Jacksonville Encroachment & Boundary Disputes Attorney
Some neighbors have longstanding disputes over a fence or the exact location of a property line boundary between them. Other times, property owners may own real estate for years never knowing about an issue with the boundary line until the issue is discovered while trying to sell the property. Whether selling now or later, you’ll never be able to close until the dispute is resolved or remedied in some way. At Daniel M. Copeland, Attorney at Law, P.A., we are experienced in the full range of Jacksonville real property litigation, including encroachment and boundary disputes. Learn more about these property disputes below, or call our office at 904-482-0616 for immediate assistance.
Bad neighbors make bad fences
There is no obligation under Florida law for adjoining property owners to erect a boundary fence between them. Where a fence already exists, adjoining landowners are jointly responsible for its maintenance. When one landowner unilaterally builds a fence without prior agreement from the neighbor adjacent, that property owner is generally responsible for the costs of building and the fence. Disputes can arise over property owner obligations to repair or maintain a shared fence, disputes over whether a fence was built over the property line, and whether a fence constitutes a “spite fence” and nuisance because it unreasonably blocks a view or impairs one’s use of a roadway. If your neighbor erects a fence you believe is over the boundary line and on your property, it is important to move quickly to assert your rights. By waiting too long, you could actually lose ownership of that property through your neighbor’s adverse possession claim.
A neighbor’s trees can disrupt your quality of life and damage your property
Trees growing near the property line with overhanging branches on your property can violate your property rights. They can also be considered a nuisance and even cause significant property damage if a branch comes down on your home or car, for instance. Liability of the tree owner under Florida law may depend upon whether the branches were healthy or dead when they fell. Likewise, your ability to trim back those branches or remove the tree may depend on the health of the tree and a number of other factors.
Easements and rights of way
Easements (the right of another to use a portion of your property) can be created with a written contract, but they can also be implied in law based on various factors. Whether an easement exists and the scope of its allowable use are often unclear and must be decided by the courts based on all the circumstances surrounding the easement’s use. A landowner who believes an easement or right of way is being improperly imposed or misused can sue in court for an injunction to stop the improper use or file a claim for damages based on breach of contract. Simply by using your property over time, a person can acquire a prescriptive easement in the same way one gains ownership through adverse possession.
Bad surveys are sometimes the culprit
Boundary disputes sometimes arise because of an incorrect survey performed by the surveyor. Jacksonville real estate litigation attorney Daniel M. Copeland has successfully sued both the municipality and the surveyor in these instances, holding them accountable for the damage caused to a property owner’s rights and interests by a bad survey.
Our Jacksonville Property Lawyer Stands Up for Your Rights
Land ownership is sacred under our law, and property rights must be jealously guarded to remain secure. For help with encroachment and boundary disputes in Jacksonville, contact Daniel M. Copeland, Attorney at Law, P.A. for a free consultation regarding your rights and options.