Living in harmony with your neighbors is often a fulfilling experience. However, disputes can sometimes arise, testing this tranquility. One common cause of disagreement is the boundary line that separates your properties. Boundary disputes in Washington can cause friction between neighbors, turning peaceful coexistence into a strain.
Understanding how to handle these disputes can save you stress and help preserve your relationship with your neighbors.
Open a dialogue with your neighbor
The first step to resolving a boundary dispute is to have an open, respectful conversation with your neighbor. Explaining your concerns calmly might clear any misunderstanding that led to the dispute in the first place. Keep the conversation non-confrontational, as hostility can often escalate the problem rather than resolve it.
Consult your property deed and land survey
If talking it out does not resolve the dispute, consult your property deed and land survey, which are usually part of the paperwork you received when you purchased your property. The deed will often include a legal description of the property, while the land survey provides a detailed map of the property boundaries. These documents can help you verify the exact location of your property lines and could help in resolving the dispute.
Engage a professional surveyor
If the dispute persists despite consulting your property documents, hiring a professional surveyor could be a good next step. A surveyor can conduct an updated, thorough survey of your property, providing an unbiased perspective on where the boundary lines lie. While this may come at a cost, it might be worth the investment to resolve a boundary dispute.
Consider mediation or arbitration
If all else fails, you can do mediation or arbitration. In mediation, a neutral third party assists you and your neighbor in reaching a mutually agreed resolution. In arbitration, the arbitrator listens to both sides and makes a decision that you and your neighbor agree to abide by.
Maintaining a peaceful relationship with your neighbor is important. Understanding how to handle boundary disputes with grace and patience can go a long way in ensuring a harmonious neighborhood.