In some cases, a property dispute may be bubbling under the surface waiting to happen. You may have made some changes to your property such as constructed a fence, planted a tree or designed a kerb that infringed on your neighbour's land. At the time of selling your home, such disputes are bound to spring to life and complicate the sales process.
In addition, potential buyers of your home will most certainly shy away from the purchase if they know they are walking into trouble. To ensure that your land is dispute free, you should act proactively to resolve any likely grey areas.
Consultation is key
The first step you should take before contemplating a sale is to talk to your neighbours and ensure that there are no areas of disagreement. For example, something as simple as constructing a fence can result in a boundary dispute in the near future.
Make sure you and your neighbours are on the same page with regards to boundary issues and also confirm that your legal documents are in harmony. This will prevent the buyer from walking into unfinished business when they purchase your home.
Communicate with neighbours before the sale
It may be a good idea to inform your neighbours that you're planning to change ownership of your home. This may prompt them to bring up any issues they may have previously had but chose not to mention.
For example, a boundary dispute involving trees, vegetation or fences may have been amicably but not legally resolved. Because the new buyer will be a different person, it is important to clear up any pending legal issues regarding where exactly your property lies.
What are your legal responsibilities?
There are certain legal requirements that govern the building of structures such as fences. Before a dividing fence is built, your neighbour should be notified in writing, and they will need to be notified before structures such as signs, latticework or shade sails are attached to the fence.
Other rules govern the planting of trees and other types of vegetation. The seller should be compliant with these legal requirements before attempting an ownership transfer.
Seek the help of a conveyancer
As you prepare to sell your home, make sure you consult with a conveyancing solicitor. These professionals are experts in property law and they can help you identify potential areas of dispute and how to resolve them before making a sale. They can also legally represent you in court should any disputes require legal mediation.