Property disputes are a common source of legal issues for Pennsylvania property owners. Whether it’s trees on a property line or general maintenance that has not been done, these disputes can cause major headaches.
While it’s best for these types of issues to be settled outside of court, you still need legal representation by a trusted real estate attorney. That’s where Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano comes in. Our team of real estate lawyers has extensive knowledge of Pennsylvania’s real estate laws, ensuring that your property dispute is settled in a timely manner.
Pennsylvania Property Line Laws
In Pennsylvania, there are a variety of property line laws that those engaged in a property dispute need be mindful of. The Pennsylvania property line laws and regulations include:
- The Doctrine of Consentable Lines
- Tree Damage Law
- Fence Law
- Right to Farm Law
The Doctrine of Consentable Lines
The most common property dispute for landowners is where property lines begin and end. Sometimes called the “boundary by consent and acquiescence,” under the Doctrine of Consentable Lines, property boundary lines are established in one of two ways, “either by: (1) dispute and compromise, or (2) by recognition and acquiescence.”
As solidified in Plauchak v. Boling, “The requirements for establishing a binding consentable line by recognition and acquiescence are: (1) a finding that each party has claimed the land on his side of the line as his own; and (2) a finding that this occupation has occurred for the statutory period of twenty-one years.”
So what does this mean for Pennsylvania property owners? In essence, the Doctrine of Consentable Lines follows the following guidelines:
- Both property owners claimed the land on their side of the line as their own
- Occupation by both parties has occurred for the statutory period of 21 years
- There was a dispute over a common boundary line
- A compromise was reached
- Both parties have consented and given up any inconsistent claims
Tree Damage Law
Under Pennsylvania tree damage rules and regulations, if you have a tree on your property that someone damages, you may be able to recover actual damages in the amount of money paid for the tree in order to replace it.
In some cases, where the damaged tree was taken, the person who did so could face double the amount.
Under 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1107, “Any person convicted for the theft of standing timber under section 3921 (relating to theft by unlawful taking or disposition) shall, in addition to any other sentence imposed, be sentenced to pay the owner of the timber restitution in an amount twice the value of the timber taken.”
Fence Law, Right To Farm Regulations
In a state like Pennsylvania where we have both urban and rural sectors, it is common for property owners to put in fences to either divide small yards or to protect livestock from running rampant. While in some cases, both owners of the properties which the fence will divide will come to an agreement on splitting the costs of the fence. But when only one person wants the fence installed because of the conditions or animals on the other property, things can become very problematic.
Pennsylvania fence law requires that the property owner who has livestock or other reasons for needing a fence must pay to maintain a fence, even if they did not want it. In some cases, residential property owners may be able to argue that there is no reason for a fence, there is no need for it to be maintained.
The Scranton Real Estate Lawyers Can Help You Settle Your Property Disputes
No one wants to fight with their neighbor, especially if they plan to live on that property for a long time. That’s why you need Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano. With extensive knowledge of Pennsylvania’s real estate laws, our attorneys will make sure you are heard and your property dispute can end civilly.
If you live in Northeastern Pennsylvania and are in the middle of a property dispute, now is the time to get a Scranton real estate lawyer on your side. Put your trust in a law firm that puts your needs first. If you live in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wayne, Monroe, and surrounding counties, contact Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano for a free consultation today.