Boundaries between properties frequently cause disputes – often only a small spark is needed to set them off. A common trigger is when you or your neighbour intend to put up a new fence or wall – at which point you discover that you both have differing beliefs as to where the true boundary lies.
Boundary disputes can escalate quickly, just like any kind of property dispute. We form strong emotional attachments to our homes and feelings often run high when we believe they are under threat.
This is a complex area of law and involving specialist property litigation solicitors, who are not emotionally tied up in your case, can help to defuse the situation.
Truth Legal’s friendly and knowledgeable solicitors have expertise in property litigation. Call us today to arrange a consultation and get clear advice and guidance on your legal position.
Of course, instructing solicitors does not mean you are necessarily going to take legal action against your neighbour. However, it is an excellent way of preparing yourself, finding out more about your legal rights, and benefitting from a specialist solicitor’s knowledge and experience.
Boundary disputes can touch on many other related property law issues such as:
- Party wall disputes
- Adverse possession
- Rights of way
- Rights to light
Truth Legal’s specialist property litigation solicitors can help you to untangle this legal web and identify what options may be open to you.
Pre-empting a boundary dispute
Avoiding a dispute in the first place is much better than trying to resolve one which has already flared up. Speaking to your neighbours before taking any action relating to a boundary is often the best way to avoid a dispute.
If you can agree where the boundary lies then this should prevent “bad blood” and hostility. However, in reality, agreeing is not always so easy as neighbours often have different views on the location of a boundary.
If agreement can be reached then it would be sensible to draw up a boundary agreement to record where the boundary is and who is responsible for maintenance.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like help in drawing up a suitable agreement.
Dealing with a boundary dispute
It is sensible to gather as much information as possible before approaching your neighbours regarding a boundary.
If your house is registered – as the majority of properties in England and Wales are –you can obtain copies of the Land Registry plans for your property to give you an idea of its boundaries. However, Land Registry plans only show the general position of boundaries and are not definitive. The Land Registry may also hold other documents (including further plans) which assist in identifying boundaries.
If your property is unregistered, you should have access to copies of the title deeds which may include documents to assist in identifying the boundaries.
Old planning applications and photographs can also be useful.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like help in examining Land Registry documents, your deeds or any other documentation.
Instructing a specialist surveyor
Documentation only goes so far and it is often necessary to instruct a specialist surveyor to carry out an examination of the boundary features (such as old fence posts). A surveyor can use this information in conjunction with all available documentation to prepare a report and plot the boundary.
You may wish to instruct a surveyor before approaching your neighbours. Alternatively, you may decide it best to approach your neighbours to outline where you consider the boundary lies and, if they disagree, suggest that you jointly instruct a surveyor and agree to be bound by that surveyor’s decision. Please feel free to contact us if you would like advice based on your specific set of circumstances.
Where a dispute cannot be resolved through discussion or presenting evidence to your neighbour, you may need to take further action.
There are various mediation schemes available which are certainly worth exploring, but ultimately the case could come before a court for a judge to decide.
Having an expert property litigation solicitor to help you with your case can make all the difference to the outcome.
How can Truth Legal help?
Assessing the legal strength of a case involving a boundary dispute, preparing it and then presenting evidence are all specialised skills. Truth Legal can represent you and help you with every step of this process.
At Truth Legal, we pride ourselves on giving ethical and effective legal services – exploring all options to enforce your legal rights.
A boundary dispute can greatly affect your home life as litigation between neighbours can breed resentment and dislike. When our solicitors advise you on your circumstances, we examine the whole picture and present legal solutions which are grounded in reality.
We are based in Harrogate with presences in York, Manchester, and London.
How much will our service cost?
Truth Legal offers affordable fixed fees or hourly rates – allowing you a flexible and cost-effective service. You may also have Legal Expenses Insurance on your home insurance policy allowing some or all of your legal costs to the paid by your home insurance. We have also partnered with CrowdJustice, a leading crowdfunding platform specifically designed to help clients get access to funding for their case. Find 0ut more about Crowdfunding for legal cases.
Contact Truth Legal today to explore your options and obtain clear guidance on your legal position.