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The PYB Process™ Step 5: Build your options

Develop and analyze your strategy while considering time constraints, budgets, and potential conflicts.

After researching your boundary issue, the next step is developing an informed plan of action. Consider your options carefully, especially taking into account the potential costs involved, the amount of time expended and the degree of emotional investment put toward pursuing a resolution.

One common course of action is to do nothing, even after you have identified that there is a boundary-related problem. There is a marked difference, however, between, on the one hand doing nothing, and on the other, purposefully strategizing to not fight the issue. Ignoring the issue - doing nothing - can potentially lead to financial and stressful headaches in the future, even after you have sold your house and moved on. However, developing a strategy around acceptance of (what is usually) a neighbour's encroachment on your land, could be the least stressful and least costly solutiuon for you.

Disputing a boundary

Disputing the location of a boundary, or the location of a structure or building relative to the boundary, typically involves the following options:

Option 1
If disputing the location of a boundary, tree or structure review your survey plan (that shows the boundary location), and use it to reach an informed agreement and an amicable solution with the neighbour. This could be the most cost effective and fastest solution. However, be aware that an inaccurate boundary location even if the current owners agree to it may cause issues for future owners of the properties. Only an Ontario Land Surveyor is licensed to demonstrate, with full legal authority, the location of your boundary.

Option 2
Consult with a lawyer about your rights duties as a land owner in respect to the boundary. Depending on the circumstances the issue may go well beyond a disagreement over the boundary and deal with unacceptable behaviour, bullying and abuse. Your solicitor can best advise you on these matters and even when it is appropriate to engage the services of Land Surveyor.

Option 3
Engage a surveyor to mark the property boundary, enabling you and your neighbour to visualize the true property line.This minimal-cost option can usually be completed within a week or so . If this does not resolve the dispute, you can speak to a surveyor about the issue, or order an up-to-date survey to be performed that will confirm all the properties boundaries.

Option 4
Speak with a surveyor here on PYB. If you have a land survey plan and would like to discuss your issue with a surveyor, one of our licensed Ontario Land Surveyors will explain your survey plan and answer questions you may have.

Option 5
Ask your lawyer to write a letter outlining your position, along with legal advice about how to approach your neighbour about the issue. If this effort proves unsuccessful, then consider pursuing legal options. Be aware that legal action is an extremely expensive and lengthy process, and legal fees can cost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Checklist

  • Evaluate your options.
  • Evaluate the financial, time and emotional cost/investment if each option.
  • Determine which option fits your particular situation, and proceed to the next step.