2.20 Boundary Line Disputes

2.20.1

In General

On occasion, because the boundaries of certain properties happen to be vague, imprecise, defective, or erroneous due to mistakes in legal descriptions, surveys, plats, or measurements, controversies arise between adjoining owners in connection with the proper location of the boundaries. Gaps, encroachments, or overlaps are generally the source of these controversies.

In some cases, the boundary line problems are easily ascertainable and simply resolved, but in others, the problems are of a more complex nature and a considerable amount of work and expertise is required to resolve them.

To determine the extent and nature of the problem and its possible resolution, a comprehensive survey of the area affected by the problem is required.

2.20.2

Overlaps

The existence of an overlap is a very serious title insurance matter which must be properly handled before any title policy is insured.

In case of an overlap, do not:

  •    
Apply either the remnant or apportionment theory to the overlap. (See a survey text such as "Selected Texas Statutes and Boundary Decision" by Kenneth G. Gold, published by TX Society of Professional Surveyors 2003)

Rely on adverse possessory rights not judicially adjudicated.

  "Our" Property Overlaps On Adjoining Property

If you see an overlap, DO NOT ISSUE a policy making the area and boundary amendment under P-2.

Procedure:

Obtain specific information from a survey as to the area and dimensions of the overlap.

Except the area upon which the overlap occurs from the legal description of the property in schedule A.

Do not insure the overlap area unless either:

      1. Deeds from owner(s), parties in interest, lienors, and encumbrancers of the overlapped area are executed and filed for record, or
      2. Properly conducted and completed judicial proceedings vest title of the overlapped area into the present owner of the overlapping property.

"Their" Property Overlaps Into "Our" Property:

If you see an overlap, DO NOT ISSUE a policy making the area and boundary amendment under P-2.

Procedure:

Obtain specific information from a survey as to the area and dimensions of the overlap.

Except the area upon which the overlap occurs from the legal description of the property in schedule A.

Do not insure the overlap area unless either:

      1. Deeds from owner(s), parties in interest, lienors, and encumbrancers of the overlapped area are executed and filed for record, or
      2. Properly conducted and completed judicial proceedings vest title of the overlapped area into the present owner of the overlapping property.

Boundary Lines  Of Properties That Cannot be Determined:

Get a boundary line agreement to establish the boundary line.

A properly executed agreement when recorded in the public records will establish the common boundary line and in addition operate as a quitclaim deed.  It must be signed and agreed to by all owners and lienholders of both properties.


If the parties won't sign a boundary line agreement, the mutual quitclaim deed will work.  They must be singed by all owners and lienholders and be recorded.

 Recorded Boundary Line Agreement Establishes One Of The Boundaries Of The Property

If you find an existing boundary line agreement recorded, you must determine that it was executed by all the owners and lienholders.

You may consider a lien to have been released as to the property if the lienholder has executed the Boundary Line Agreement, as to the portion of the property that overlaps.





2.20.3

Tax Considerations

Any change, modification, or adjustments made in the legal descriptions of property, for the purposes of eliminating a gap or overlap may make it necessary to raise an exception in the title policy in connection with possible additional real estate taxes.