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Why the boundary line in a property deed might not matter

Property owners have every right to the land they pay for — most of the time. If you aren’t watching closely, you could lose your land despite what the deed to your property says.

Watch out for these two ways your property could be taken.

Boundary line by acquiescence

Boundary lines acquired by acquiescence can be very common between next-door-neighbors. Typically, these disputes arise when one neighbor uses a deed to reclaim property that another neighbor has been using.

While the other neighbor may have been overstepping the boundary according to a property deed, they may still be able to establish ownership of a portion of the property if it’s been in the neighbor’s use for long enough.

These cases typically fall to the discretion of the court and can be handled differently depending on the jurisdiction. However, the following considerations may be taken to determine whether the boundary line in a deed is overruled by acquiescence:

  • The amount of time the possession in apparent acquiescence went on for
  • Whether the neighbors were aware of the actual boundary line
  • Whether both neighbors treated the apparent acquiescence as the actual boundary line
  • Prior agreements made concerning boundaries between the neighbors

Adverse possession

Adverse possession law was essentially established for squatters. It allows those who unlawfully occupy an uninhabited, unused space to claim legal ownership of it under certain conditions. This law doesn’t allow just any individual to set up camp in your backyard and call it their own.

A few of the conditions a trespasser must meet to claim property under adverse possession, include:

  • Knowing that the property belongs to someone else
  • Occupying the property without permission from the owner
  • Occupying the property for at least seven years
  • Using the property as a property owner normally would over the seven-year period
  • Not being on government-owned land — this property is excluded from adverse possession law

Prevent land acquisition by others

If you are in a situation that may threaten the loss of your land due to the acquiescence or adverse possession principles, taking legal action sooner may help prevent the situation from escalating. An attorney with a background in Arkansas boundary law can help you bring a quiet title action that can secure your ownership of the land accordingwith a state court judge.

A lawyer specializing in boundary law can also help you build a defense if you are caught in a boundary dispute under these principles. Gramling Estes Law Firm knows how hard you work for your land and will dedicate our resources and knowledge to help you keep it secured.

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Gramling Estes Law Firm

Office Location:

Gramling Estes Law Firm
One East Center #140
Fayetteville, AR 72701

Phone: (479) 521-4444
Fax: (479) 521-6730
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