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Boundary Disputes Attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada

Most people purchasing a residence assume that existing fences mark the boundaries of their property. While in many cases this is true, in others it may not be so. A fence may have been erected encroaching on your property, or the fences on your property may encroach on a neighbor’s plot.

None of this might matter unless one neighbor suspects their property boundaries have been violated, or if suddenly a neighbor wants to erect a new fence or replace an old one.

Boundary disputes are not uncommon, and resolutions to them can be friendly—or end up in litigation. If you’re involved in a property boundary dispute in or around Las Vegas, contact the Ball Law Group. We have nearly two decades of experience in dealing with real estate and property issues and can pursue a resolution to your situation.

Facing a Boundary Dispute?

Property Boundaries in Nevada

Many lots will have property markers buried 6 inches to 10 inches below each corner of the lot. You can use a metal detector and a shovel to try to locate them. Alternately, you can use the description in your deed and try to walk out the boundaries. You can also request a copy of a land survey or subdivision plot from the county clerk’s office, but these are sometimes difficult to decipher. When all else fails, you can hire a land surveyor.

Fencing Laws in Nevada

Outside of Las Vegas and Clark County, there are varying regulations or even no regulations concerning the erection of fences. However, in Clark County, you need to obtain a permit to build one—with the exception of what is called a “decorative fence.” Chain-link fences that front a street are completely forbidden.

Nevada also has laws against “spite” and “nuisance” fences. A spite fence is one that is erected solely to annoy a neighbor. A nuisance fence is one that obstructs the free use of your neighbor’s property or their “comfortable enjoyment of life and property.”

Common Boundary Disputes

Most disputes between neighbors over boundaries involve fences, but other structures may violate your property as well. A tree house on an adjoining neighbor’s tree may intrude onto your property. A neighbor’s driveway may have been built in violation of your property line.

In the matter of trees, if a neighbor’s tree hangs over onto your property, you have a legal right to trim it up to the boundary line, but you cannot enter your neighbor’s property to trim a tree. That is considered trespassing.

Adverse Possession

Adverse possession is a legal principle concerning boundary encroachment. If, for instance, a neighbor builds a fence that violates your property line, they can claim ownership of the property if the fence stays in place for at least five years in Nevada. Other states have much longer periods before adverse possession can take place.

There are legal conditions for adverse possession, however. The occupying owner, for instance, must be “open and notorious” about claiming the property and using it. Perhaps the biggest qualifying condition is that the owner must have paid all applicable taxes on the property.

Settling Boundary Disputes

The first approach in resolving a boundary dispute with a neighbor is through direct conversation and resolution. If this fails, then the aggrieved property owner can work with an attorney and send a demand letter to the neighbor. Another option is mediation. Finally, you may consider taking legal action and beginning the litigation process.

The bottom line: once neighborly discussions fail, then you should contact an attorney experienced in boundary disputes to help you assess your options in moving forward.

Boundary Disputes Attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada

When a boundary dispute arises, you need to act quickly. Not only is the clock ticking on adverse possession, but once a fence or structure is in place, resolution of the issue becomes more complicated. The Ball Law Group is experienced in all phases of boundary and fence disputes. We will meet with you, discuss your situation, and guide you toward solutions. If you’re facing a boundary dispute in Las Vegas, set up a meeting.