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How do I know where my property lines are?

Just a couple of days ago, a client asked me a questions about her property line. Questions about property lines come up on a regular basis in LA and this her question and my answer, I hope you find it informative:

Client: "Behind the fence at the back of our property of our new house is a lot of old dried out foliage and trees and such and I'm a little worried about it being a fire hazard in the dry weather. Do you have an idea of how we can find out out if that is on our property or whose property that actually is so I can get it taken care of?"

Michel: "Where is my property lines and "who's land is it?" are questions that often come up between neighbors, especially with hilly properties where it is always more difficult to know exactly for sure where the actual property lines are. Even when there is a fence on a property, you can't be certain that it was placed in the correct spot by that particular neighbor.

The only sure way to determine where your exact property lines are would be to hire a surveyor to come out to the property. I've heard they can be a little pricey, maybe one to two thousand dollars, not sure exactly but if it is really important to you, then that would be the most accurate option. I can see if I can get you some referrals if you'd like, just let me know.

You can also try to eyeball it by looking at the plot map of your land and try measuring yourself but with the hillside inclination it might get a little challenging. My understanding is that hilly land is measured "as a crow flies" and not by measuring the actual length of the land on the ground, if that makes any sense...I can resend you the plot map if you'd like.

Another way is of course to go meet your neighbor and have a friendly discussion with them about how you are going to care of the dead brush together. You can also mention that it would benefit the both of you as it could be a fire hazard for both of you and that some insurance companies even give homeowners a break if you tell them that you have cleared the dead brush."

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