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The PYB Process™ Step 1: Identify your issue

The first step in dealing with issues affecting your property is to create a well-documented description of your boundary situation or challenge, detailing all the necessary facts, along with a timeline that includes pertinent events, communications and interactions leading up to the present.

Most people have a strong connection with their land and become emotionally invested in their project or problem. Recognize that other interested parties who become involved in your situation may not share your particular viewpoint, so make an extra effort to remain objective and factual as you establish your issue.

Document the boundary dispute

Boundary disputes are rooted in a difference of opinion on the location of the legal boundary between two properties, and are usually triggered by subsequent actions of one or both neighbours. It is important to organize your facts before acting on boundary disputes, especially because there is always a chance that the other party is right and you are wrong.

  • Assess the situation and document the exact nature of the issue, including the date and time of occurrences, your neighbour’s contact information and photos of the feature being disputed (fence, driveway, tree branches, etc.). If your situation is an ongoing problem that has existed for years, it is important to collect as much information about it as possible, including a timeline of incidents, statements of parties with knowledge of events and their current contact information.
  • Build your body of evidence so that you can appraise your situation accurately, and be thoroughly prepared when communicating with neighbours, municipal officials, hired experts and others.
  • Try to gain perspective on the neighbour's claims including any documentary evidence on which they are relying that is not in your possession, such as a survey plan of their property.

Checklist:

  • Identify your boundary problem.
  • Describe it in writing. Be factual and objective.
  • Include any pertinent documentation in your possession.