When buying a new house, it is important to have a property survey done in addition to an inspection of the house. If you did not have a survey done when purchasing the house, you should make sure to have one done before making improvements or additions to the property. Additions such as sheds or fences can accidentally encroach upon neighboring property. While this can be corrected, the process can be long and involved. Having a licensed land surveyor stake property lines will help you to avoid any confusion over boundaries.
A prolonged encroachment could lead to adverse possession. This occurs when a person other than the property owner can show “twenty years of adverse, continuous, exclusive and uninterrupted use of the land claimed.” O’Hearne v. McClammer, 163 N.H. 430, 435 (2012). If this is the case, this person can claim ownership of the property. In order for this to happen, the person must openly use the property for twenty continuous years without the owner’s permission. The use must be apparent enough for the actual owner to notice.
A survey can alert property owners to possible encroachments. With this information, property owners can take action to head off possible adverse possession claims.
You can contact Alfano Law Office by calling (603) 856-8411 or at this link.