Title 60 of the Oklahoma State Statutes establishes several laws that govern land holdings in the state, and some of the most referenced state laws involve those having to do with property lines. When two landowners possess parcels that meet at a common point, for instance, disputes often arise over the exact location of the property line, which is where the adjacent pieces of property meet. Oklahoma state law provides for ways to settle such property line disputes.
Surveys and Legal Descriptions
Oklahoma state law requires every property owner to file a legal description of the property with the applicable county clerk's office. A legal description serves as a guide for determining the location of land and the property line separating one area of land from another. The legal description also provides basic information a surveyor needs to determine a property line's location. Oklahoma allows a court to determine a property line by appointing a surveyor to survey the land with help from the legal description.
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Adverse Possession Laws
Oklahoma state law gives landowners a right to property that is on the opposite side of their property line in certain instances. The Sooner State's adverse possession law says a landowner can claim ownership of land opposite his property line after openly showing possession of that land for at least 15 years. When a landowner permits another individual to occupy his land, that individual may also try to take permanent possession via the adverse possession law.
Boundary by Acquiescence
The boundary by acquiescence law allows an Oklahoma court to establish a new property lines. Typically, when an existing boundary, usually in the form of a fence, has been in place for 15 or more years and was treated by both landowners as the property line and new boundary line may be established. Boundary by acquiescence does not require a property line to be the actual boundary and the court can make the fence line the new property line.
Quiet Title Property Line Determination
When the legal description of two adjoining pieces of land does not contain enough information to give a surveyor a definite way to determine a property line, a property owner can file a quiet title lawsuit. Oklahoma state law allows a judge in such cases to determine a reasonable property line boundary and this new boundary is used to file a new legal description of two adjoining pieces of property. Oklahoma state law binds all parties to recognize the new property line even if one party does not agree with the outcome of the quiet title lawsuit.
Oklahoma Fence Laws
When fences are located on a property line those fences present a shared responsibility. Landowners on both sides of a property fence are legally responsible to maintain it in accordance with county and city zoning laws. Oklahoma state law does not allow one property owner to remove a fence without the permission of the other property owner.
Oklahoma Vegetation Laws
Trees, shrubs and other plants often grow across a property's boundary lines. Oklahoma state law allows a property owner to trim and cut vegetation when it crosses her property line. But Oklahoma also requires a property owner to gain permission of the other property owner if trimming or cutting an encroaching tree or plant will cause significant damage to its health.
Law of Easements
Regardless of property line, government entities and utilities often possess the right to cross your property and make use of your land within reasonable limits. Oklahoma state law allows public entities to claim an easement of 3 feet from a public road. This easement can cross an individual's property line in some cases, and the owner also has no right to deny applicable utilities use of the land. Utility easement laws in Oklahoma also allow utility companies to install underground utilities and erect utility poles on private property.
- ENotes: Boundary and Property Line Disputes
- P&amp;R Legal Talk: The Land Run Continues in 2013! Property Line Disputes: Adverse Possession &amp; Prescription in Oklahoma
- Oklahoma Statutes: Title 60
- Real Estate Lawyers: Oklahoma Easement Law
- The 'Lectric Law Library: Fences: Laws, Problems &amp; Solutions