Lets define encroach , it is a legal term meaning to trespass upon the property, domain or real estate rights of another. Because it is a legal term, and surveyors are not attorneys, it is not a term that surveyors should use. Our “job” is to perform a physical inspection and advise you of the location of items (within boundary lines) and not to make a judgements.

Surveyors use other terms to describe property encroachment :

  • Overlap – this occurs when properties or items in question extend over or cover a part of another property.

  • Gore – an irregularly shaped tract of land (generally triangular) left between two tracts due to the inaccuracies of a boundary survey.
  • Hiatus – the area between two surveys, whose deeds call out a common property line, but whose survey monuments do not support a shared or common line.

The responsibility of the surveyor is to identify the location and condition of the land as provided by the legal description and title commitment. It is the attorney’s jobs to determine the legalities of owning that property. Having a boundary survey performed will provide the attorneys with the information needed to advise the client.

Information provided should not be considered legal advice and all buyers, agents and title insurance policy companies should consult their attorneys for legal advice.