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Property Lines

Locating Property Lines

Knowing where your property line is can be important when planning improvements to your property.
  Certain setback are required for some items, and encroaching on an adjacent property can lead to civil disputes.

Locating your property line can be a challenge. Typically when a lot is originally drawn out, platted, or subdivided, surveyors will place iron or steel “pin” in each of the property corners. Property pins are often made of re-bar or they can be iron or steel pipes a little less than 1″ in diameter. The ends of these rods may stick out of the ground a little, but they are often just below the soil. They mark the true corners of your lot. However, over time, these pins can become hidden or go missing, making it much more difficult to locate your property line. If this has happened, the only sure way to determine the true property line is to hire a licensed surveyor to resurvey the land.

Before hiring a licensed surveyor, try locating your property lines using the following tips:

  • Use the City of Davenport’s online “City Map”, http://www.cityofdavenportiowa.com/services/maps, to view an aerial image of the property with approximate property lines.This will give you a better understanding of the layout and dimensions of your property. Typically, the front property line is located about 1-foot towards your house from your sidewalk (if you have a sidewalk).
  • Sometimes if a small part of the pin extends above the dirt, it can be located by raking the area vigorously. A metal rake will make a louder sound when it hits the metal pin, but a plastic rake will remove thatch under your grass to help you better see a pin.
  • Try using a metal detector to locate pins that have been driven deeper into the ground.
  • If you are able to locate one pin, you might be able to use the dimensions of your lot from the City of Davenport’s Online “City Map”, http://www.cityofdavenportiowa.com/services/maps to establish general locations for the remaining pins.

Property owners might also consider visiting the Scott County Recorder’s Office to obtain a copy of the final plat map for their property. While general reference to property lines can be found on the city’s online map, the final plat map for the property is the legal document identifying property dimensions and street right-of-way widths.

Civil disputes over the location of property lines, fence or wall at adjoining private properties are not within the enforcement authority of the City to resolve.

To view or receive a copy of a final plat map, call or visit the Scott County Recorder’s Office located at the Scott County Administration Center, 600 W 4th St, Davenport, 563.326.8611.