Property Disputes in Ohio

Property disputes in Ohio are common between neighbors. They even occur between companies and governments. People want to protect what is legally theirs, but sometimes the boundary lines are not clear. Find out what you can do if you have a property dispute in Ohio. Discover the legal remedies and actions that can help you clear up a misunderstanding or manage an issue involving your property.

What Is a Property Dispute?

Property disputes are legal disputes that involve real estate, including single-family homes, apartments, roads, condominiums, and ponds. Ohio property disputes can involve a wide range of parties, which might include some of the following:

  • Neighbors
  • Homeowners’ association
  • Landlords and tenants
  • Family members
  • Trespassers
  • Property visitors
  • Government agencies

The Judicial System of Ohio states that the Court of Claims hears the majority of property disputes and property damage cases in Ohio. If you are facing a property dispute with your neighbor and seek out the counsel of an experienced Ohio attorney, this is most likely where your case will begin.

Common Types of Ohio Property Disputes

Often, the result of a property dispute in Ohio is the plaintiff will receive compensation to cover their losses. The most common property disputes include:

  • Disputes between neighbors regarding where property lines exist
  • Disputes between landlords and tenants regarding who is at fault for damage to the property
  • Homeowners and real estate developers disagreeing over who is responsible for repairs on construction
  • People blocking their neighbor’s view via a “spite fence” or another structure specifically made to annoy their neighbor
  • Disputes between mortgage lenders and creditors over who can foreclose a property and who receives the proceeds of a sale
  • Disputes between homeowners and government agencies about whether they have a utility easement
  • Ownership disputes about who is the rightful owner of a property
  • Issues with zoning

Beyond these examples, you may find other situations in Ohio where a property dispute occurs. In general, if you own land, you have to constantly watch out for it and ensure that others are not using it illegally or trying to claim it as their own. 

Understanding Typical Ohio Property Disputes

Ohio Statute affirms that no resident can damage or remove a tree from private property without the express permission of the property owner. Doing so can result in a Class 4 misdemeanor and a $200 fine.

Ohio State University documents that Ohio has enacted right to farm laws. These laws protect farms and agricultural areas from civil nuisance suits brought by those who make their home in close proximity to farms. These laws provide immunity from such nuisance suits.

Legal Process for Boundary Disputes in Ohio

Has someone brought a property dispute against you in Ohio, or are you starting a property dispute against someone else? If so, you need to understand the legal process you will go through. This process begins with understanding the issue at hand.

Understand the Boundary Issue

To understand the specific boundary dispute, you’ll have to do the following things:

  • Complete a land survey to locate the exact boundary of your home as outlined in the legal description of the deed. This survey will help you understand your property and how much of your land is encroached.
  • Conduct an appraisal to learn the exact market value of the piece of property that is in dispute.
  • Do a title search to find all of the documents in the chain of title of your Ohio property. The title search will show if any deeds may affect your ownership.

These things will likely have happened when you purchased the home. If that’s the case, the documents you already have should suffice unless the case goes to court.

Ohio law requires all landowners to allow a neighbor to have access to build and maintain a line fence. The neighbor is legally allowed to build a line fence within 10 feet of the adjoining property, and maintain this 10 foot distance for the entire length of the fence. However, the Ohio State Bar confirms that fences built before September 2008 are governed by “equitable share” laws when it comes to maintenance. Any fences built after this date are the individual responsibility of the landowner.

Try to Find a Solution with Your Neighbor

Ohio dispute litigation can cost a fortune, not to mention it can take a long time to settle a dispute. That’s why it’s important to open a discussion between you and your neighbor. If you can reach an agreement and settle the dispute without going to court, you can save time and money.

Try to communicate directly with your neighbor. You can attempt sending a letter, email, making a phone call, or visiting their home if that’s a safe option.

If no progress happens and it’s clear that you and your neighbor are still on completely different pages, then it’s time to take legal action.

Send a Demand Letter

At this point, you should consider hiring an attorney to assist you. They can help you understand if you have legal grounds upon which to stand. If you do, then you can send a demand letter.

This letter will be from your Ohio attorney to your neighbor, and it will outline the property dispute. It will give your neighbor the option to respond via a requested action, or it will provide a reasonable price for settling the dispute out of court.

Your neighbor will likely forward this letter to their attorney to better understand the boundary dispute. From there, the attorneys on both sides will decide the best course of action moving forward.

Go to Court or Reach a Settlement

Typically, the best option for both sides is to settle the dispute out of court to avoid costly litigation fees. But if your negotiations are going nowhere, it might be necessary to file the dispute with the court. The court will look closely at the evidence presented and determine who owns the Ohio property in question. If you can’t reach an agreement, then the court will make a final decision based on the evidence you both submit. The court’s decision is legally binding. You may not agree with it, or it may not be exactly the result you wanted to see. That is why it is always in your best interest to settle.

Work With an Experienced Local Property Dispute Lawyer in Ohio

When it comes to property disputes, you should work with an experienced property dispute lawyer. Whether you’re filing a property dispute against your neighbor or you are defending a dispute brought against you, you’ll need a lawyer that understands Ohio property law on your side. An experienced lawyer can help you settle before taking the dispute to court, which will save you both time and money. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Ohio state lines.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an attorney in your area!

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