Can a Long Ago Mistake Regarding a Property Line Mature Into a Property Right?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

“When lot was originally purchased the developer had originally staked  out property line.  At time of purchase buyer had landscaper install trees along designated property line.  6 years later, the adjoining lot has been sold and survey now indicates the property line is now different and trees are on neighbor’s property.  Any options?”

You didn’t say options for what.  If you want to enforce the incorrect property line as against the neighbor, you may be out of luck.  You would need to check your local law (consult with a local attorney on this) regarding whether any innocent mistake regarding the location of a property line can mature into a property right.  In many cases, the answer is no.

That does not mean that you are entirely without options.  You may have a cause of action against the developer or surveyor for the financial losses you incurred due to their mistake.  Or you may be able to get some compensatory right in the landscaping, even though it is on the neighbor’s property.  Again, this is a farily complex area of the law, so a consultation with a local attorney would be advisable.