Disputes are quite common amongst property owners and can occur in joint ownerships or between close neighbors. Property owners on both sides can try to resolve the dispute by mutual agreement. If either one of the two parties does not respond to a polite request, mediation is the other option.
In most cases, opening court proceedings should be the last resort when it comes to property disputes. Let’s have a look at why property owners may enter into disputes and the different ways to reach a resolution.
Grounds for Property Disputes
Many factors can instigate a row between property owners. Disagreements range from boundary disputes and differing views on how to use a property, to ownership responsibilities and who has the right to use certain resources. In other situations, a joint owner may want to sell while the other party does not agree. In all of these situations, disputing parties can reach a resolution through amicable negotiations, intervention of a mediator or by battling it out in court.
Settling Property Dispute Out of Court
The best way to resolve a property dispute is through direct discussions between both parties. A simple property line dispute for instance can be resolved when both parties decide to use a common marker like a fence to separate two properties. When the property wrangle is between two owners that live next to each other, settling the matter harmoniously out of court can reduce hostility and ill will in the future.
Of course, not all property disputes are that simple. In any case, one must gather as much evidence as possible to support their point of view and be willing to compromise in order to reach a consensus.
Property Dispute Resolution through Mediation
If amicable discussions are not successful, a mediator can step in to resolve property disputes. In this case, a neutral party intervenes to listen to both sides and attempts to reach a resolution. Mediation though should not be confused with court proceedings. Attorneys may offer their help during this process, but the neutral party can be a neighborhood association or any other appropriate mediation agency that handles property dispute.
However, property owners are well within their legal rights to bring a dispute to court if mediation efforts fail.
Contesting Property Disputes in Court
The last option to resolve property disputes is by going to court. If the dispute does reach to this point, opposing parties can represent themselves or hire a lawyer. Sometimes the threat of a lawsuit can be enough to convince the other party to reach an agreement out of court. However, if the court proceedings are unavoidable, a judge will hear both sides and reach a ruling based on the evidence produced.
With court proceedings, a land tribunal can reach a final ruling or may allow grounds for appeal depending on the complexity of the property dispute.
Keep in mind that a potential issue of contention regarding property can be solved directly with the other party involved, through mediation or court proceedings. It will be important to talk to a legal professional on the best course of action to take when dealing with a property dispute.
Boyd Wallace, real estate investor based in Edinburgh, Scotland, loves to help other people with useful information regarding property issues. Click here to find out where Boyd finds help from trusted lawyers when dealing with land ownership issues.