How to Write an Encroachment Notice

By David M. Murray, Jr. ; Updated June 05, 2017
White fence dividing two properties

An encroachment occurs between adjoining landowners when the property (a fence, for example) of one owner intrudes upon the land of the other. Giving notice is important because an encroachment can become a permanent easement when enough time elapses, and then nothing can be done to remove the encroachment. To give notice, write a letter to the other party pointing out what the encroachment consists of, including some evidence ( a survey, for example) in your letter indicating the encroachment exists.

Begin your letter to your neighbor, the adjoining landowner, by explaining to him that something of his (a hedge, or fence, for example) is on your property, and it is interfering with your use and enjoyment of your property.

Explain to your neighbor in the letter that you would greatly appreciate it if he would remove the encroachment, and give him 30 days to accomplish this.

Point out in your letter that you have a survey or a plat map that shows the exact boundaries that exist between the adjoining lands, and that his property is in fact intruding upon your land.

Warn the adjoining landowner in the letter that you will go to court if necessary, seeking an order that he remove the encroachment at his expense.

Send your letter via certified mail, with a return receipt requested.

Tip

Ask your neighbor in a polite and courteous manner to remove the encroachment before you resort to sending your letter. You live next door, and you do not want strained relations existing with neighbors if you can avoid it.

Warning

You cannot legally remove an encroachment upon your land by yourself, without the express permission of the adjoining landowner. You could be charged with trespassing or destruction of private property.