Most neighbors get along well but sometimes disputes arise over boundary lines when plants are planted, or a fence is built along a boundary line. You want to be a good neighbor but you also want to project your rights so it’s important to understand laws concerning property boundaries.

Property boundaries are very important when it comes to the use of land, and even a small encroachment by your neighbor onto your land may result in consequences that you cannot foresee.

For instance, if your neighbor builds a fence or a new driveway that comes onto your property by a few inches, this may be enough for a title company to refuse to issue insurance when it comes time to sell your house.

Also, many states have laws that allow a person who uses another’s land for a long enough time period to actually gain a legal right to continue to use the land, and in some cases, even gain ownership of that land.

It’s called adverse possession. There is a tendency to presume that a fence or wall located near a boundary was intended to mark the line, and a landowner who builds his fence near the line but inside it, runs a practical risk of losing the portion of his land thus fenced out, by adverse possession.

By statute in Georgia, acquiescence for seven years, by acts or declarations of adjoining landowners, is sufficient to establish a dividing line. Thus, an oral agreement accompanied by seven years actual possession may suffice. Actual possession is not necessary where acquiescence is shown by declarations of the parties acknowledging the line.