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How to Handle Property Encroachment in California

There are many reasons to have your California home appraised. You might be looking to sell or refinance your house, or maybe you are getting a home equity loan, or another type of loan, or you are appealing your tax assessments. Whatever the reason is that you need to order an appraisal, getting the appraisal results back sounds like it’ll be such a relief, right? Finally, all of that time and effort put into gathering information and scheduling the appointment will be paid off and you’ll have your answer. But wait! Not so fast! If you’re like many people, you may encounter property encroachment issues while going through the appraisal process. 

Dealing with encroachments on your California property can be a headache, but we here at Osborne Homes want you to be aware of your options. Because, at the end of the day, if you are unable to afford to correct an encroachment in real estate, we will take it off your hands – we buy houses FAST with cash – and we will fix the easement ourselves. Why? Because we are Osborne Homes and that’s what we do! More about that, below. For now, here is everything you need to know about California homes that may be affected by encroachment(s) and what to expect if yours is one of them.

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What is an encroachment in real estate

An encroachment in real estate, also sometimes referred to as encroaching land, is defined as any improvement on your property that infringes upon your neighbor’s property. This could be something as small as a fence post that extends over the property line or a section of your driveway that crosses onto your neighbor’s land. In some cases, encroachments can be much larger, such as a pool that was built too close to the property line or an addition that extends over the boundary.

Are easements considered encroachments?

Easements are, in essence, encroachments, since they involve a property owner making extensions over a neighbor’s property, just like encroachments are. The difference is that encroachments are unauthorized and many times unknown and easements are discovered encroachments of which continued use is agreed upon by both parties. 

How to identify if there is an encroachment on your property

If you suspect that there may be an encroachment on your property, there are a few things you can do to confirm it:

  • First, check your property boundaries. If you have a survey of your property, this will be easy to do. If you don’t have a survey, you can try to find one online or at the local library. 
  • Once you know where your property lines are, carefully inspect the structures or improvements in question. If they are indeed located on your property, you’ll need to take action to remove them. This can be done through negotiation with the neighbor or through legal channels. Either way, it’s important to act quickly to protect your property rights.

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What if your property is encroaching on someone else’s property?

If your property is found to be encroaching on someone else’s property, you’ll need to take some steps to remedy the situation. If the encroachments are minor, you may be able to simply adjust your fence or landscaping accordingly. However, if the encroachments are more significant unless your neighbor whose property you are encroaching on is cordial and workable, you may come up with a large amount of money to remedy the situation. In some cases, you may even need to buy additional land from them in order to rectify the situation; say, if there is a permanent structure placed over it that would be difficult to remove such as a pool or a storage facility. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to take action as soon as possible to avoid any legal issues down the road. 

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Who do you contact if there is an encroachment on either side?

If you have a problem with an encroachment on your property, the first step is to try to resolve the issue with your neighbor. You might be able to get them to sign off on the encroachment as an easement or split the cost to remove the encroachment. If you are unable to reach an agreement, however, you can contact your local planning department or building inspector. They will be able to determine if the encroaching land violates any city ordinances or building codes. If it does, they will work with you and your neighbor to resolve the issue. If the problem persists, you may need to consult an attorney. An attorney can help you determine your legal options and represent you in court, if necessary. However, in most cases, it is best to try to reach a resolution with your neighbor before taking legal action.

What are the consequences of avoiding an encroachment situation?

If you don’t take action to stop encroachment, it can have a number of consequences. First, you may lose the legal right to object to the encroachment. Second, the encroachment may reduce the value of your property. And third, the unauthorized use of your land could lead to liability for any injuries or damage that occur as a result. So if you suspect that someone is encroaching on your property, it’s important to take action quickly to protect your rights and interests.

What happens if an encroachment dispute goes to court?

An encroachment dispute occurs when one property owner claims that another owner’s improvements, such as a fence or building, are located on their land. If the two parties are unable to reach a resolution, the matter may end up in court. In most cases, the court will ask a surveyor to determine the exact property boundaries. Once the boundaries have been established, the court will order the encroaching party to remove their improvements or pay damages to the other property owner. In some cases, the court may also order the encroaching party to pay attorney’s fees and court costs.

How long does it usually take for a decision to be reached by the judge?

It is not unusual for an encroachment case to take several months, or even longer, to be decided by a judge. This is because, in order to reach a decision, the judge must first review all of the evidence and arguments submitted by both sides. The judge must then consider the law and precedent, and weigh the potential consequences of each decision. In some cases, the judge may also need to hear from expert witnesses before making a ruling. Due to all of these steps and procedures, it can often take a significant amount of time for a judge to reach a decision in an encroachment case.

Can you sell a house with encroaching land?

If you can’t afford to fix the encroachment, maybe you’re thinking of selling your house and wondering if the encroachment will impact the sale. The good news is that you can usually still sell your house on the traditional real estate market with an encroachment. The bad news is that you will likely find yourself having to explain the situation to every potential buyer, which could lengthen the selling process and lower the price you ultimately receive for your home. At the very least, the buyers may require that the encroachment(s) be removed before closing on the sale. So while an encroachment in real estate won’t necessarily prevent you from selling your house, it’s important to be aware of the potential impact it may have on the sale.

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Osborne Homes has a completely different approach. We offer the best solution for how to handle property encroachment – We want to buy your house for cash, even WITH the encroachment. That answers your whole dilemma! In fact, we will handle everything and, once the sale to us is final, we will do the work to correct the encroachment. Maybe the best part of all of this is that since we pay all cash, we are able to close FAST. 

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Contact us to find out how selling your home for all-cash to Osborne Homes can save you a lot of time and money!

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