Hidden Dangers: Water Boundary Disputes and their Impact on Florida Property Titles
May 20, 2023
Water boundary disputes have been an issue of contention in Florida since well before the state even became a state. These disputes have a very real impact on property titles in the state, with the potential to cause major headaches to the unwary property owner.
What are Water Boundary Disputes?
Water boundary disputes arise when two (or possibly more) parties disagree over the boundaries of their respective water claims. These disputes may arise due to conflicting interpretations of the law, or simply because of different interpretations of the boundaries as they are written in legal documents. In either case, the dispute will often be resolved in court. The outcome of such a dispute may have far-reaching implications for the title of the property in question.
Where Do Water Boundary Disputes Happen?
Water boundary disputes arise most commonly in coastal and estuarine areas of Florida where the boundary between state and private (or “private-public”) waters is not clearly illustrated in the legal documents. This includes areas of the Gulf Coast, the Florida Keys, as well as the Everglades National Park.
When Do Water Boundary Disputes Occur?
Water boundary disputes may arise at any time, however they are particularly common when one party wishes to modify the water boundaries in any way. Examples of this would be in the case of a developer wishing to build in a wetland, or a private landowner wishing to encroach upon a state-owned body of water.
Why Do Water Boundary Disputes Matter?
The outcome of a water boundary dispute can have a major impact on the title to the property in question and all titles that are connected to it. In particular, it is important to understand what rights and responsibilities a party has with respect to the water boundary in question, as well as any rights and responsibilities of those parties who may be affected by the outcome of the dispute.
How are Water Boundary Disputes Resolved?
Water boundary disputes are often resolved using a combination of legal precedent and historical evidence. Title services can be invaluable in navigating these disputes, as they can provide the necessary legal expertise to ensure that all parties involved are aware of their rights and are able to reach a fair resolution. In some cases, mediation or other forms of negotiation may be necessary to reach an agreement.
In conclusion, water boundary disputes can have a major impact on property titles in Florida. It is important to understand the details of these disputes, as well as the consequences of any potential agreement or resolution, in order to ensure that one's rights are protected and that the best outcome is reached. Title services can provide invaluable expertise and guidance in navigating these disputes, and can help to ensure that the property owner is adequately protected.