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Homebuyers beware: An encroachment could mean future problems

On Behalf of | Sep 4, 2020 | Real estate transactions |

Title searches, surveys and appraisals are expenses that most homebuyers may resent, but they could save a potential buyer from future troubles. For instance, a survey may reveal an encroachment on the property that could interfere with the use and value of the property. This could mean that the owner of an adjacent property built something that either hangs over or sits on land he or she does not own.

Instead, whatever it may be — a garden, a balcony, a garage or something else — is on the property a Tennessee resident wants to buy. Some people may not mind the encroachment, but simply letting it go may end up being a mistake at some point down the road. Just because the buyer does not mind the encroachment, it does not mean the next buyer will feel the same way. Allowing the encroachment or not somehow dealing with it legally could turn away future buyers if the current buyer wants to sell at some point in the future.

Another reason to address an encroachment before moving forward with the purchase is liability. Even though the neighbor owns the structure or item, if someone suffers some sort of injury or damage, it legally happened on the buyer’s property. For this reason, he or she could end up facing an insurance claim or lawsuit from the harmed party.

Once an encroachment is discovered, it would probably be in the future owner’s best interests to find a way to deal with it right away. In some cases, it may be as simple as talking to the neighbor. On the other hand, the best resolution may be to sell the portion of property on which the neighbor is encroaches to him or her. If these solutions do not work, it may be necessary to go to court in order to resolve the issue. In any case, consulting with an experienced Tennessee attorney could help.