Why do you need to protect your property boundaries?
Valuable things need protection—and your land is probably the most valuable asset you own. The value of your home and property may fluctuate with the uncertainties of the marketplace, but potential threats involving your property boundaries could erode the value of your home if it is not properly safeguarded.
Protecting an important real estate asset
You may wish to leverage your property as collateral to obtain loans for other investments. However, this is only possible when lenders are confident that the land being offered as security has a good and marketable title. Poorly defined boundaries, dubious title, potential claims and ongoing neighbour disputes can easily decrease the value, which is why protecting your boundaries is so important.
Preventing encroachment by neighbours
It is human nature to test the limits, and the realm of property boundaries is no different. Neighbours sometimes encroach on your boundaries accidentally, and sometimes quite willfully. It can be moving a fence inside your property line, improperly building a new backyard shed or pool that violates building by-laws, or repaving and widening a driveway onto your property and hoping you will not notice or object. In fact, people who have been occupying a portion of your land for an extended period of time in this way may come to regard it as legally belonging to them through “squatter’s rights.” At the same time, you’ll want to be sure that you don’t engage in activities that inadvertently encroach on your neighbour’s property.
There are four main situations when it’s essential to know the facts regarding property boundaries:
- Buying a house
- Selling your home
- Renovating or building an addition, fence, shed, deck or other structure
- Disputing a boundary
Becoming informed about your property and its boundaries is your best defence, and your best ally is a licensed surveyor equipped with a land survey plan. You have the right to secure your property and to protect your ownership and the physical extent of your land.
Actively protecting your boundaries safeguards the value of your property, and ensures that you and your family can enjoy your home without interference, intrusion or aggravation from neighbours.