When you’re purchasing real estate in New York, there’s a lot more to consider than just the property within the lines on the map. Let’s dive into the key boundary issues that can affect your real estate transactions and how to manage them.

The Fence Fiasco

Fences are common in New York, but not always where they should be. Many property owners skip the essential step of getting a staked survey before putting up a fence. This can lead to fences encroaching on a neighbor’s property, which often goes unnoticed until a title search during a sale reveals the issue.

If the neighbor won’t sign, the law of adverse possession might come into play, potentially complicating the transaction further.

Shared Driveway Dilemmas

Shared driveways can be another headache. They might look convenient, but without legal clarity, they can cause major issues. Make sure the title company confirms shared access rights.

Easements: Your Safety Net

Whether it’s about fences or driveways, an easement recorded with the county provides crucial protection. This legal document clarifies the benefits and obligations tied to the properties involved.

Final Thoughts

Boundary issues can be a real thorn in the side of New York real estate transactions. From misplaced fences to shared driveways, these problems require careful attention and legal expertise. Ensuring surveys, securing affidavits, and confirming easements are all part of a thorough due diligence process.

Our firm specializes in navigating these complex boundary disputes, providing clarity and peace of mind to our real estate clients. Contact us to interpret and resolve any boundary issues you might face in your property transactions.


Q1: What should I do if my neighbor’s fence is on my property? A: Start by getting a staked survey to confirm the encroachment. Then, you can ask the neighbor for an affidavit or negotiate an easement.

Q2: How can I ensure I have legal access to a shared driveway? A: Verify with your title company that you have legal access and ensure there’s a written agreement covering all aspects of driveway use and maintenance.

Q3: What is an easement, and why is it important? A: An easement grants legal rights to use another’s land for a specific purpose. It’s essential for ensuring long-term access and use rights, especially for shared spaces.