor about it will be sufficient to settle the situation. However, if there is a more significant problem, the neighbor may be less likely to bear the costs of resolving the situation.

Sell The Land or Make a Land Swap

Another alternative, particularly if a structure is overhanging or being constructed on a nearby lot, is to sell the land to the adjoining property owner or developer. This eliminates the need to destroy a portion of a structure while also providing something of value to the neighbor who has been encroached upon. In order to relocate the property boundaries, you will need to speak with a real estate attorney as well as your mortgage lender. It is preferable to be assured that you will be able to accomplish this following an accurate survey, and getting the lender’s approval is also necessary.

If you and your neighbor are unable to come to terms or if the situation has gotten tense, legal action may be your only choice to resolve the situation.

We’ll go into more detail about this in a minute or two.

What is an Encroachment Agreement?

An encroachment agreement is one of the most straightforward methods of resolving border disputes between adjoining properties. The agreement will define the encroachment and identify who is the owner of the encroaching improvement, as well as the terms of the agreement. The invading party will promise that, despite the fact that they are utilizing the neighbor’s land, they will not assert a claim to ownership in the future, which might result in adverse possession of the land (we will discuss this momentarily).

An encroachment agreement will also often indicate that if the property improvement has to be replaced, the new construction will not be allowed to encroach on the existing structure.

To put it another way, you are effectively obtaining your neighbor’s consent to infringe on their private property rights. The continuation of the incursion is the technical term for this.

What is Adverse Possession in Real Estate?

Have you ever heard the phrase “adverse possession” and been curious as to what it meant? Adverse possession is a legal term that refers to the possibility that a trespasser will win ownership of a piece of land. It occurs when a property is utilized frequently, generally over a long period of time, without the owner’s permission. An honest error, such as a misdescribed property description in the deed, might result in the acquisition of a possessory interest in a neighbor’s real estate. When a structural encroachment, such as a garage or other house addition, infringes on the rights of the neighbors, adverse possession claims are frequently filed in court.

In the event that you’re considering purchasing a house that has an encroachment problem, be certain that you may obtain title insurance.

Is an Easement The Same as an Encroachment?

Even though the terms easement and encroachment are sometimes used interchangeably, there are significant distinctions between the two. Easements can be created as a result of encroachments, which occur when anything is built in an area where it should not have been. An easement is a legal agreement that grants access to a piece of property across the land of another party. This access is only allowed for a specific purpose, such as gaining entry to a building that would otherwise be inaccessible.

  • However, it is possible that this will result in an easement arrangement later on.
  • This might imply that entry to the land is no longer available unless permission is granted by another owner of the property.
  • Whenever many properties utilize the same driveway to access their homes, easements may be necessary.
  • The majority of properties will have easements in place that allow utility companies access to the property in order to repair any problems.
  • Landowners should constantly be aware of any easements that may exist on their land.

What is an Encumbrance in Real Estate?

A responsibility or claim that is linked to a piece of property is referred to as an encumbrance. An encumbrance will have an influence on the value of a property, often by preventing it from being used. It is critical that you conduct thorough due diligence to ensure that you understand how an encumbrance may impede your ability to use and enjoy the property in question.

Some encumbrances may restrict the use of a piece of land to the point that you may desire to purchase it outright. It is recommended that you seek further information if you are unsure.

What’s The Difference Between Encroachment and Trespassing?

The distinction between trespassing and encroachment is that trespassing is the uninvited interception of a person on another’s property, whereas encroachment is the uninvited interception of a person on another’s property. Encroachment is not only an illegal use of the property, but it also has the effect of altering the status of the property.

What Are Encroachment Permits?

While we’re on the subject of encroachments, it’s important to bring up the issue of encroachment permits as well. It is possible that you will need to briefly trespass on public property. Consider the following scenario: you are relocating and have opted to hire a portable storage unit. A permission for encroachment will be required if you want to utilize the city or town’s land by placing the moving container on their property. On public property, such as roadways and sidewalks, it is always necessary to ensure the safety and accessibility of those who use it.

