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How are land disputes best dealt with in Florida?

One of perhaps the longest standing reasons neighors quarrel is because of disputes over property boundaries.

Generally, when someone buys a parcel of land, he or she has a survey conducted in order to document what the limits are of the property he or she plans to purchase. When some degree of dissension arises over who maintains right to a property, a survey may be ordered to determine this.

In most cases, the deed to the property is used to guide the surveyor in determining what belongs to one owner versus another. In some cases, though, especially if the deed is quite dated or its wording is vague, it may be difficult for a surveyor to properly assess the limits of an owner's land.

When boundaries are unclear, the two property owners can reach an agreement on the boundaries of their own pieces of land. In this case, you and your neighbor should select a particular physical object and allow it to designate the property line that separates your two properties. If you can do this, you two may be able to proceed with signing a quitclaim deed.

It's by signing one of these that you each can formally establish legal boundaries for each of your parcels of land. Having this in place will expedite the selling of your property to others down the road.

When reaching an agreement doesn't seem like it's on the horizon, though, and the matter isn't easily resolved by having a surveyor come out, then filing a lawsuit for quiet title may be one of few options available to you. If you go this route, then it will ultimately rest on the judge's shoulders to determine where each landowner's property lines lie.

In situations in which an individual has enjoyed access to a property for an extended period of time without it being challenged, that person may be entitled to adverse possession of the property. In cases such as this, it's important that the nonowner have some justifiable reason for staking a claim for the property. They must demonstrate an interest in paying taxes on the land occupied as well.

If you're involved in a land dispute with someone else, then a Melbourne, Florida, attorney can advise you of your rights in your particular legal matter.

Source: FindLaw, "Boundary disputes," accessed Jan. 10, 2018

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