While you were away on vacation, your neighbors built a basketball court in their backyard to entertain their sports-loving kids. It’s a nice addition to their property.
And, apparently, it’s a nice addition to part of your yard, too.
Now that you look closely, the court was partially constructed on a small section of your property. It intrudes over the invisible line that separates both of your respective properties. It doesn’t make you happy, but what can you do about it now that the concrete is dry?
You can decide to be neighborly and forget about it – maybe the neighbor will let you and your kids use it, too. If you want to sell your home, though, you’ll need to tell prospective buyers about the encroachment.
If that isn’t an option for you, once you’re certain about your boundary lines and can show your neighbors the mistake that was made, talk to them. While it’s too late to move the basketball court – a shed or a less permanent structure could be relocated – you could, perhaps, agree to sell the area where the court lies to the neighbor. That way, there is no dispute as to who owns the land, no one could consider you liable for any injuries that might occur on your property, and you’ll be compensated financially.
If your neighbor isn’t cooperative and you want to restore your land the way it was, you could wind up suing your neighbor to have the encroachment removed. To win your case, you’ll need to prove to the court that you own the land and that the neighbor intruded on it without permission. You’ll want to act quickly and not years down the road.
An attorney with experience in land-use issues can lay out all your options for you.