Final Thoughts

Nobody wants to be at the negotiating table just to discover that there is a severe encroachment issue. But that is exactly what happens. Depending on the type of encumbrance, it might have a negative impact on the value of the property. Before proceeding with any encroachment or encumbrance issue, it is recommended that you speak with a real estate agent as well as an attorney. a little about the author: What constitutes an intrusion in real estate was supplied by Bill Gassett, a nationally acknowledged expert in his area, who has contributed the information above.

  1. Bill has been assisting clients with their relocations in and out of several Metrowest areas for the past 34 years.
  2. I have a strong interest in real estate and like sharing my marketing knowledge with others.
  3. Brief SynopsisArticle Title Encroachments in Real Estate: What Are They and How Do They Affect You?
  4. If you’re a property buyer or seller, you’ll want to know how to deal with an incursion.
  5. Publisher’s NameMaximum Exposure in the Real Estate Industry Logo of the publisher

Encroachment In Real Estate: 11 Things (2021) You Must Know

The majority of people who consider installing a fence, building a shed, or erecting a huge structure on their land do not take into consideration the possibility that they will be encroaching on their neighbor’s property. Land borders are easily defined by the phrase “what you see is what you get,” correct? They will not cause any problems down the line or force you to go to court, so there is no need to be concerned about that. WRONG. Your structure might wind up on the land of your neighbor if you don’t take precautions to prevent this from happening.

We’re talking about the encroachment of real estate on other people’s property. In this blog post, we’ll go through what that implies and how it can affect your property in particular. Here are the most important things you should be aware of.

1. What is encroachment in real estate?

An encroachment is a circumstance in which a property owner constructs or expands anything on their neighbor’s land without their permission. Encroachment is a common problem along contested property borders, where a person willfully decides to cross his or her neighbors’ property lines without their permission. It can also arise when a property owner is not aware of the borders of his or her own land.

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2. What are the types of encroachments?

Encroachments can be classified into two categories: Trespass is a sort of invasion that occurs when there is a trespass upon physical property. In the case of a fence or shed that is partially on your land, this would be considered trespass encroachment and would be subject to legal action. A structural encroachment is a type of encroachment that occurs when a physical structure is constructed on the property of a neighbor. This form of invasion is considered a nuisance since it occurs in airspace.

This is an incursion that causes a nuisance.

3. Are encroachments legal?

While encroachments (particularly nuisance encroachments) may appear to be innocuous, you are infringing on the rights of others to their property when you intrude on their land. As a result, they are prohibited. Adverse possession, on the other hand, allows you to assert your ownership interest in the incursion. However, keep in mind that for adverse possession to occur, the following elements must be met over a period ranging from 7 to 20 years (depending on the jurisdiction) before it may occur.

  • Hostile: The encroacher is required to carry out his or her actions against the intentions of the property owner.
  • Open:The incursion must be immediately apparent (you can see it).
  • The owner of the property on which the encroachment is located cannot simply assert that it is their property without providing evidence.
  • Exclusive: The encroacher must act as though they are the legal owner of the land on which they are intruding.

4. Can an encroachment be innocent?

In certain instances, encroachments are done on purpose. The individual is interested in seeing how far they can get away with intentionally encroaching on someone else’s property. What was the outcome? They end up being sued as a result. However, there are instances in which encroachments are completely unintentional and unintentional encroachments. Encroachers are frequently misinformed about the borders of their property; acquiring an accurate map of the property boundaries can aid in resolving the matter for everyone concerned.

5. Why is it important to understand encroachment as a landowner?

Property and land surveys, carried out by professional surveyors, are a very common yet vital component of the process of acquiring a home or a piece of land. These assist you in determining the worth of your land as well as establishing property lines and limits. Mortgage lenders need you to have a survey in order to confirm that the loan amount corresponds to the worth of the property.

