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Zoning and Land Use: Property Line Disputes

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When moving forward with a commercial real estate project, whether you are erecting a new building or planning significant renovations, you need to deal with any zoning or land use disputes immediately. These types of disputes, including regarding property lines, can interrupt the flow of your project and be extremely costly. If a neighboring landowner disagrees with you regarding where your property ends and their begins, contact a West Palm Beach commercial real estate attorney immediately. An experienced lawyer can help you respond promptly and politely, hoping to clear up any misunderstandings while asserting your rights to your land.

Property Line Disputes are Common

It can be difficult to keep track of property lines over the years, particularly on large or oddly shaped parcels of land. The knowledge one owner passes down to the next is often flawed and based on moveable markers, such as a tree or fence. However, what might seem like a logical barrier between two properties may not designate the actual property line. For instance, a fence or retaining wall may be numerous inches or feet into a parcel of land from the property line. Or a strip of grass between two commercial buildings may not be divided evenly despite how it is cared for. As a landowner, you should not rely on a previous owner or tenant’s word regarding the property’s boundaries. Instead, return to your purchase or lease documents for the real estate description, which should include the metes and bounds, fractional designation, courses and distances, and other information regarding the plot of land.

Verifying Your Property Boundaries

If your neighbor is not willing to take your word for where the property lines are or believes your deed is inaccurate, contact a commercial real estate attorney today. Your lawyer can request a land survey from the local county or city clerk’s office to settle property disputes. If the neighbor believes there has been a recording error with the clerk’s office, then your next move may be to have a new land survey performed by a professional.

In addition to verifying where the land boundaries are, an attorney can review whether there are any easements or covenants in place that alter your or your neighbor’s rights and duties to the land. An easement or covenant could mean your neighbor has a right to use a portion of your land, or you have a right to an area of their property, in spite of the legal property lines.

Contact a Florida Commercial Real Estate Attorney for Help

If it turns out that the neighbor is using a portion of your land, there are steps your attorney can take to verify your boundaries and to remove the neighbor from this area. However, if removing the other individual or business may be overly costly or time consuming, you both may agree to new boundaries for the land. If you are accused of encroachment, there are a number of defenses available to you, such as adverse possession or boundary by acquiescence.

For more information on how to handle commercial property line disputes, contact the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray at 561-571-8970. Our West Palm Beach commercial real estate attorneys are prepared to help you today.

Resources:

americanbar.org/publications/gpsolo_ereport/2012/november_2012/real_estate_legal_descriptions.html

leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0600-0699/0689/Sections/0689.02.html

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