Notes & updates: None currently.

Finding the Boundaries of the Property

Hire a licensed surveyor to survey the property and place markers on the boundary lines. A simple survey can cost about $500. If a survey has not been prepared in the past, or maps are unreliable or conflicting, then be prepared to spend as much as $1,000 for the survey.

Some factors to consider in hiring a surveyor include:

  • How long the firm has been in practice
  • Whether the firm is locally owned and operated
  • The firm’s specialty, if any
  • Whether the firm is owned and operated by licensed surveyors
  • The number of registered surveyors employed by the company
  • Whether the firm has support staff

Self-surveying and Boundary Agreements

You and your neighbor may agree on where you want the boundary to be and then memorialize the agreement by executing property deeds that describe the boundary. Consult an attorney for assistance in drawing up the papers if either of you have a mortgage on the property. You may need permission from the mortgage holder before you and your neighbor can legally agree on boundaries.

You should record the executed deed at the county land records office

Unauthorized Usage by a Neighbor

You should act immediately if you neighbor builds property you believe you own. If the encroachment is trivial—perhaps an unobtrusive fence on your side of the boundary line—you may not think you need to worry. You are wrong. When you try to sell your house, a title company might refuse to issue insurance because the neighbor is on your land.

If you do not act, you could lose that part of your property. When one person annexes another person’s land for enough time, the first person can gain a legal right to continue to use the land and sometimes take possession of the disputed property.

Talk to your neighbor

People can make mistakes because of conflicting descriptions in the deeds or wrong assumptions about boundary lines. If your neighbor is hostile and insists on continuing, then you should consult an attorney. Your lawyer can send a letter stating the consequences of continuing wrong action. If the unauthorized usage does not stop, you should waste no time in asking your lawyer to obtain a court order to stop the neighbor temporarily until you can file a civil lawsuit for trespass.

If you are determined to survey your property simply to know where your boundaries are, you should consider whether the amount of time, money, and conflict that might arise would be worth the land about which you are concerned. The cost may not be worth the benefits; but your land is your land and the cost to defend it almost certainly always will be worth preserving it.

If you have border disputes, try to maintain open communication with the neighbor. Learn the law and try to work out an agreement. A serious boundary dispute, regardless of whether you or your neighbor is to blame, might not be worth the cost of losing your neighbor’s friendship.

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Areas of Representation

We represent clients in the following areas (and around all of Minnesota):