BOUNDARY DISPUTE SOLICITORS
Resolving a land dispute with a neighbour can often be the most protracted type of dispute. Unless dealt with sensibly they can also affect your mental health. Fear not, our lawyers are here to help. Telephone us on: 02477 981545
What is a Boundary Dispute?
A boundary dispute is just one of many types of property disputes that you could have with a neighbouring property owner. Typically, it can involve a neighbour building on your land, erecting a fence on your land or simply using your land for their own benefit.
The dispute will be as a result of your neighbour either mistakenly thinking your land is theirs or worst still, they know it is yours and are trying to steal it off you!
How do you win a boundary dispute?
The reality is that boundary disputes can be very costly. Often the costs that build up far exceed the value of the land, and it becomes a battle of personalities.
Sometimes the line of the boundary is clear to see and disputes can be resolved amicably.
Evidence in the form of pre-registration deeds (if they exist) are helpful together with a careful study of the title deeds. This applies to both parties and documents should be shared to allow transparency.
It is important to be objective and to communicate with your neighbour in a way that will not inflame the situation.
Where the boundary is not so clear, the best thing to do is to mediate to find a resolution before costs escalate. This requires common sense on the part of the individuals and also the advisors.
How can a property boundary change?
Unless there has been an agreement between neighbours to vary the boundary, it can sometime happen when one neighbour adversely possesses part of the land. This could happen if the neighbour uses your land and in doing so excludes you (or others) from using it.
If this continues for more than 10 years (or in the case of Crown lands 30 years), without any objection from you as the owner, they may have a claim for “adverse possession”.
Such claims, however, are not straight forward and are still difficult to prove.
Are there any signs to look out for that may indicate a potential boundary dispute?
Yes! – Especially when buying a new house.
Look out for things like:-
- Neighbouring structures overhanging a fence line
- A straight fence line having a dog-leg in it
- Fences which are in an unusual position
It is also worth speaking to neighbouring properties to see if they are aware of anything.
Can an expert help?
Yes, where it is not clear, the parties would normally instruct a chartered land surveyor who would consider all the evidence and provide a detailed report setting out the findings.
How much does a boundary dispute cost?
It is very hard to say how much a dispute will cost until a number of factors are known. Even then, a broad estimate will then be given, which may have to be revised if things change.
You can however expect to spend in excess of £20,000 to see a matter all the way to trial
This is why we always advocate Alternative Dispute Resolution at a very early stage. We will also be very direct with you and provide you with our thoughts at the outset.
How can we help with your dispute?
If you would like to discuss your boundary dispute with us, please get in touch.
All initial enquiries are completely free of charge, so please do not hesitate to call us on: 02477 981545