Boundary Encroachments: Dealing with Unwanted Structures on Your Property

In Texas, we take owning property seriously. Land in this state is valuable and sometimes passed down from generation to generation. Unfortunately, even in Texas, dealing with pesky neighbor issues, like people encroaching on your land, is common. Perhaps your neighbor’s tree grows over your fence, or their shed seems to have migrated onto your property. When this occurs, it’s called boundary encroachments, and it’s more than just a nuisance.

Why does it matter? Well, it’s not just about your backyard looking nice. It’s about your legal rights. In Texas, we value our property rights, so knowing where your land starts and stops is a big deal. Not being clear on this can lead to disputes that could drag on and cost you significantly. In addition, if someone gets hurt on your property, you could be liable for the damages.

If you’re a homeowner in Texas, you must learn how to recognize boundary encroachment and what you can do to stop it.

What Are Boundary Encroachments?

A boundary encroachment is any situation where parts of your property are invaded, intentionally or unintentionally, by the city, your neighbors, or even strangers. It could be a neighbor’s fence erected on your side of the boundary line or parking a camper on the side of your house. These are all examples of boundary encroachments.

Now, how do these encroachments happen? Sometimes, it’s as innocent as your neighbor planting a garden bed that unknowingly crosses onto your side. Other times, it’s because property surveys weren’t accurate, and people didn’t realize they were inching onto someone else’s land. Misunderstandings, like where one person thinks their property line is, can lead to encroachments.

Understanding boundary encroachments and how they occur is the first step to addressing them. It’s not just about protecting your physical space; it’s about preserving your property rights and keeping the peace in your neighborhood.

Identifying Boundary Encroachments

Boundary Encroachments Dealing with Unwanted Structures on Your PropertyRecognizing encroachments on your property can be crucial to protect your rights and maintain good relations with your neighbors. Regularly walk around your property and observe the boundaries. Pay attention to any structures, fences, or objects that appear to encroach on your land.

One of the most accurate ways to identify encroachments is by getting a professional property survey. Surveyors use advanced tools and methods to precisely measure your property boundaries. These surveys provide a clear, legally recognized description of your property lines, which can help you identify any discrepancies or encroachments.

You can also review your property records, including deeds and plats, which should contain detailed information about your property’s boundaries. These documents can serve as valuable references to confirm the legal boundaries of your land.

Common Types of Boundary Encroachments

Boundary encroachments come in various forms and can be caused by various factors. Here are some common types of boundary encroachments that homeowners may encounter:

  • Fence Encroachments: This is perhaps the most common type of encroachment. It occurs when a neighbor’s fence or wall extends beyond their property line and onto yours.
  • Building Encroachments: Sometimes, neighbors may build structures, such as sheds, garages, or home additions, that intrude onto your property.
  • Overhanging Trees and Branches: Overhanging branches and roots from your neighbor’s trees that cross into your property can also be considered an encroachment. They can cause damage and become a nuisance.
  • Driveway or Pathway Encroachments: Neighbors may extend their driveways or pathways onto your land without permission, which can obstruct your access and use of the area.
  • Garden or Planting Encroachments: Planting a garden or landscaping features like flower beds and shrubs that extend beyond the property line can be a form of encroachment.
  • Easement Violations: Easements are legal rights that allow someone else to use or access part of your property. Violations of these rights, such as exceeding the permitted usage, can be considered encroachments.
  • Utility and Drainage Encroachments: Utility companies and drainage systems may have easements allowing access to a portion of your property. If they extend beyond the easement area, it can be an encroachment.
  • Unauthorized Structures: Any unapproved or unauthorized structures, like a neighbor’s playset or storage shed, that are on your land can be classified as encroachments.
  • Misplaced Boundaries: Errors in property surveys or misunderstandings about the exact location of property boundaries can lead to encroachments.

Encroachments often lead to disputes and boundary conflicts between neighbors. These disputes can escalate, resulting in expensive legal battles, strained relationships, and emotional distress. An encroachment can even affect the value of your property. It may make your land less attractive to potential buyers or lenders, impacting your ability to sell or refinance your home.

Contact Our Houston Boundary Dispute Attorney Today

If you’re dealing with an encroachment issue, you must speak to a real estate law firm immediately. At Pathway Property Lawyers, we can help you handle encroachment issues and boundary disputes. Our Houston boundary dispute lawyers can investigate your situation and advocate for your rights as a property owner in Texas.

Call us at 832-364-6234 or fill out our confidential contact form to learn more about your legal options. We are here to safeguard your property and rights throughout the legal process.



Pathways Property Lawyers

At Pathways Property Lawyers, our Houston attorneys are here to answer all your legal questions and help you protect your rights regarding personal, business, commercial or investment properties. Call us or fill out our confidential contact form to learn more about your legal options.

Our law firm has considerable experience in Texas real estate law. We advise our clients on issues related to real estate transactions and litigation throughout Southeast Texas. In addition to real estate, our Houston lawyers have experience in other related areas of law, such as family law, business law, estate planning and probate. This allows us to assist clients with all related legal issues, and to take an holistic approach to your specific matter.


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