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How to resolve a property boundary dispute

No matter who you are or what part of Washington you live in, there's a good chance that you share a property boundary with at least one other person.

While most people have no problem with this, it's not uncommon to run into trouble every now and again.

If you are faced with a property boundary dispute, there are several steps you can take to find a resolution in the near future.

First things first, there are two things you should never do:

  • Don't threaten the other party, as this is only going to make things worse for everyone involved.
  • Don't attempt to tackle this process on your own, as you probably don't have advanced knowledge of the law and your legal rights.

If you avoid these two things, you'll find yourself in better position to handle the property boundary dispute in an effective and efficient manner.

Here are some tips for resolving the problem:

  • Get a survey. Generally speaking, this is the best way to find a resolution to a property boundary dispute. Once you have this in hand, it's easier for both parties involved to understand what's going on.
  • Quiet title lawsuit. This is often necessary when a survey is unable to bring a resolution. In this case, you may have to file a lawsuit in order for a judge to determine the boundary line.
  • Adverse possession. This comes into play if a piece of property has been used by somebody other than the property owner for an extended period of time. In this case, the person using the property may be able to claim possession.

Along with the above, don't overlook the fact that you may be able to work directly with your neighbor to reach an agreement on boundary lines. For example, you could choose a physical object, such as a fence, to act as the boundary. From there, both owners would sign a quitclaim deed.

Even if you have the best intentions, there are times when a property boundary dispute can move to the forefront. If this happens, you need to know your legal rights as well as the steps you can take to make the problem go away in the near future.

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