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An encroachment occurs when an aspect of real property advances beyond a boundary. An encroachment might be caused by a physical improvement on a property, such as a building or fence line.  An encroachment may also be caused by a property use such as a drive aisle.  The encroachment occurs when these features or uses extend past a boundary such as a property line or easement.

In the context of ALTA Land Title Surveys, the surveyor is expected to denote any encroachments on the survey without expressing a legal opinion as to the ownership or nature of the encroachment.

Encroachments are different from easements.

Land Survey and Zoning Terminology