As a result, the vast majority of property owners will get their first survey prior to closing. If an encroachment is discovered within this period, you may be required to go through the process of settling any disputes or encroachments that have arisen.

6. What is the difference between an encroachment and easement?

Encroachments and easements are sometimes linked since they both entail somebody taking over a portion of someone else’s real land without their permission. The main distinction is as follows: Encroachment is defined as the act of entering someone’s territory without their permission. Easement is a legal term that means “allowed.” You do not transfer ownership of your land when you offer an easement to another person. You are only granting access to a right of use on that particular parcel of property.

  • You might do this by providing an easement to your neighbor.
  • They may demand you to install cable, gas, or utility lines along the edge of someone’s property.
  • In any case, these easements are given for a specified reason and with the understanding that this purpose is being fulfilled.
  • More information about easements may be found in our page on Road Easements, which can be found here.

7. What does an encroachment look like?

“What does an encroachment truly look like?” you may question after reading this article. We’ve discussed encroachments in general terms thus far. Is it possible that I’m intruding on my neighbor’s property without even recognizing it?” In order to provide you a better understanding of what an encroachment looks like, we’ve compiled a list of frequent encroachment difficulties that you may come across or face. Someone is currently constructing on your property. Someone is constructing a construction on your land that stretches into your yard.

An easement, as previously stated, is a legally sanctioned method of granting another person access to your land without your permission.

You may, on the other hand, believe that someone is taking advantage of and exploiting a lawful easement that has been established.

This may make life tough for a homeowner and may be construed as an intrusion on their property.

8. What special considerations come into place with encroachment?

The purpose of a land survey is to delineate the physical boundaries of a piece of property. It is possible, however, that incorrect information will be included in the survey, which might result in a physical trespass on a neighbor’s property. As a result, it is particularly crucial for property owners to do their own due diligence rather than relying solely on information inherited from prior property owners. Be cautious while erecting buildings near boundary lines, and be certain that your understanding of where the border is accurate before you begin construction.

Additionally, if you plan to make adjustments along your property borders, make sure to consult with your neighbors first and/or have an extra land survey completed to confirm that all of your work is done lawfully before proceeding.

9. What happens with encroachment problems at the time of sale?

Encroachments don’t always have a significant influence on your daily life. What does it mean if your neighbor’s fence or shrub isn’t exactly in the proper position, or if they prefer to utilize a piece of your yard in a way that doesn’t disturb you? Because you’re acquainted with them, they may essentially think you’ve given them permission. The plain reality is that it doesn’t bother you, and it has no effect on your life in any way. Encroachments, on the other hand, can make it difficult to determine the boundaries of a property and can result in new title issues.

Property surveys are also required in many states prior to the sale of a piece of real estate, and any encroachments will be reported during this process.

Don’t allow an intrusion to make it more difficult to sell your home or property.

10. How do I know if my land is being encroached upon?

A legal description is a description of a property that is recognized by a court of law. This legal description goes beyond simply providing your street address and instead specifies the specific borders of a parcel of land. This information may be found by looking at your property’s deed or by contacting a land surveyor. Alternatively, if you believe someone is encroaching on your property, you might conduct a title search. This is beneficial since it demonstrates whether any easements or deeds have been issued previous to the new owner’s acquisition of the property in question.

11. What happens if I’m encroaching on my neighbor’s land?

“Help! I’m sorry if I’m infringing on my neighbor’s property; I didn’t intend to do so. “What should I do?” In all honesty, the answer is contingent on who your next-door neighbor is. The most straightforward consequence would be nothing at all. Depending on how slight the encroachment is and whether or not your neighbor is bothered by it, you may not need to take any action at all. However, this may or may not be your neighbor’s opinion, and even if it is, it may or may not be for the foreseeable future.

