Real estate attorneys reviewing case
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
By John R. Merlino Jr. Esq.
Founding Attorney

Land encroachment refers to the illegal occupation of land that belongs to someone else. This type of activity can happen in many ways. If you are the victim of encroachment of property, reach out to a real estate attorney at Merlino & Gonzalez. 

Encroachment of property can result in different legal outcomes, depending on the facts of the case. Victims may be entitled to significant financial damages or other remedies. Speaking with a legal professional is critical following an instance of land encroachment.

Common Examples of Land Encroachment

Encroachment of property can under many different circumstances. One of the most common examples includes building structures on land that is not owned by the builder. 

No one has the right to build a structure on land that belongs to another person or entity. This is true no matter how small the structure is. Even if the foundation of a structure does not touch the other person’s land, the structure should not extend illegally across property lines.  

Farming on land that belongs to someone else also qualifies as encroachment. For instance, suppose that a farmer hopes to expand their operations and identifies a piece of land they believe is unused. If the farmer begins using land that is the property of another, a legal dispute may result. The farmer may be guilty of land encroachment. 

Any instance of using land for any purpose without the permission of the owner may qualify as encroachment in New York. Land encroachment is a serious legal issue, and it can result in conflicts and legal battles between individuals or business entities. 

Land encroachment can also result in environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity, and destruction of natural habitats. Following an instance of encroachment of property in New York, it is critical to speak with a knowledgeable real estate attorney.

Consequences and Remedies for Property Encroachment in New York

New York City is a sprawling metropolis. Construction is an ongoing activity across the city. Because of this, property encroachment cases are common. 

When a new structure encroaches onto another person’s land or property, legal disputes are likely. If another person’s building encroaches on your premises, the decision about whether to take legal action is yours.  

Legal remedies for encroachment of property vary depending on the laws of the local jurisdiction. Some of the most typical legal actions following an instance of encroachment are:

Filing a Lawsuit 

The victim can file a lawsuit against the encroacher. This type of civil lawsuit is one option for seeking to have the encroachment removed. Plaintiffs may also be owed financial damages for the harm caused.

Mediation or Arbitration

The parties can agree to resolve the dispute through a mediator or an arbitrator. This third party can help them reach a mutually acceptable solution.


The parties can attempt to resolve the dispute through negotiation. When negotiating with an opposing party, it is a good idea to secure legal representation.


A court can issue an injunction to prevent the encroacher from continuing to use or occupy the land without permission. A New York real estate lawyer can help you pursue an injunction to resolve an encroachment issue. 

Get Legal Help in an Encroachment Case

The available remedies for encroachment of property depend on various factors. A skilled lawyer can help you determine: 

  • The severity of the encroachment
  • The ownership of the land
  • The laws of the New York jurisdiction 

Let our legal professionals fight to preserve the integrity of your property and help you get justice in your property encroachment case. To learn about your best legal option, reach out to a skilled Staten Island, NY, real estate attorney at Merlino & Gonzalez.

About the Author
John is a fierce advocate and the office guru for problem-solving and brainstorming. He guides clients through every stage of a real estate transaction from offer to contract, navigating through nerve-shattering home inspection and title clearance concerns, maintaining constant contact with lenders, conducting the actual closing, and continuing to advise clients with regard to any post-closing concerns.  John brings a practical and fair-minded approach to the process which has earned him the respect of his clients and peers.