Property Encroachment

What if Someone Is Encroaching on My Property in New York?

New York City is a metropolis constantly under construction. New buildings are erected, and structures are renovated and remodeled every day. The flurry of activity means the city is also hotbed of disputes between landowners. A common source of disputes between real estate owners comes up when a new structure encroaches onto adjoining property owned by someone else. This could come up, for example, if a neighboring property owner expands their patio or deck so it ends up on your property.

Should I Do Nothing?

One option for a New York property owner whose land is encroached on is to do nothing – there is no legal downside to this until they want to sell their property. At that point the seller must disclose the encroachment to every potential buyer for consideration. It’s wise, though, to give the encroaching party written permission to use that part of your property to avoid a future adverse possession claim. If, however, the owner wants to act on the encroachment there are a few options they can exercise to remedy the situation.

Can I Sell the Property to the Adjoining Property Owner?

Another option is giving the adjoining property owner the option to buy the property they encroached upon. If the other owner accepts, you’ll receive financial compensation and they can continue to use the land without consequence. When selling the property, it’s important to contact your lender and a real estate lawyer to make sure land records are updated and accurate.

Is There Clear Title?

Sometimes an encroachment dispute happens because the parties dispute who owns the land at issue. If you and the other owner can’t agree on the boundaries of your respective properties, an action for quiet title can be brought by the person who claims encroachment to settle the issue. After filing a complaint, the plaintiff must serve a copy on everyone they know has claimed a property interest. Once the other parties have presented evidence supporting their property interest claims, the court will evaluate the evidence and determine the valid title holder when it issues a judgment.

Once the plaintiff has established clear title to the property, they can file an ejectment action. If the plaintiff proves they own the property and the neighbor is using it improperly and should be removed, they can also seek an injunction compelling the encroaching, adjoining property owner to get rid of the structure. The plaintiff may also be awarded damages by a court instead of an injunction.

New York Real Estate Lawyer

Property is a valuable investment, so it’s important to do everything in your power to protect what you own. If your neighbor is encroaching on your property, don’t wait until it’s too late to take action – speak to an experienced New York real estate lawyer at MOWK Law. We will fight for the integrity of your property and help you pursue whatever remedies make sense for your situation. Contact us today – we look forward to hearing from you!