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When construction disputes arise, know your rights

Any construction project has the potential to become much more complicated and drawn out than a homeowner expects. This can be particularly true for people who are trying to complete a construction project without the permission of other parties when permission is required for work to commence.

For instance, if you own a home but are part of a homeowners association or if you share ownership of your property with another party, you could find yourself embroiled in a heated dispute if you fail to secure the necessary permissions before beginning a project on your home. The permission requirements may include presenting plans to an architectural board, getting written permission from the parties, or any other rule the association or other party requires.

Another example of such disputes arises if you are trying to construct an addition to your property that blocks your neighbor's view of downtown Raleigh, he or she might try to stop you by taking legal action. If you are going to demolish or reconstruct a piece of land that your neighbor shares and has permission to use through easements, he or she might file an injunction to stop the project.

Construction disputes can become bitter and expensive if they are not resolved sooner, rather than later. As noted in this Wall Street Journal article, construction projects can actually turn neighbors against each other when they negatively affect others. In some cases, these disputes can be so upsetting that people decide to move or they turn a neighborhood into a battlefield.

In these situations, you will need to know what legal rights you have as a property owner and how you might be able to work around the various restrictions that may be jeopardizing a specific project.

Many cases involving construction disputes can be resolved outside of court, which can be a good way to protect relationships between neighbors and avoid the time and cost of litigation. However, if no such resolution can be reached, litigation may be necessary. Before you make any decisions about what you can and can't do on your property or to protect your property, it can be wise to first consult an attorney.

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