Preston has hired Dopey Construction to build his dream home. Dopey Construction misreads their survey and builds the home so that Preston's detached garage is about three feet into his neighbor's lot. When Preston and his neighbor discover the error, Preston tries to buy the additional three feet into his neighbor's lot. Unfortunately, city ordinances have set a minimum width on all properties so that Preston's neighbor couldn't sell off part of her lot, even if she wanted to sell. Preston is forced to tear down the garage and rebuild it at the right location. Fortunately, Dopey Construction will be responsible for the cost.
Courts have been a little more forgiving when the subject property being purchased is the aggrieved property, as in when the neighbor's improvements extend over the subject property. It's still all relative. If the encroachment is deemed insignificant, most courts have ruled that the title is still marketable.
For more information, please see the "Surveys and Legal Description" article.
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