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Disputed property line, Massachusetts property

I have a little dispute about my property line. My neighbor recently had a survey done because he's planning on making a large addition to his house and, I assume, wants to know where the set-back line will be. I was surprised when his surveyor finished the job because his lot line by my property was a couple of feet different from what a surveyor I hired had established just two years before. My neighbor wants those two feet and I don't want to lose them. should I hire an attorney and look into a legal action to establish the property lot line? My neighbor and I get along OK but we are both confident that the other guy is wrong. Thanks.

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I wouldn't rush out and file a quiet title action just yet.  Assuming you and your neighbor are able to communicate and willing to work together, there are probably better and less expensive options to settle a property line dispute.

Because this type of dispute happens from time to time, it is not uncommon for the two surveyors to get to together and compare notes and try to figure out the cause of the discrepancy.  Assuming your surveyor is still around, give him or her a call and ask him if he will meet with the neighbor's surveyor.  Any type of litigation is expensive, frustrating, and time consuming.  Avoid it if you can.  Let us know how it works out.



Boundary surveys can often differ. Sometimes it is useful for the surveyers to collaborate. However, a properly lines established by a deed description and survey do not necessarily govern because property lines can be established by adverse possession as a result of possessing the land openly and continously for twenty years by such things as the construction and location of ground monuments such as fences, walls, pillars, and maintaining gardens, lawns and bushes, etc. Take lots of pictures and perhaps speak with the former property owners to find out where the property line was thought to be. As always try to work it out with the neighbor.
jdecoulos@decouloslaw.com


When we moved in we had a guy who put in a permit for a fence. We suggested he get his land surveyed since there was no pre-exisitng fence. Henever got the fence but left the markers. We decided to put up a fence. He then he had his land surveyed again. We went by his surveye and put up our fence with it set back in most of the way dpwn the lot.( We assumed his surveyer was licensed,) (no name on truck)and our fence went up. He contniues to think part of our driveway is his even though he showed me the points an angles. Should i get my land surveyed to settle the dispute? Would I have to take my fence down if booth his surveys where done within two yrs and if ours differ? How would one determine actual property lines when they are not straight? This guy moved the pin at the end of the driveway. i think he moved them soo he could waltz on over my side when he felt like it.


I suggest that you hire a professional land surveyor. You can check the license at the Mass government website. http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/licensee/dpl-boards/en/

Share the results with your neighbor and see if you can reach an agreement. You might consider installing some permanent stone bounds to mark the boundary lines. If you cannot reach an agreement, a court will have to settle the dispute. Under the law of adverse possession, you will lose your rights if your land is openly and notoriously possessed continuously for twenty years and the line of possession will become the property line regardless of what the deeds say. The time for possession can be stacked by previous and subsequent owners. www.decouloslaw.com


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