Is that fence on your El Paso property or your neighbor’s?

Texas landowners take a lot of pride in their land, and boundaries are important. What happens when you find out that the neighbor has been using a piece of your land?

Well, in some cases, if they are good neighbors, when confronted, they will relinquish their use of your land, offer to buy it off of you or maybe offer to pay for their use of it. In the other percentage of cases, they may claim the land is theirs. Are they right? If a survey of the properties has not been done in a long while, it may be time to do one.

This is often where disputes over residential property take place. Those disputes can quickly escalate into full-fledged feuds if not handled properly. Seeking the advice of an attorney should be your first step.

While a survey should have been done when the property was purchased, if the property has been owned for a long time or in the family for a long time, aged deeds may not have defined the boundaries in clear terms. For instance, they may reflect the boundary as being so many feet away from a riverbed that is now nonexistent or has changed over the years. If a fence line once defined the property boundaries, the fence may have been moved.

Another argument that often comes up is to who owns the fence on the property line — who is responsible for maintaining the fence or tree that resides on the property line.

There are many ways to resolve land and property disputes. An attorney can provide advice and different options that are available. In the event that property owners cannot resolve the land dispute in any other way, there is such a thing as a “quiet title lawsuit” that can be filed requesting a court to determine the property boundaries.