Property boundary trade

Asked October 4, 2015, 9:24 AM EDT

My neighbor just had our property boundary surveyed and found that his boundary not only cuts through my asphalt driveway in two spots it also cuts through my shed and gravel parking pads. Quite a surprise after 17 years. My suggestion to the problem is to trade 13 feet of shoreline to him for 13 feet of street front for me. Can this legally be done without any money exchange to avoid property tax issues? What would it be called and what form?

Grand Traverse County Michigan

1 Response

The Michigan Land Division Act specifically provides for "property boundary corrections" or adjustments. MCL 560.102(d) specifically says a division (of land) "does not include a property transfer between 2 or more adjacent parcels, if the property taken from 1 parcel is added to an adjacent parcel; and any resulting parcel shall not be considered a building site unless the parcel conforms to the requirements of this act (MCL 560.101 et seq.) or the requirements of an applicable local ordinance."

There will have to be some payment in consideration of the transfer of property, but it can be minimal (e.g., $1). You will want to talk to the local tax assessor or county equalization department to be sure, but it is likely the transfer would not be considered an "at arms length" sale of land for tax purposes. Doing this should be done with the use of an attorney that practices real estate law.