Santa Monica Boundary Dispute Lawyers and Santa Monica Title Attorneys

Find the right Title & Boundary Dispute attorney in Santa Monica, CA

Title & Boundary Dispute Law in California

Finding out that property lines are improperly drawn and learning that you have been partially occupying your neighbor's land, or vice versa, can create some fairly serious legal issues.

Sometimes, neighbors will decide amongst themselves that the issue isn't worth fighting over, and will go on as they did before. This is particularly likely if the neighbors are on good terms, and the difference between their use of the land, and the actual property lines, is small (say, a few feet or less). This is an ideal situation, at least in the short term. It can, however, cause problems in the future - preventing a neighbor from enforcing the actual property lines, if they suddenly have a reason to do so.

In these cases, what often happens is that the owner of the property which is actually larger than he initially believed (due to the property line not being where he thought it was) wants to make use of the additional property, and eject his neighbor from it. The other neighbor, on the other hand, will want to keep using the land as before, to avoid having his property shrink.

People in Santa Monica, California should also be aware of the possibility of title (ownership) disputes. Unlike the boundary disputes discussed above, the outcome of a title dispute can determine who owns an entire parcel of real property. Confusion over who actually owns a piece of property is more common that some people might imagine. Many local property records are still kept on paper, are not very well-organized, and sometimes date back a hundred years or more. A lost or misfiled deed is the most common way for a title dispute to arise. However, sometimes fraud on the part of a seller can lead to title disputes. Unscrupulous individuals will sometimes try to sell the same piece of land to more than one person. And some people even try to sell property they don't own, occasionally succeeding (and this isn't just limited to bridges in London). Usually, once the buyers discover they've been duped, the "seller" is nowhere to be found, leaving them to figure out who owns the land they all thought they had purchased.

Possible Outcomes of Boundary and Title Disputes in Santa Monica, California

One possible outcome of a boundary dispute is a court effectively re-drawing the boundaries to fit what the neighbors had perceived. This is most often done if the neighbors were aware for a long time of the "real" property lines, and didn't do anything about it. It also helps if the neighbor who is encroaching makes major improvements to the land, and enforcing the new property lines would place a major burden on him.

Of course, there are plenty of reasons why a court might decide to enforce the property lines as the records indicate. If one neighbor knew about the discrepancy, and hid it from the other neighbor (presumably because the neighbor with the knowledge of the discrepancy benefited from it), a court will, of course, not reward this kind of dishonesty, and will decide against that neighbor. On the other hand, if the neighbor whose land would be expanded by enforcing the "real" property boundaries knew this fact, and took no action for many years, a court will probably not be receptive if he or she suddenly tries to enforce them. This is referred to as "sitting on one's rights," and courts will not reward this, either. If you have a legal right, you're expected to make efforts to vindicate it as soon as possible. If you don't, a court will essentially say "I guess it wasn't that important to you if you waited 10 years to bring this to our attention. Next case."

With title disputes (as opposed to the boundary disputes discussed above), a Santa Monica, California court has to determine who owns an entire parcel of land. There are some pretty complex legal issues involved here.

In general, the person who first recorded the deed at the appropriate government office will be the one who the court deems to own the land, if they didn't have any reason to know about the existence of the other deed, or other sale, or whatever else gave rise to the title dispute.

What Can A Santa Monica, California Attorney Do?

The legal problems that can come up in boundary and title disputes can get very complex. Given this fact, and the high stakes of such disputes, most people shouldn't approach these problems without good legal representation. It should therefore go without saying that the counsel of a reputable Santa Monica, California real estate attorney is essential in most of these disputes.

Talk to a Real Estate Law Attorney now!

Life in Santa Monica

Santa Monica, California is an affluent beachfront city in Los Angeles County. It has a population of about 90,000 people.

It is known for its scenic setting on the shores of the Santa Monica Bay, its laid-back culture, and affluent population.

Many notable businesses and organizations have their headquarters in and near Santa Monica, California, providing a major boost to the city's economy. These companies include Universal Music Group, Lions Gate Films, the RAND Corporation, and others. Many other companies also have branch offices in Santa Monica, California including Google, Volkswagen, and Microsoft.

These companies employ and retain a large number of Santa Monica, California lawyers, many of whom have very sophisticated and successful practices.

Accordingly, there's almost certainly a Santa Monica, California attorney who can help you with whatever legal issue you might have. Santa Monica, California lawyers are ready to hear your case.

Clients Rate LegalMatch Attorneys
(click to read reviews)

Nicholas M.
Nicholas M.

Real Estate, Housing & Property Law

Golden, CO

Carl M.
Carl M.

Real Estate, Housing & Property Law

Seattle, WA

David A.
David A.

Real Estate, Housing & Property Law

Walnut Creek, CA

Gotham Light