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Wisconsin Real Estate Litigation: Settling Boundary Disputes

Posted on in Real Estate

real estate litigation, Milwaukee real estate lawyers, boundary disputes, real estate litigation process, property ownership issuesPurchasing real estate property is a major step in a person’s life, and property ownership provides a wide variety of benefits. However, those who invest in real estate will want to do everything they can to protect their investment, and this means that disputes can sometimes arise that must be settled through real estate litigation. Boundary disputes are one common issue that property owners may encounter and, in these cases, it is important to understand how Wisconsin laws can affect property ownership.

Boundary Disputes and Adverse Possession 

Boundary disputes occur when neighbors disagree about the location of property lines. While a property survey can establish legal boundary lines, there are cases in which a person may be able to claim ownership of his or her neighbor’s property based on his or her use of that property. This is known as adverse possession. 

A person may be able to claim adverse possession of a neighbor’s property if he or she has maintained exclusive and continuous possession of a piece of property for at least 20 years. Typically, this occurs when someone puts up a fence or erects a structure such as a shed or garage on his or her neighbor’s property. Even if a person did not intend to use his or her neighbor’s property, if he or she maintained exclusive use of this property, then he or she may be able to claim ownership and have boundary lines redrawn.

When a dispute arises over boundary lines, a property owner may be able to defeat a claim of adverse possession by demonstrating that his or her neighbor did not maintain continuous or exclusive possession of the piece of property during the required time period. Conversely, a person may be able to successfully claim adverse possession if he or she can demonstrate acquiescence, showing that the original property owner gave permission for his or her use of the property.

While boundary disputes may not affect the relationship between longstanding neighbors, they can come into play during real estate transactions. A person who is purchasing property may complete a survey of the property to establish its boundaries, only to discover that a neighbor has a claim to a piece of the property based on his or her use of the property for a certain period of time. In these cases, litigation may be required to establish the property’s true boundaries.

Contact a Milwaukee Real Estate Litigation Attorney

If you are involved in a boundary dispute, the attorneys of Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP can help you understand your options and work with you to reach a resolution that protects your rights and interests. We may be able to help you reach an agreement or settlement and, if necessary, we will aggressively advocate on your behalf throughout the real estate litigation process. Contact our Milwaukee, WI real estate lawyers at 414-271-1440 to schedule a consultation.

Sources:

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/893/III

https://www.wisbar.org/NewsPublications/WisconsinLawyer/Pages/Article.aspx?Volume=83&Issue=3&ArticleID=1926

Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP

330 East Kilbourn Avenue
Suite 1170
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Phone: 414-271-1440
Fax: 414-271-7680
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