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Top Tips For Handling Boundary Disputes

Disagreements over property boundaries between your property and that of a neighbour can often occur. Emma Roberts explains her top tips to help protect your position in the event of a dispute.

Boundary disputes have a habit of springing up out of nowhere. For example, if a neighbour suddenly discovers that nearby land is worth substantial money, they may attempt to claim it as their own – even if it technically belongs to you. In other instances, boundary disputes may arise as a result of unkempt walls/fences, and given the vagueness of boundary lines, accusations of encroachments are common.

Whatever the cause, it’s important to understand what steps you need to take should an issue arise.

Take photos

First of all, preserve all evidence that you can and take plenty of photos with time stamps of the disputed area.

Communicate the issue

Boundary disputes can spiral out of control extremely quickly, leading to bitter arguments. As such, attempting to be honest and open about the issue at hand is one of the best things you can do.

Approach the person with whom you’re having the clash of opinion and be as reasonable as you possibly can. This is likely to placate the other party and allow for a calm, composed conversation. Together, you may be able to reach a conclusion about what steps to take next in order to sensibly resolve the dispute.

Consider the costs

Before you jump in with both feet and take action in a boundary dispute, consider the potential costs that may be associated with your decision and consider whether your house insurance covers matters such as boundary disputes.

Is this particular patch of land worth fighting over in terms of value? Will the cost of going to court outweigh the overall value of the boundary? Do you have enough money in the bank to come out the other side of a court case unscathed?

These are all questions you need to ask yourself if you become embroiled in a boundary dispute.

Read your property deeds

When you purchased your property, your solicitor will have given you an official copy of your property deeds. These documents contain details of your property, including an indication of the general position of your property boundaries. Property deeds may also contain details of any boundary agreements that have previously been reached with neighbours.

The boundaries indicated on your deeds can be used to give neighbours a general indication of where your property boundaries are, which may help to resolve your dispute.

Conduct a Land Registry Search

If you’re still having difficulties with your neighbour, you can apply for a copy of the Land Registry property boundaries online. This may help to further narrow down where the exact boundaries are between your two properties.

Hire a surveyor

If you’ve been unable to reach an agreement with your neighbour, the next step is to seek expert advice. A solicitor will normally advise you to hire a surveyor, either independently or with your neighbour, to offer an unbiased and professional decision on where the boundaries lie, as well as what amount of land the two of you are entitled to.

If your neighbour refuses to hire a surveyor to settle the disagreement, there’s the option of sending an application to the Land Registry, who will conduct a thorough survey of the land and make a decision on where the boundaries lie.

Seek legal support

Some people think it best to bypass solicitors in boundary disputes in an attempt to save money. However, trying to handle boundary disputes alone is ill-advised. In most cases, you’ll spend hours poring through paperwork and answering questions, and it could end up costing you considerably more. You may also inadvertently prejudice your position.

Nobody should have to pay huge sums of money for the sake of a few centimetres of land. We are experts in all types of boundary disputes, removing the weight from your shoulders and taking care of you every step of the way.

Injunctions

If a neighbour is making physical changes to a boundary without your agreement you may wish to apply for an injunction to prevent them continuing works until the boundary line has been determined by agreement, Land Tribunal or Court.

If you need help and advice regarding a boundary dispute, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0113 350 4030 or at emma.roberts@scesolicitors.co.uk.

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SCE Solicitors is a boutique employment law and litigation practice based in Leeds which advises clients nationwide. Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here.

Emma Roberts

Trainee Solicitor at Sce Solicitors Ltd
Emma is a trainee solicitor at SCE Solicitors. Emma commenced her training contract in September 2018 and is currently working in the employment law department assisting director Samira Cakali. Emma also assists in the running of the firm’s myHR service where she can support you in the day-to-day management of your staff.
Emma Roberts
Emma Roberts

Emma is a trainee solicitor at SCE Solicitors. Emma commenced her training contract in September 2018 and is currently working in the employment law department assisting director Samira Cakali. Emma also assists in the running of the firm’s myHR service where she can support you in the day-to-day management of your staff.

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