If someone builds on your property without your consent, what can you do about it?

UPDATED: Feb 19, 2012

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If someone builds on your property without your consent, what can you do about it?

My brother-in-law built a huge garage and when they got the framework up it turns out that half of it was on our property. My husband is upset about it but thinks there is nothing he can do about it because the framework was already up at the time. Is there anything that can be done. He was never asked if it was OK. There is nothing in writing.

Asked on February 19, 2012 under Real Estate Law, West Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No one can build on your property without your permission--it does not matter if they started, or even completed, construction before you noticed the encroachment. You should be able to require your brother-in-law to remove or move the structure, and/or to receive monetary compensation; you should consult with a real estate attorney to discuss your rights, recourse, and best options. Good luck.

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