If you have a neighbour that has recently built a fence that is a little too far onto your property, but they claim it is their property line, you have what is called a boundary line dispute. Hopefully, you can settle this without going to court. Here are some things to do when you have a dispute with your neighbours about the actual property lines.
Talk to the Neighbour First
It is best when you can resolve something without involving any lawyers or mediators, so try talking to them first. Show them where you believe the property line is and why you think it is in that location. Bring along any plat maps, deeds, or titles you have that show specifically where the boundary line is located. They might have a tree or fence that is slightly on your property, but they honestly had no idea that it went into your yard. If you're lucky, they will be willing to make some adjustments to keep everything on their own property.
Hire a Land Surveyor
Sometimes the deeds or plats are a little unclear, and both of you need some clarification. This is when it is a good idea to hire a land surveyor. The land surveyor will come out and take a look at legal documents and both of your property lines, letting you know exactly where they are located. It might be that you were the one that was wrong, in which case the matter has been resolved and doesn't require any more steps. However, if the land surveyor finds that you were right, you will then have an official document backing up the fact that their fence or other object is crossing the property line.
Send a Demand Letter
If you don't feel comfortable with verbal communication with your neighbour, send them a demand letter. It is recommended that you have a property law attorney to help you out at this point, as they can help you with the demand letter and communicate with the neighbour for you. The demand letter shows documentation proving they are crossing the property line and requesting that they move whatever is crossing that line.
A final step to try before bringing the case to court is to go through mediation. Many people are willing to do mediation because a neutral third party is there to resolve the dispute and try to come to a resolution. Have your attorney send a letter to the neighbour requesting mediation before you bring them to court to resolve the property line issue.