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Adverse Possession – Boundary Dispute!

by | May 6, 2024 | Real Estate

Hello, this is attorney Hunter Cavell in Solon, Ohio. And today I want to talk about real estate litigation and where people get in trouble with boundary disputes.

Now, let’s say you own a home and your next door neighbor has an issue with where your driveway is placed, and all of a sudden there’s a property line dispute and you didn’t know about it, and your neighbor wants to erect a fence right over your driveway. Now, what are some issues? Well, some people will say, I’ve owned this property this whole time, 5 or 10 years, and the driveway is my driveway. I didn’t know about a property line dispute. Others might say, well, it’s been here so long, we’re going to take it by something called adverse possession. Now, what does that mean?

It basically means that it’s a rule of equity that the boundary dispute has not been in dispute for quite along time and that the other person’s property rights actually become yours. Now, that seems like a very harsh penalty for the person who’s losing property. So that’s why it’s very hard to prove. You must prove that for at least 21 years, you’ve held the possession of the property against the other person. So the other person, your next door neighbor, is on notice of it, that the driveway has been there and that you’ve kept it open to the public, not hidden and things of that nature. So what does this really mean? It honestly means that it’s very hard to prove whether or not you’ve had a continuous adverse possession of someone’s property. And it may very well come down to a very lengthy court battle.

Now, how are ways to avoid this? Well, first off, get a property survey done whenever you buy a piece of property so you know what your rights are or whenever you build a fence, so you make sure you’re putting it on your property or on the boundary line. Another way, let’s say you’ve bought the property and you realize that your driveway is over, but you want to keep it. Talk to your neighbor. That’s the biggest thing. Maybe your neighbor won’t have an issue with it, but the best way to protect yourself is to buy them off. Pay for something called an easement that runs with the land so that if your neighbor sells the house, the next person can’t come and put a fence on your driveway. If you have any questions about boundary disputes, I’m definitely here to help. Please give mea call at 440-940-6441 or visit Thanks and have a great day.