When There Is Something Strange In Your Neighborhood…
By: Washington State Litigation and Business Law Lawyer Babak Shamsi
It may be your very own neighbor. While many of us want to co-exist peacefully with our neighbors, you cannot always choose your neighbors, and they may have other goals in mind. Conflicts between neighbors can arise in a variety of contexts, from tree cutting disputes to boundary disputes. However, one of the most unsettling conflicts occurs when a neighbor trespasses onto your land and causes damage to your personal property.
Perhaps a neighbor damages your fence or knocks down your retaining wall. Whatever the case, having a neighbor enter onto your land without your permission and cause damage to your property can feel like a violation of your personal space. It can be a financially and emotionally draining experience.
Fortunately, Washington State has legislation in place to provide a strong deterrent and serious consequences. Under RCW 4.24.630, a person who enters onto another person’s land and causes injury to personal property or improvements is liable for damages. These damages may include the market value of the property injured and/or the cost of restoration. Most significantly, the offending party may be liable for treble (triple) the amount of damages caused by the injury. In addition, the aggrieved party can recover their reasonable costs spent in pursuing their legal remedies, including attorney’s fees and costs, and investigative costs.
Hopefully you never find yourself in a situation where your neighbor has wronged you in such a serious manner. However, if you suffer damages because of your neighbor’s misconduct, you are not alone. Beresford Booth has assisted numerous clients with disputes with neighbors, including trespass and damage to personal property and real estate improvements. If you need counsel, please contact Babak Shamsi to help you explore your options and legal remedies.
Beresford Booth PLLC (425.776.4100), www.beresfordlaw.com.
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