Q: My neighbor is doing major earthwork and excavation on my property without permits nor my permission. What do I do?

My neighbor is doing major earth work on his property for new construction. He excavated a natural drain and installed 32" subterranean pipes, roughly 100' of these pipes are on my property. He has also knocked down a coconut palm tree located on my property. He also excavated a bank along our shared property line, exposing the roots of many of my coconut palms.

I cannot find the construction offsets (or setbacks) along property lines in Puerto Rico, but my neighbor clearly should not be doing earthwork and excavation on my property without a permit or without my permission.

What do I do?

1 Lawyer Answer
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • San Juan, PR
  • Licensed in Puerto Rico

A: The quickest way would be for you should request an immediate "cease and desist" order from the Municipal Court of the town where your property is located, and request the courts to deliver the order to your neighbor. The Petition should be accompanied y evidence of your title ownership and of the limits of your property. You may also file an injunction petition with the Superior Court providing the same evidence. Both scenarios pursue that your neighbor stop the works underway and in both scenarios, the Municipality (city officials) must also be notified. On that matter, I would seek aid from city officials: there may be municipal ordinances that your neighbor may also be in non-compliance with.

Even if your neighbor had your permission to conduct works on your property, he would still need to comply with municipal and state laws, regulations, and ordinances.

If a reasonable doubt arises regarding the limits of each one's real estate property, a demarcation ("deslinde") lawsuit may need to be filed.

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