Boundary disputes with neighbours

Boundary disputes between neighbours are commonly found in all sorts of land from commercial, residential and agricultural.

Unless the plans you have for your property are very detailed they are not likely to assist you in determining small but important differences in boundary disputes. Land Registry plans indicate the red line can be as much as 1 meter either way and therefore does not assist the average dispute. More commonly a feature on the land like an historic wall or fence post may assist in determining the boundary line.

The most important thing to do in a boundary dispute is to assert your position first by self help. That is to say draw the line as you argue it be, erect the fence, and then allow your neighbour to challenge the boundary.

All too often the cost of the challenge may frighten your neighbour into capitulation. However if your neighbour is adamant that you have ‘stolen his land’ then the argument about where the fence should be could end up in a full blown dispute which can get very expensive indeed. Not only will costs be incurred in legal fees, but disputing owners will need to instruct surveyors to undertaken expensive detailed reports which do not always produce the results the instructing owner requires.

All land in England and Wales has exact legal boundaries which divides one section of land from another. Historically many boundaries ran along features such as a hedgerow or wall. However with time and changes to ownership this is not always the position. Fences posts walls and hedges can be moved or it could be the case that the land is simply conveyed from one party to another in contrast to the indicators on the ground and new boundaries are created. On some occasions plans can be badly prepared or mistakenly prepared and this creates problems later on with and for successive owners.

Pursuant to the Land Registration Act 2002 all owners of land in England and Wales can register their land at the Land Registry and record the exact line of the boundary on a registered title plan. This system of land registration has certainly alleviated the risk of boundary disputes between competing property owners.  However registration does not preclude boundary disputes over small but important pieces of land that the plans have difficult in resolving.

Consult with Mario Montana Solicitors for advice on your current position. We have experience in dealing with difficult boundary disputes and resolving them.

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