If the owner of a property adjacent to yours builds a structure that intrudes on your land, or over it, this is an encroachment. It can be very frustrating to have another party encroach on your property, especially if you make money from the commercial use of it. Fortunately, according to FindLaw, there are many different possible remedies for encroachment.
One option is to file a lawsuit against the other owner stating that he or she is making improper use of land that belongs to you. If you are successful in proving your case, the court can order the other owner to remove the structure. However, there are also disadvantages to this course of action. The court may decide in favor of the other owner and grant him or her the right to use the property on a limited basis. This is more likely if the misuse has been going on for some time. Even if the court does eventually decide in your favor, the process can be very lengthy.
For these reasons, many property owners choose to litigate encroachment only as a last resort. Other options include selling the disputed land to the other property owner. Before taking this step, you should ensure the accuracy of all pertinent land records. You may also be able to negotiate an alternative arrangement with the other owner outside of court, saving you both on legal fees.
If the encroachment is less bothersome to you than the prospect of a legal dispute with the adjacent property owner, another option is to do nothing. However, in this case, you have the responsibility to disclose the encroachment to potential buyers if you ever decide to sell.