Michigan property owners are not immune from occasional scuffles over where a fence may end or which neighbor a tree actually belongs to. At Robert D. Paulbeck, Attorney at Law, we work with buyers and sellers in resolving issues that are potentially disputable before a real estate closing takes place. Whether you have a question about a land survey or the history of a title, it is not unlikely that you can resolve most property matters without the need for a heated dispute.

In an unusual incident, a 70-year-old Ann Arbor resident found herself handcuffed and taken into custody after an argument with her neighbor erupted into physical violence. The dispute reportedly began when she tried to stop work crews from pouring cement down on the ground to repave her neighbor’s driveway. According to a news report on All About Ann Arbor, she accused the neighbor’s cement of encroaching onto her property by nearly one foot. While she claimed to have called city officials, no one showed up until the argument became physical when crews began pouring the concrete. After completing the work, however, it appeared that the driveway repaving led all the way up to the neighbor’s property line without crossing it.

When making outdoor improvements or renovations to your property, having a survey or document proving where the boundaries end and begin may help prevent quarrels. Neighbors have a right to stop an encroachment, but knowing ahead of time before a planned construction takes place may help neighbors resolve any issues without requiring an intervention by law enforcement officials.

Our page on real estate contracts and closings provides more information on preparing for a hassle-free transaction.