Boundary Disputes

Boundary disputes involve a disagreement between neighbors about the location of the division between their properties. Boundary disputes often arise when it is discovered that the boundaries in each property’s legal description are incompatible with the historically observed boundaries. Boundary disputes may also arise due to surveying mistakes.

Common Boundary Dispute Issues

There are three common legal theories in Utah by which a boundary may be shifted: 1. boundary by acquiescence, 2. boundary by agreement, and 3. boundary by estoppel. Each of these legal theories looks at the conduct of the parties to prevent inequities in determining the boundary.

Boundary disputes may also involve issues of trespass, adverse possession, land maintenance liability, or easements.

Handling Boundary Disputes

It is not common for two parties with a boundary dispute to have a contract with each other about the boundary. Without an agreement setting out a different procedure, the property owners may file a lawsuit to receive a determination from the court about the boundary at issue.

Property owners may also try to agree to a different procedure to resolve the boundary dispute (such as having an agreed-to surveyor make a binding determination of the proper boundary).