Brief Introduction About the Boundary Line Agreement
At times, a disagreement might arise between neighbors, especially when it comes to boundaries. Some titles or ownership documents might not clearly show where the border is between adjoining properties. However, the neighbors can decide to come up with the agreement to resolve any confusion about the boundary of their properties. In simple terms, the agreement is used to show and ascertain where a boundary line is located between two property owners.
Who Takes the Boundary Line Agreement? – People Involved
It is a very important document when two or more neighbors have agreed on the location of the boundary line. It is also imperative to note that the neighbors do not have to involve a surveyor provided they agree on the location of the boundary.
If you decide to use a surveyor, make sure you use one that is knowledgeable on how to prepare legal survey documents, zoning, and title regulations and other land laws that might affect the process. Communication, especially when it comes to land issues, is very important. As such, it is prudent to work with a surveyor who can explain to you what is going on every step of the way.
Purpose of the Boundary Line Agreement – Why Do You Need It?
The agreement is very important for a number of reasons. First, it clearly shows where each person’s property starts and ends. This information gives each property owner the freedom to develop their land without any fear that they may have infringed on their neighbors’ property.
Another importance of the agreement is that it makes it easier for either party to sell their property without any fuss over the boundaries. There are two ways of coming up with the agreement, as earlier discussed. You might employ the services of a surveyor to mark the boundary line, or you might decide to do it in their absence.
At times, the original deeds are ambiguous or not clear enough on where the boundary lines lie. In such a case, the neighbors just agree on where the new boundary line should be. This agreement is legal and binds the current owners and other future owners who might purchase either of the properties.
Contents of the Boundary Line Agreement
The contract involves neighbors who have adjoining property. In the agreement, they must decide on where the common borderline is to be located. The purpose of this agreement is to make clear a borderline between neighbors’ properties in case it is unclear and uncertain.
As earlier stated, the search for the original borderline must have been done. The borderline agreement becomes binding once the parties have established the new line and agreed on it. The agreement must also state that both parties have viewed it and agreed on its content in regard to the new borderline.
How to Draft the Boundary Line Agreement?
For the agreement to be legal and binding, it must fulfill four laid down conditions. They are:
- The location of the boundary line should be genuinely uncertain as to where it runs on the ground.
- There should be an agreement by all involved parties on the location of the new boundary line.
- The neighbors must realize and accept the new borderline as the true boundary line.
- Lastly, the boundary line which the neighbors agree on should be well identifiable on the ground.
It is also important to note that:
- It is only after the conditions stipulated above have been met, that the new the agreement becomes binding.
- Although a verbal agreement is binding, it is prudent to put it into writing.
- The conditions are so important that if one of them is not present, then the court might rule that the agreement is null and void.
There are two ways of coming up with the agreement. You might employ the services of a surveyor to mark the boundary line, or you might decide to do it in their absence. If you choose the latter option, then you go round your properties with your neighbor and simply agree where the new borderline should be located.
Benefits of a Boundary Line Agreement
The agreement has many benefits to the parties involved
- An agreement is much cheaper than having a survey done on the property. Additionally, it is also cheaper than having the court of law decide on the borderline. It also goes without saying that it faster, thus saves time.
- Secondly, a boundary line makes it easy in case one person decides to sell their property. In this case, there will be no tussle between the new owner and the existing neighbor since the property boundary lines are well marked.
- Thirdly, the contract allows a person to develop their property without fear of infringing on their neighbor’s property.
[ Also Read: Party Wall Agreement ]
What Happens In Case of Violation?
Violating a borderline agreement is an offense which might lead to undesirable consequences. If a person violates the agreement, then the neighbor might decide to sue them. One of the greatest drawbacks of neighbors suing each other is the acrimony that ensues between them. Additionally, any law case is both expensive and time consuming for either party.
Another consequence of violating the borderline agreement is that one might undergo heavy losses. Once a person encloses on their neighbor’s property and starts developing it, the court might rule that they take down their development at their own cost and also pay the owner of the enclosed land.
A boundary line agreement is very important for the peaceful existence of neighbors. There are many properties with an uncertain boundary line, and neighbors have lived together in harmony. However, a boundary line agreement is very crucial since it eliminates the occurrence of disputes in case one of the neighbors decides to sell their properties(1). Therefore, as a property owner, it is important to be prepared for any eventuality by having a boundary line agreement.