Land disputes are among the most common and long-standing legal disputes. They can be costly and time-consuming to resolve, so if you own property or if you’re planning to purchase land, it’s important to be knowledgeable about types of legal land disputes that may arise and how best to mitigate them.
Here are some of the most common types of land disputes.
An easement is a right to use part of another person’s land for a defined purpose. The most common type of easement allows access to another property, such as allowing a neighbor across the fence line to use a path that runs through your yard. Other types of easements are used for utility lines or drainage systems.
Easement disputes typically arise when one party tries to restrict the right of way, or when a right of way is not maintained. To prevent or mitigate easement disputes that develop on your property, it is important to clearly define the terms of any easement in writing and ensure that both parties understand their rights and responsibilities.
Boundary disputes occur when two or more people disagree about where one property ends and another begins. This can be difficult to determine based on old deeds and property surveys, which may not line up precisely with the current landscape.
To avoid boundary disputes, you want to ensure that your property boundaries are accurately marked and clearly defined. Make sure any document related to the ownership of the land has been clear and up-to-date, as well as notifying your neighbors if you plan to make any changes to the existing boundaries.
Adverse possession, also known as squatters’ rights, is a legal doctrine that allows someone to gain ownership of the land they have been occupying – either by themselves or with the permission of the owner.
Say you have a piece of land that has been unoccupied for a certain period. If someone moves onto the land and occupies it for a lengthy period, they may be able to claim ownership of it under adverse possession laws.
To avoid this kind of dispute, you should familiarize yourself with your local laws regarding adverse possession and regularly inspect any land you own to make sure it is not being occupied without your permission. Additionally, you should be vigilant in ensuring that any agreements related to the use of your land are followed and enforced.
It is important to be aware of the different types of legal land disputes that may arise when owning or purchasing property. Knowing about these potential disputes can help you protect your rights as a property owner and avoid costly litigation. In case a dispute arises, seek the advice of an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process of resolving it.