For many adults in Georgia, their primary residence is the most valuable property they own. Their home and any other real property that they hold title to will require the constant investment of income and will significantly contribute to their overall personal wealth.
Although you would imagine that other people would always respect your property rights because they would want the same respect from you, the sad truth is that through intentional actions or ignorance, it is quite common for property owners and even businesses to encroach on the real estate owned by other people.
What is encroachment in Georgia?
Encroachment involves development that crosses a property boundary
There is a clear boundary between the end of your land and the beginning of your neighbor’s property. Whether that neighbor is a real estate investor who wants to subdivide an unimproved parcel and put in dozens of homes or they are an individual property owner hoping to expand the house or add a fence, your neighbor could encroach on your property when adding to a building or installing a deck or fence.
Any improvements that cross the boundary line technically encroach on your property could eventually lead to claims of adverse possession. The owner who built on your side of the boundary could eventually go to civil court and ask the courts to change the deeds for your properties so that they own the section that they built over years ago. You need to act quickly to address encroachment concerns in Georgia or run the risk of losing some of your property.
How the courts handle encroachment
Provided that you can show that someone’s new fence or the foundation for their new home crosses the boundary and enters your property, you can ask the courts to halt construction or order the removal of the encroaching improvement.
Property owners who, intentionally or otherwise, encroach on someone else’s property will typically have to absorb the costs involved in correcting their mistake. Of course, proving encroachment and compelling your neighbor into compliance can be a challenging process. Discussing the situation with a real estate attorney will be an important early step in the process of asserting your ownership rights.