Defining and Identifying Property Line
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Boundary lines, or property lines, are used to define points where your land ends and where your neighbour’s land starts. This information is contained in your property deed or survey files you received when purchasing the property. You can also get it from the county assessor’s office using mapping tools.
Before you erect any structure along the boundary line, for instance, a fence, be sure to verify the correct position of your property to avoid encroaching on your neighbours land, otherwise, you could face unpleasant lawsuits or develop poor relationships with your neighbours.
1) Check your Property Deed
Your property deed contains the measurements of your property as well as the boundaries, often in a descriptive paragraph. Identify the landmarks in the description and take measurements to the property lines. Mark the corner points of the property. Now, take measurements between the various stakes and verify what is detailed in the deed. Physical measurements of the boundary lines will help you to visually find out where the lines are and help you avoid encroachment.
Take your time to visit the land assessor’s or recorder’s office and ask for maps that are available for public viewing. If you get a map that clearly indicates your property’s boundaries and dimensions, use it as a reference to verify the accurate measurements of your property and the boundary lines all around the property.
2) Check your Property Survey Report
The survey report from a building survey often provides clear indications of the property boundary. The distance between existing structures such the houses and the property lines and streets should be clearly identified. Use these details together with any featured landmarks to visually verify the boundary lines and avoid disputes with neighbours.
3) Get a Blueprint of your Home
Check the blueprint of your home to determine the boundary lines before carrying out works like planting trees, extending the house, or building a fence. Most people often assume that the existing fence is an accurate indication of the boundary line, but this is not always the case. You could face costly lawsuits if you happen to erect something on your neighbour’s property.
Start by checking the ground around your property. Many home builders often place a wooden block or a concrete block to mark the boundary of each subdivision. Make a sketch of your property using visible landmarks. Verify these against your deed or survey file.
4) Consult the Land Registry or Local Property Office
If you don’t have the property deed in your possession, you can obtain a copy from your local county or city assessor’s or recorder’s office. Check under the “Legal Description” section of the deed for survey coordinates that establish your property boundaries.
5) Hire a Boundary Surveyor
If you don’t have a deed and you don’t manage to access it from the local assessor’s office, it’s prudent to hire a surveyor for the job. They are qualified professionals who are trained in identifying, measuring and mapping out property boundaries fairly.
The cost of hiring a surveyor varies widely based on your location and the size of your property. Ask around for referrals before you settle on a surveyor; take time to interview multiple surveyors and choose one with the necessary experience and professionalism. It may be beneficial to work with a surveyor who is flexible to walk you through the property lines after the completion of the survey.
Get in touch with our RICS chartered surveyor today to discuss property lines.