Do Property Lines End at the Sidewalk or Curb?

Do Property Lines End at the Sidewalk or Curb?

May 30, 2022

One common question we get asked is where does my property line end, at the sidewalk or the curb? The answer may depend on your municipality, but typically, your property line starts at the curb. However, there may be instances where your property line ends at the sidewalk.

1. Determinant Factors

As a property owner, you are likely to ask yourself many questions. "Does my property end at the sidewalk or the curb?” or "does my property line start at the curb?" Some factors can help determine whether your property line ends at the sidewalk or the curb. One is the age of your neighborhood. If your neighborhood was developed before 1950, there’s a good chance that your property line extends to the sidewalk. Another factor is whether utilities are located in the easement between the sidewalk and the curb.

2. Public Street

Assuming your street is public, the portion of the street between your property line and the curb is typically an easement for utility companies. This means that they have the right to dig up and maintain this area as needed. If you’re unsure whether your property line extends to the sidewalk or not, your best bet is to contact your local municipality or a licensed surveyor.

3. Private Street

A private street may have different property line boundaries than a public street. If your street is a private road, your homeowner’s association or the developer may have information on the property line boundaries. Ensure that you check with the appropriate party before making assumptions about your property line.

4. Municipal Codes

Municipal/county codes may also dictate where your property line ends. In some cases, the code may state that the property line ends at the sidewalk, while in others, the property line may extend to the center of the street. In such a situation, the code would take precedence over any other factors.

5. Subdivision Plat Document

Having a copy of the subdivision plat for your neighborhood can also help you understand where your property line is located. This document, which is on file with the county recorder, shows the property lines for each lot in your subdivision. The plat may show that your property line ends at the sidewalk or extends to the curb. The document is essential in settling any disputes about property lines.

6. Land Surveyor

Hiring a land surveyor is the most accurate way to determine your property line boundaries. A land surveyor will use measurements and landmarks to establish where your property lines are located. This process is typically more expensive than other methods, but it’s the only way to be certain about your property line boundaries.

When determining where your property line ends, it’s best to consult your municipality or a licensed surveyor. Asking a neighbor is not always reliable, as they may not be aware of the correct information themselves. Once you know where your property line ends, you can rest easy, knowing that you’re not infringing on your neighbor’s property.

If you need a land surveyor to help determine your property line boundaries, Bettersworth & Associates, Inc. is here to help. We have over three decades of experience in the industry and are equipped with the latest technology to get the job done right. Contact us today for a free consultation!

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