  • It’s likely that they’ll want to be able to use their land to its full potential and will file a lawsuit against you to force you to correct the issue.
  • Even if you believe there is an encroachment, no one will know for certain until a land survey has been conducted and the results show that there is an encroachment.
  • If they are successful in proving that you are intruding on their property, the following is likely to occur.
  • Keep in mind that it is frequently preferable to resolve these sorts of disputes outside of court.

If it’s a minor issue that can be resolved without the assistance of a lawyer, you probably don’t want to pay for the legal representation that will be necessary to handle the matter in court. Among the most prevalent solutions are the following:

  • Removing the approaching construction off the site
  • An easement gives you the right to continue to utilize a section of your neighbor’s land for a certain purpose after it has been granted to you. To bring the encroachment into your property, you must first execute a lot line alteration.

You might try to purchase the land: Depending on the nature of the encroachment, it may not be straightforward to remove. As a result, you may make an offer to purchase the land. If the neighbor agrees, then this is a straightforward option that can benefit both parties in the long run. We recommend that you retain the services of a real estate attorney to assist you with this transaction and ensure that everything is in order. It is possible that you will receive the following letter: If the two of you are unable to reach an arrangement outside of court, the owner of the bordering property may decide to file a lawsuit against you.

  • Because litigation is both expensive and time-consuming, it is not in everyone’s best interests to pursue it in this manner.
  • Try negotiating a settlement or consulting with a mediator before taking your case to trial.
  • Most likely, this will be aquiet titlesuit, which is a legal proceeding that is intended to identify who owns the property in issue.
  • Having a survey done that reveals the property borders should be sufficient proof that you are not intruding on someone else’s land if you are not.

12. Will my neighbor become the owner of the part of the building that encroaches on their real estate?

Frequently asked is if the neighbor whose land has been encroached upon would eventually come to possess the structure that is located on their property. This is an intriguing subject to consider. The answer is a resounding nay. Instead, the intrusion will be considered as an act of trespass, and this will need to be addressed in it to be acceptable.

13. Should I hire a lawyer to help resolve my real estate encroachment issues?

For this reason, it is generally beneficial to have a real estate lawyer assist you if you believe you will be pursuing legal action against your neighbor or if you have committed encroachment on your neighbor’s land. If you have committed encroachment on your neighbor’s land, you should consult with a real estate lawyer. It is difficult to understand property law — in part because it differs from state to state. It is critical to have an experienced attorney who can conduct research on your behalf and with whom you can explore your legal options.

Final thoughts

Conflict is unavoidable in some situations. The responsibility for rectifying the situation is with you whether you have encroached on your neighbor’s land or they have encroached on yours. Deal with encroachments as soon as possible so that they do not have an influence on your house or property when you are trying to sell it. In addition, please share any tales you may have regarding how you dealt with encroachment difficulties in the comments section below.

See the links below for more information about purchasing, selling, and investing in unoccupied property. We also have other resources for you. We are here to assist you throughout the full land purchasing and selling process!

Additional Resources

If you are seeking for inexpensive land to purchase, you may find it on our Listings page. Before you acquire property, be sure to review the Gokce Land Due Diligence Program to ensure that it meets your needs. If you are wanting to sell land, please see our article on How to Sell Your Land for more information.

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Now is the time to subscribe. I hope you have found this content to be interesting. If you are interested in purchasing or selling land, you should look into the following: Disclaimer: We are not attorneys, accountants, or financial advisors, and the information contained in this article is provided solely for informative reasons. Our own research and experience have informed this post, and while we strive to keep it accurate and up to date, it is possible that some inaccuracies have occurred.

Erika is a former Director of Affordable Housing for the City of New York who has transitioned into a full-time land investor.

She graduated with honors from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Architecture and with a Master of Urban Policy from Columbia University before establishing Gokce Capital.

Erika presently resides in the New York Metropolitan area with her husband, daughter, and cat.

She is originally from Chicago and still considers herself to be a midwesterner at heart, despite her current location.

), Erika has a lot of interests.

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