Example of encroachment

Owner Jefferson has a property, and 1 year ago his Neighbor Santos built a fence that goes 4 feet onto his property.  This can be best described as:

  1.  a lien
  2.  an attachment.
  3. an easement by prescription
  4. encroachment

The answer is D.


Another type of physical non-money encumbrance is an encroachment. An encroachment is the wrongful construction of a building or an improvement on or over the land of another.

According to the Statute of Limitations, the party whose land is encroached upon has only three years in which to bring action for the removal of any such encroachment. If the owner allows the time limi- tation to run out, the owner runs the risk that the encroachment on the property becomes permanent. However, some encroachments are above the ground, such as a neighbor’s tree limb extending into your airspace. Above-the-ground encroachments have no statute of limita- tion, and an action for removal can be brought at any time.

This may become an easement by prescription later on but the key here is that Santos built it 1 year ago – in order to be an easement by prescription, the use must be continuous and uninterrupted for five years.