Encroachment: What it is and How to Avoid it

man surveying in high grass

As we enter the summer months, we’re likely to see an uptick in renovations, home additions and construction in general. If you’re a property owner who’s building something or adding onto a current structure, you’re going to want to ensure it all falls within the bounds of your property. Just like you wouldn’t want someone else’s construction project to cross over the line onto your property. This concept is known as encroachment.

What is it?

In real estate, violating your neighbor’s property rights by building something that crosses over onto their land is known as encroachment. This is often caused by a lack of clarity on where your property ends and your neighbor’s begins.

The Different Types of Encroachment

Not all instances of encroach are equally egregious. A tree that grows beyond the property line is technically encroachment, but unless it’s directly causing a problem, your neighbor is unlikely to make a fuss. More serious examples would include putting a renovation on your home that extends onto your neighbor’s property. That level of violation could land you in court. There’s also structural encroachment, which includes building structures on land you don’t own, such as public property. That can also include balconies and decks that hang over a neighbor’s property, among other violations.

How You Can Avoid It

One of the best ways to avoid either encroaching on a neighbor’s property or having someone encroach on yours is to have a boundary survey done. Generally, this will include a land surveyor researching land records, inspecting the property, measuring data and, finally, producing a boundary survey plat. This will allow you to avoid any encroachment issues as you’ll know exactly where your property begins and ends.

If you’re looking to have a boundary survey completed on your property in Indiana, Scholle’s Land Surveying is the place to go. We specialize in boundary surveys, subdivision design, ALTA/NSPS Land Title surveys, topographic surveys and flood certificates. Call 812-663-6526 to set up a meeting today.

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