As the third-largest state in America, encountering a boundary dispute in California is not entirely uncommon. When you own a sprawling plot of land, it can be difficult to keep your land demarcated from neighbors.

There are a few specific California statutes that address boundary issues. Learn more about them below.

Examples of Boundary Disputes

Boundary disputes can arise in many different ways. Official documents often state boundaries differently than the owner perceives them. Physical demarcation point may have been placed in the wrong location, leading to boundary line confusion.

Descriptions of property in legal documents can become outdated and make boundaries unclear. Sometimes, one owner’s property documents may even contradict their neighbor’s. As you can see, this simple issue easily becomes incredibly complex.

Specific California Statutes

Every state has its own specific state statutes, and state case law that address boundary disputes. There are a few in California that anyone with a property dispute should be aware of.

Boundary Fences

California’s Boundary Fence Statutes include Cal. Civ. Code § § 841 and 841.4. These statutes define who can build a boundary fence, who is responsible for maintaining it, when it can be built, and what it can be made of.

Reading these statutes can help make some aspects of a boundary dispute clear. For example, Cal. Civ. Code § 841 (a) states that “adjoining landowners shall share equally in the responsibility for maintaining the boundaries and monuments between them.”

Right to Farm

Living next to a farm, there will probably be some unpleasant odors or noises that make their way onto your property. However, under California’s Right to Farm Statutes, these farms are protected from litigation.

On the other hand, these farms are not protected if their activities are outside normal farming practice. It never hurts to consult a real estate lawyer about the specifics of your case.

Tree Damage 

If a neighbor damages trees on your property, you are often entitled to compensation under California’s tree damage laws. In fact, that neighbor may even face criminal charges.

Of course, you have to prove the tree was located within your property, and this kind of scenario often leads to a boundary dispute.

Steps to Resolution

No one wants to end up in court. It is a long and expensive process. The first step to resolving a boundary dispute is to open up negotiations with the neighbor. Consult a lawyer before approaching the neighbor but try to have an open discussion and resolve the issue without escalating it.

If that doesn’t work, it’s time to send a demand letter through your attorney. This letter should either request action or provide an offer. Weigh the cost of a trial against simply purchasing the land from your neighbor, even if you are in the right.

Solving a Boundary Dispute

A boundary dispute in California is best resolved with the help of a legal professional. An attorney familiar with the specific real estate law in California can help determine if you have a valid dispute and how to attain the right information to solve it.

If you are dealing with a boundary dispute, do not hesitate to contact the real estate experts at the law offices of Jason W. Estavillo for legal advice.