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Stop an Encroaching Neighbor: Why You Need a Site Plan

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Let’s say that you’ve purchased a plot of land and built a house from the ground up. Maybe you’ve carefully landscaped the area surrounding that house to create the perfect environment for you and your family. How could anything possibly go wrong?

Well, now let’s say that a new neighbor buys the empty lot next to you and begins building their own home. Everything’s going fine until their landscaping efforts encroach on your property. You try talking to them and politely explaining that they’re crossing over onto your land, but they refuse to listen and claim that they’re well within their boundaries.

Before you let this argument devolve into a Hatfields and McCoys-like feud, you need to consider how you can professionally handle this issue. Filing a complaint with the city is the best way you can do this, and to offer concrete proof of encroachment you may need to produce a site plan. Here’s why.

Your word is subjective. You and your neighbor may both believe you know where your property line is. Maybe there was already a fence when you moved in, and you assumed that was an accurate boundary marker. However, things like fences can easily be shifted, and the best way to determine the true boundaries is to have someone do an objective survey of your land and produce a site plan.

Old site plans and descriptions can be confusing. If you and your neighbor are trying to figure out whose property ends where by looking at outdated site plans, you may both be getting confused. A professional surveyor can look at the land that was deeded to you and your neighbor and draw up an accurate, up-to-date site plan.

Site plans can include landscape features. And those features may make a difference in your case. For example, let’s say that the issue is that a neighbor’s tree has grown so that several large branches are now hanging over into your yard and creating an unsightly obstacle. If your site plan shows where that tree is located, you’ll have an easier time proving that your neighbor is encroaching.

A site plan can help you avoid a court case. Taking your neighbor to court can be costly, time-consuming, and can pretty effectively poison the well of your relationship (remember, you may be living next to them for a while). If you can show your neighbor a professional site plan with property boundaries clearly marked, you may be able to convince them of their error and avoid taking legal action.

MySitePlan currently offers three different types of plans at a fraction of the cost you would pay for the average land surveyor. Whether you’re dealing with a neighbor whose tree branches have fallen into your yard, someone who is trying to put up a fence on your land, or any other land dispute problem, MySitePlan can help you quickly and professionally resolve the issue.

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  • Juliana Weiss-Roessler
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