Property disputes have been around for ages and have at one time or another led to law suits that are contentious, unrelenting litigation and serious tensions between neighbors. As such, conflicts between neighbors have to date remained a common phenomenon.
Ways of preventing neighbor disputes
The best and easiest way to avoid a contentious legal battle is to avoid minor disputes between you and your neighbor. You will be shocked to realize that the nastiest legal battles between neighbors have been sparked off by very simple disputes such as those ones involving trees. People living in neighborhoods with trees are therefore advised to always negotiate the ownership of these natural features if they wish to avoid a future problem that might erupt from the same. If trees grow past the boundaries and the ownership of the trees is unknown, you should desist from trimming the tree as it might fall back into the restricted boundary since this is likely to cause a conflict as the incident may lead to the damage of property. Calling for a fresh property survey can help avert such situations even before they start.
Another time bomb that keeps ticking involves the ownership of water sources that fall on the boundaries of properties of two different individuals. A riparian attorney will come in handy when it comes to finding solutions in such situations, especially if the water source is used for livestock or domestic consumption.
Disputes on fencing
Disputes regarding boundary lines and fences are the most common amongst most neighbors. Such disputes can easily be solved by good communication amongst the two parties or through the assistance of a local surveyor. If there has been no prior issues with the homeowner`s association, the new home owner is at liberty to erect a fence as he or she sees fit.
A property owner should not just make an informed guess on legal boundary lines since the slightest misjudgment may cause the owner of the other property to incur any expenses that may arise from relocating the fence. Instead, they should hire a local surveyor to determine a specific boundary line. He or she will also leave a safe buffer zone between the boundary line and the fence that has been erected.
How to manage disputes
It is not every legal dispute that is of a contentious nature, some of these disputes call for legal transfer of property. Most families, for instance, usually use quitclaims to quickly pass over land from one generation to the next without calling for a surveyor`s services but should they need to transfer the same property to an outside buyer, they will be forced to contract a surveyor. It is here that a dispute may ensue instantly as the new survey might reveal that some of the boundaries have discrepancies. Such situations might need an experienced lawyer to negotiate for a new boundary line without the taking the matter to the court.
In case legal disputes between you and your neighbor are unavoidable, you should seek the help of state and local property law experts. Even if it is expensive, it is always good to seek the services of knowledgeable experts such as those familiar with tree law or riparian rights at the onset of a dispute to save any valuable property rights in future.
It is important to note most people tend to file a law suit or seek the help of tree consultants. Historically a good portion of the local court`s equity dockets have comprised of boundary line, nuisance and property disputes. Even the most benign disputes between adjacent neighbors and property owners can lead to conclusions that are very disastrous. It is therefore, important for property owners to always take heed and prepare adequately for the prevention of conflict before it even starts.
Some of the disputes that have gone into the books of history did not seem to be such grave at first but later on ended up being blown out of proportion with others ending up as class B felony such as the in Los Angele. Others ended up serving a lifetime jail term after being charged with manslaughter, which was the case in Orange County, CA, where a neighbor shot the other over fireworks dispute.