If you feel that a neighbor is interfering with your property rights, you shouldn’t hesitate to take action. Even if your neighbor hasn’t actually crossed the property line, they may still be subject to legal retributions.
These New Hampshire boundary law basics can help you understand the law and your rights as a property owner:
Trees can be wrongfully removed from a neighbor's property or wrongfully planted over a neighbor’s property line. These actions may fall under "encroachment,” a form of trespassing.
If a tree is already sharing the property between you and your neighbor, New Hampshire law allows you to prune the tree back toward the property line at your own expense. However, seriously harming or killing the tree could require you to pay costly damage expenses (3 to 10 times the market value of the tree). Meanwhile, a landowner that does not maintain their tree could also be held liable for any resulting injuries.
Sometimes fences are wrongfully erected or wrongfully located. In cases where neighbors share a fence, the fence should be maintained by both neighbors with costs split 50/50. State law addresses the issue of legal fences in New Hampshire, but the legality of a fence may be governed by the county, city or home owner association rules instead.
Your rights may seem unclear when laws about property boundaries conflict one another. For example, if a neighbor builds a structure to purposefully block your view, providing proof of your neighbor’s malicious intent may take precedent over whether the structure complies with building codes and property lines.
Disputes regarding trees, fences and views are just the beginning of the boundary law issues that can occur. Houses, driveways, septic systems and wells may also interfere with a person's property line.
You worked hard to become a homeowner. If your property is being infringed upon by a neighbor or the city, you have a right to know your options. Talking with a civil litigation attorney about your unique situation may be the best way to learn about rules and regulations in your specific area and how they apply to you.