How to determine a legal property line?

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How to determine a legal property line?

We live in an older section of town. We just had a licensed surveyor survey our property line between us and one of our neighbors. He discovered that the property line is closer to our house than originally thought, in fact part of our original eave is located about 4 inches onto our neighbor’s property according to the new survey. Our house was built in 1913, a year after the area was subdivided into parcels. We are assuming that our house was built using the property line set in 1912. So why would the city allow them to encroach on the adjacent property? We want to build a fence at the legal property line. Considering that this is the first survey of the property line since 1912, and that property taxes have been paid on the land and structure since then, which is the legal property line?

Asked on September 29, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The legal property line is determined by a licensed surveyor ascertaining it in his or her opinion based upon the legal description of two adjoining properties and then confirmed in a court order if there is a legal dispute on this issue.

It is not an issue of the city allowing a property owner to encroach on another person's property but rather one owner allowing this to happen either by mistake or on purpose.

Until you have a court order establishing the true property line between your land and the neighbor's, I would deem the most recent survey an indication of where the true dividing line is between the two parcels.


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