• Adverse possession not always the best remedy

    June 10, 2011 | Category: Other, Residential

    Our hometown of Boulder, Colorado made national news in late 2007 when neighbors (McLean & Stevens v Don and Susan Kirlin) waged a very public legal battle where the former claimed adverse possession of part of the Kirlin property because they had formed a path across it to access their backyard for years without objections from the owners.  The laws for adverse possession in Colorado were changed as a result of that case, making it much more difficult to legally claim land by that method.

    You may have a similar situation with your own property, where you or your neighbor has “used” the other’s land for many years.  Perhaps a fence was built in the wrong place, or a structure was mistakenly built over the property line years ago and the parties initially involved are long gone.  Then, if one party decides to challenge this old encroachment legally and claim title to that property, it becomes an adverse action.  The possession must meet the threshold of several legal requirements to be successful in court.  In any case, whether you are the plaintiff or defendant, you are looking at a long, contentious and very costly ordeal.

    If you can settle on an agreeable solution with your neighbor, that is the best and least costly alternative.  Flatirons Surveying can help with that process, by creating an easement exhibit, a property line agreement, or an exemption plat, which are required by State, County, and/or local governments to formally make a change to the use of another’s property, or location of a property line.  We have an attorney, who is also a professional land surveyor, on staff for any legal disputes involving lot lines or adverse possession.  Please contact us to discuss your own situation.  We can help you arrive at a solution that serves your best interests, at the least amount of cost, time, and frayed relationships with your neighbors.

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