When it comes to rural areas, it’s not always a simple matter to determine where boundary lines should be drawn. The two distinct types of property line violations that may lead to disputes are trespassing and encroaching. If you are worried about how to protect your rural land in Washington, this may be helpful information for you to know.
Why do boundary-line disputes happen in rural areas?
A boundary line dispute occurs when two different groups have a disagreement over where one person’s property starts and the other’s ends. In some cases, the borders between properties are cut and dry. In others, it might be left unclear and open to interpretation.
You can’t always examine a piece of land and see how the properties should be split. For these situations, you might have to look into the official property records or visit your local county assessor’s office.
Trespassing versus encroaching
A common property dispute in rural areas is trespassing. For a person to trespass, it means that they carry on with their activities on your land even though they are aware that it is private property.
As such, the trespassers have to have some way of knowing that it’s your land. This means it’s up to the landowner to ensure proper signage to make it obvious to anyone who might pass through.
With encroachment, someone has built something or allowed a natural feature to grow over the property line. Sometimes your neighbor might do this intentionally, but it’s always helpful to entertain the possibility that they did so by mistake.
It’s important to handle any issue with encroachment as soon as possible. If you talk to your neighbor about it before they get too far along in their building process, there’s a possibility that the issue can be easily resolved. But if you put it off for too long, the encroachment could become an easement on your land.
For rural lands, it’s not always clear where boundary lines should be drawn. This may lead to issues like trespassing and encroachment, which can lead to bigger problems if you don’t deal with them promptly.