As an experienced real estate lawyer I can tell you that one of the most commonly litigated issues in San Diego real estate involves a boundary dispute between neighbors. Our firm has handled a lot of boundary dispute cases over the years, and many clients are surprised by how legally complex they can be.
Many people assume that the lot lines established in a survey are the black and white answer to the question of “did they build that on my property, and can I force them to tear it down?” California had a long standing legal guideline of “fairness” when it came to resolving property line disputes between neighbors. If a building or driveway encroached upon a lot line, but removing it or moving it would cause great expense to the offending party and the loss of that portion of land caused minimal loss to the property owner the court might actually side with the offending party.
Originally, many California real estate parcels were based upon “meets and bounds” – “this boulder to that tree to that creek.” Obviously features change over the years, and as we moved toward present times surveying techniques and the recorded lot lines became much more legally relevant and enforceable. There are still gray areas within the law regarding a boundary dispute between neighbors especially when a fence, hedge or driveway has been in place for a long time. There may have been agreements in place with a prior owner, and now the new owner of the property wants that fence to come down. Who will prevail?
Another common issue is the growth of trees, and the loss of a view. What happens when the growth of a neighbor’s tree affects the enjoyment of your own property, or blocks a beautiful San Diego canyon or coastal view? What if the tree is potentially hazardous and could fall on your property?
If you have a boundary dispute between neighbors or a real estate related legal issue with your neighbor we invite you to contact us or call today for a free consultation at 858-535-1511. We will discuss your issues and develop a strategy for resolving the issues at hand as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.