Settling Boundary Disputes: Tips For Homeowners

Boundary disputes between neighbors can be contentious and upsetting. If you are a homeowner who has become involved in one of these disagreements, there is no need to panic. Boundary disputes can often be settled amicably, as long as both sides are well-intentioned. This article examines some of the most effective ways to handle this problem.


Often just talking with your neighbor about your concerns can resolve any potential boundary issues. For example, if your neighbor is building a fence that encroaches onto your property, then it's possible, perhaps even likely, that he had no idea he was going off of his property. Simply explaining to him that he has gone over the boundary and needs to move the fence back a few feet may put the issue to rest.


If a conversation does not resolve the dispute, then checking the deed is the next step. Property deeds typically spell out the boundaries of the land involved. Check your deed for for this information in your deed and ask your neighbor to check his deed. The boundary line in question should be the same in both deeds. Once your neighbor sees that he is in error, he will probably resolve the problem quickly. If you have lost your deed, check with the county clerk's office for a replacement.

Plat Map

If the deed itself does not spell out the boundary lines, locate the plat map, or surveyor's map, for your property. A plat map may show the boundary lines to your land in greater detail that a deed. Showing your plat map to your neighbor may be enough to convince him of his mistake. Plat maps usually come with your title the property, so you may have stored it with your deed or other important papers. If you cannot locate your plat map, contact your county land records office, which keeps copies of these documents.

Land Survey

In some cases, if the appropriate records have been lost and cannot be found, you may need to have a new survey done to establish the legal boundary. Ask your neighbor if he will pay his share of the cost. After all, he benefits from having the property line established beyond doubt, because it may prevent a potentially costly court case. Contact a professional land surveying company, like Wesley B Witt, Inc, to discuss your needs.

Try one of these methods to resolve any boundary disputes. In most instances, unless a neighbor is especially recalcitrant, one of them should do the trick.