Do you really know where your property lines are?

Land is an incredibly valuable asset for property owners across Montana. Whether you own one-quarter of an acre or tens of thousands of acres, every transaction involving that land has the potential to be complicated. One common complication that arises in real estate transactions across Montana involves boundary lines of a property.

Property lines aren’t exactly easy to see or define unless there is a physical marker in place. Even then, there can be inaccuracies with fences or landmarks, or changes that occur over time that affect (or appear to affect) where one property starts and another ends. Because of this, a number of disputes can arise when it comes to accessing, selling or buying property.

These disputes typically involve:

  • Multiple claims to a property
  • Approved use of land according to zoning laws
  • Liability for damage or injury on the property
  • Legal rights to use and/or access property

Even if you have owned a plot of land for decades, there may be things that you don’t know about it, which can spark these types of disputes.

This can be especially true if you own a lot of land. You may not know that a neighbor has built a fence that is technically on your property or that a portion of your land legally belongs to someone else and should not have been sold to you. You might not know that the owner before you agreed to let others access your property.

As this FindLaw article states, having property surveyed can be an effective way to uncover potential problems and settle any disputes that may arise involving ownership and property lines.

Every square foot of land has value in this state, so it is crucial that you take steps to protect every bit that you own. And if you are buying land, you want to be sure that you are very clear on what you are buying before you sign any purchase agreement.

For these reasons, it can be crucial that you have the support of an attorney who is familiar with Montana real estate laws during any transaction. Failure to have legal guidance could result in costly mistakes and future property disputes that could have been avoided.

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9.2David J. Steele II
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