How Can I Prevent My Neighbor From Trespassing On My Property?

My neighbor’s dock is built over the property line. We saw that when we bought our property. They have been there 20 years us 10. The problem we are having is now he is parking a boat on the side in front of our house, which is clearly in front of our property. His response was tough you don’t own the water. What can we do? They also are doing doughnuts right in front of the property and are causing erosion as well. Bad lake people.

The first question is whether you actually own any of the water. You’ll need to look at your deed, for a start. But it’s not unusual for land ownership to end at “the water’s edge.”

Assuming you do own the water area where he’s parking, this might or might not be a trespass. In general, the use of another person’s property can become a legal right after a period of time, creating what is called a prescriptive easement. That period of time varies from state to state, so I don’t know whether your neighbor has been parking his boat for long enough that he can legally keep doing so whether you want or not.

There are other requirements to create a prescriptive easement, but that’s where I’d start. If there is an easement right, then your neighbor is no longer trespassing, but is simply exercising his legal right. If he is trespassing, then you need to find an attorney to help get him to stop–and quickly, before that time runs out.

As for the poor boating, I’d start by finding out who is in charge of policing the lake traffic, and see what boating rules they have. If you’re lucky, what the neighbor is doing is a violation.