Boundary Dispute Attorney in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
In real estate, it’s not uncommon for adjacent property owners to disagree over the exact location of their property lines. These boundary disputes can stem from various factors, such as shifting land features, inaccurate surveys, and conflicting or inconsistent language in deeds. But no matter their origin, you have the right to seek resolution and regain control over your property.
If you're involved in a dispute over a property boundary with a Pittsburg neighbor, hiring an experienced Pennsylvania real estate law attorney is crucial to protect your interests. My firm — Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C. — proudly serves clients across Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well as throughout Allegheny County and all of the surrounding counties, including Butler, Westmoreland, Beaver, Armstrong, and Washington.
I'm dedicated to providing reliable legal services and representing clients in a variety of real estate matters, including boundary disputes. As your legal counsel, I can evaluate your unique situation and your best options for seeking a fair resolution. In addition, I will fight for your rights and work effectively with all parties involved to achieve an amicable and peaceful outcome. Give me a call today to schedule a consultation and learn how I can help.
Property Boundaries in Pennsylvania
A property boundary can be described as an imaginary line which indicates the perimeter of a piece of land. Essentially, the boundary defines where a parcel of land or property starts and ends. Unfortunately, disagreements over property boundaries are among the major reasons for many disputes between neighbors.
Pennsylvania's Property Line and Fence Laws
Understanding your rights and responsibilities as a neighbor is the first step to avoiding or addressing a dispute. Here are some Pennsylvania property laws you should know.
In Pennsylvania, neighbors are not legally obligated to contribute to the construction, upkeep, or repairs of shared fences. However, there is an exception to this rule when both neighbors own livestock that rely on the shared fence for protection. In such cases, both neighbors are legally required to share the responsibility and costs associated with maintaining and repairing the fence. This exception recognizes the importance of maintaining adequate fencing for the welfare of livestock and places a shared burden on the neighbors who benefit from its protection.
Trees Along Property Lines
According to Pennsylvania law, when a boundary line is marked by a tree, it is considered a “boundary tree” or “line tree,” and it equally belongs to both adjacent property owners. Either neighbor has the right to trim or prune the encroaching tree up to their boundary line. However, neither party is allowed to cut down or remove the boundary tree without the consent of the other neighbor.
Please note that laws can change over time, so it’s in your best interest to consult with a real estate attorney if you have any questions or concerns regarding your property rights.
Common Boundary Disputes
According to the most recent FindLaw.com survey, disputes regarding property boundaries constitute nearly 17% of real estate complaints between neighbors. Boundary disputes between adjacent property owners may arise due to a different number of reasons. These include:
mistakes in the deeds that inaccurately describe the boundary lines
lack of physical boundary marks on the land
artificial or natural changes in land features
contradictory language in a deed
encroachment on a neighbor's property through a fence, building, or another object
conflicting legal descriptions in the deeds
obstructing the neighbor's view with a new construction or tall fence
adverse possession of land or property
restricting a neighbor's access to their property
When faced with a boundary dispute or any real estate conflict, it’s important to be aware of your available options for resolution. Your best pathway forward will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. The following cover some key methods commonly used for resolving boundary disputes:
A settlement meeting provides an opportunity for property owners and their neighbors to come together and discuss the issues at hand, aiming to reach a mutually agreeable resolution.
Mediation involves bringing the disputing parties together with the assistance of a neutral third party, such as a mediator or mediation attorney. Through facilitated discussions, negotiations, and compromise, the parties work towards a feasible resolution.
In arbitration, all involved property owners present testimonies and evidence to one or more arbiters. The arbiters then review the information and determine the optimal resolution for the boundary dispute.
If attempts at settlement, arbitration, or mediation prove unsuccessful, property owners may choose to pursue litigation. This involves bringing the boundary dispute before a private judge or jury within the Pennsylvania court system for a final resolution.
An experienced Pennsylvania boundary dispute resolution attorney can enlighten you about the benefits and downsides of each option and help you decide the right one to pursue.
How Legal Counsel Can Help
Where your land or property begins and ends can lead to a disagreement between you and your adjoining neighbors. However, every property owner wants to protect what they believe is theirs. As a result, resolving such boundary disputes can be daunting and may involve a lot of complexities. Therefore, when involved in a boundary dispute, retaining a reliable real estate attorney is crucial for proper guidance and to help you navigate key decisions.
As the lead attorney at Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C., I'm dedicated to offering trusted advocacy and skilled representation to clients in their boundary disputes. As your representative, I will conduct a thorough investigation, review all documents related to the land or property, and determine the best way to settle the dispute.
Boundary Dispute Attorney in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
If you're involved in a boundary dispute with your neighbor, contact my firm today to schedule an initial consultation. I can offer you the personalized legal counsel and advocacy you need. My firm proudly serves clients across Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well as throughout Allegheny County.