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Boundary Disputes


Orem Real Estate Lawyers Help Resolve Boundary Disputes

Experienced litigators protect your property rights

Real property is a unique asset, since no parcel of land is exactly like another. But are you even sure where your parcel begins and ends? If you don’t know the dimensions of your property, how can you know whether you’re getting the full value of your investment or protect your claim to an area from the owner of an adjacent property who wants to redraw the lines? Although Utah law tends to favor custom and usage of properties, a boundary dispute can still be disruptive and expensive. Fortunately, the experienced real estate attorneys at Skabelund Wirig & Loos are prepared to assert your rights and resolve boundary disputes in a cost-effective manner.

Utah doctrine governing boundary disputes

Ideally, a deed should clearly describe the boundaries of a parcel of land. Unfortunately, issues such as title defects, drafting errors, surveying errors, and encroachments can give an erroneous impression of the limits of a property. Due diligence at the point of sale often uncovers errors that have existed, undiscovered or simply unremedied, for years, decades or generations. This was often the case because the expense of a survey often exceeded the value of the tract in question. Neighbors engaged in informal agreements that were forgotten as the principals passed away. It is under these circumstances that the Utah Supreme Court developed common law rules for dealing with boundary disputes:

  • Boundary by estoppel — This doctrine holds that a property owner cannot make a boundary claim that contradicts his previous admission, representation, or act in relation to the placement of the boundary, especially where another property owner has acted in reasonable reliance and if allowing the contradictory claim would injure the other owner.
  • Boundary by acquiescence — This legal theory says that even when a survey would place the boundary line elsewhere, a long-standing marker, indicating where the owners of adjacent properties understand the boundary to lie, becomes the actual boundary, if owners have acquiesced to the boundary for more than 20 years. It is not necessary for the owners to have made a formal agreement.
  • Boundary by agreement — A court will uphold an agreement between landlords as to where a boundary lies if invalidating the boundary would cause injury to one of the parties. However, in order for the agreement to be enforced against a subsequent buyer, the agreed-upon boundary must have been clearly marked and identified.

These doctrines illustrate the reluctance of Utah courts to correct boundaries when doing so would cause undue hardship to one of the parties. However, as real estate values have risen, courts are willing to consider that failure to correct a boundary could also produce a harsh result.

How to resolve a boundary dispute in Utah

Where real property is concerned, the market value of a parcel provides a fair barometer for planning litigation. No one wins when the cost of recovering a parcel exceeds the land’s value. Large-scale developers may have a greater tolerance of lawsuits, since they may be able to absorb the cost. But most property owners prefer to avoid courtroom litigation in favor of alternative forms of dispute resolution, such as mediation and arbitration. Our firm provides a reliable cost-benefit analysis so you can decide on the right course for your circumstances. But no matter what course you choose, our experienced real estate litigation attorneys are prepared to help you achieve your goals.

Let our Orem real estate lawyers resolve your boundary disputes

A boundary dispute can interrupt your enjoyment of your property and put your future rights in doubt. Trust Skabelund Wirig & Loos to protect your rights and work toward a swift, cost-effective resolution. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 801-788-4447 or contact our office online. We are conveniently located at 1149 West Center Street in Orem, just off I-15.

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Our Office
  • Orem Office
    1149 West Center Street
    Orem, Utah 84057
    Phone: 801-222-9700
    Fax: 801-224-9960
Client Testimonials
  • "Steve Skabelund is Excellent! He has helped out many of my family and friends with getting their Will and Trust documents in order. He is friendly, quick at getting the job done and does it at a fee that is affordable. I would highly recommend Steve to anyone who is considering having these types of services done. Thanks Steve for a job well done!"  -Lorie P., 5.0 rating ★★★★★

  • "My company and I have been working with Brent Wirig for a couple of years now and he has been crucial to the success of our small business. He is knowledgeable and gets things done in a timely manner. He is also very easy to reach. We have used his expertise on everything from the original business paperwork, to taxes, and client contracts. Would highly recommend Skabelund Wirig and Loos."  -Michael, 5.0 rating ★★★★★

  • "We have had such a positive experience with Brent Wirig as our family estate planning attorney. He also has helped us with the organization documents for our new business and explained everything clearly. He works fast and has a deep concern for each client! We will definitely be using him for any future needs!"  -Danielle S., 5.0 rating ★★★★★

  • "Steve has been our family attorney for over 15 years. Over the years Steve has been there to help us with our estate planning needs. Every time I would leave on a vacation without the kids I would have panic attacks about not having my estate in order. We have a special needs son so that added to my anxiety. Steve helped us plan for our future with how to structure our estate to best meet the needs of our family. Now I can go on vacation and leave at least that worry behind. A few months before our son turned 18 we had to petition the court to become our son's legal guardian. Steve was there to make sure everything was in order. It was a smooth process. I would highly recommend Steve and his associated to take care of your Family Law needs!!"  -Teri T., 5.0 rating ★★★★★

  • "I felt like an actual person, rather than just another number! Steve Loos was great in getting back with me when I needed to talk to him. The Bonus part of my experience with Steve is I actually got a portion of my retaining fee back!! That NEVER happens! Thank you Tiffany Hedges for the referral! You all are amazing!"  -Dana D., 5.0 rating ★★★★★

  • "Brent is one of the most thorough and efficient attorneys that I have worked with as a client. He will go the extra mile for you. Also, you actually feel that he cares about you as an individual!"  -Peter S., 5.0 rating ★★★★★

  • "Stephen Loos is a great combination of being pleasant and competent, which is rare nowadays. I highly recommend Stephen for your legal needs."  -IIdar F., 5.0 rating ★★★★★

  • "Brent Wirig just helped us with our estate planning documents and he was extra great to work with. We highly recommend him."  -Catherine C., 5.0 rating ★★★★★

  • "Brent Wirig is very helpful and explains things I don't understand in a clear and concise way. He is easy to work with and willing to go the extra mile to help out."  -Annie S., 5.0 rating ★★★★★

  • "My review is a little slow however we worked with both Stephen Loos and BJ on multiple things and they were awesome!! Professional, friendly, knowledgeable and always willing to accept a call and answer any questions! Great guys!"  -Jennifer B., 5.0 rating ★★★★★