The old cliché might be true: Good fences make good neighbors. But what happens if you and your neighbor can’t agree on where to put the fence?

Boundary disputes are sometimes an unpleasant reality of being a homeowner. You and your neighbor may have strong disagreements about your property lines, but you will still have to live next to each other when your dispute is settled. It is therefore wise to handle boundary disputes in as polite a manner as possible. If you are currently in a boundary dispute with your neighbor, these are a few helpful tips for you to follow.

Double-check your property line

The first thing you should do is double-check where your property line is. After all, it is possible that you were mistaken about your boundary. Find your property deed, check your settlement papers or use your county assessor’s mapping tools. Having legal proof of your property’s boundary will be a crucial tool in discussions with your neighbor.

Speak softly and carry a property deed

Eventually, you and your neighbor will have to have a face-to-face discussion about your property line. Keep the conversation calm and neutral. Try not to make assumptions about your neighbor’s actions—perhaps they made a simple mistake. Come to the discussion armed with your evidence: The legal documents that show your boundary.

Take legal action

If the dispute is still not resolved after a neighborly discussion, it is time to take stronger measures. If you do not have an attorney, now is the time to hire one. Look for a local attorney who is experienced in real estate law, and schedule a consultation. It may be necessary to have your attorney send your neighbors a notice of their boundary violation. Still not resolved? It may be time to consider a lawsuit.