What area defines the property of you and your neighbour? It sounds like a simple question, but there are any number of complications. For example, you might build a fence or wall around your property that may go into your neighbour’s boundary, or there may be issues around access areas that go between both. It is this point of contention that results in boundary disputes.
One problem with boundary disputes is that it can often be over an area of land without that much value. The costs of taking a case to court can often be disproportionate to this value, so as much as possible it is better to seek a resolution and a settlement away from the courts.
One of the best ways to resolve this is to address potential problems before they happen. For example, if you are planning to build a fence around your property it would be best to discuss this with your neighbour first before you begin construction.
Another way to avoid issues with boundary disputes is to establish by the boundaries are. This can be done by checking the deeds of your property. Equally it can be possible to discuss the area and come up with a new agreement (this can also be assessed by a land surveyor.)
It is also worth checking before buying or selling a house if there are any ongoing disputes. Potential signs of this can include a mostly straight fence line with an odd direction in it, structures over a fence line or any unusual looking fences in an odd position.
When selling a house, it is important to state if there is any ongoing dispute, as not informing buyers of this could leave you liable for misrepresentation.
A boundary dispute case could cost thousands of pounds. If it can’t be resolved, then the case may go to a Land Tribunal, the courts or a determination hearing. This is why it is so important to try and resolve this before it reaches the courts. You have to ask yourself what the value of the land is and whether it is worth going through the cost it takes to pursue the dispute through the courts.
Therefore, you should consider all the options available to you before it gets to this point. The first attempt should be discussing this with your neighbour. If this fails, a look at the boundary will make it easier to define what area you are allowed to access and hopefully this could result in a resolution. If not, then it may be necessary to pursue it through the courts.
We can help
Boundary disputes can often be more complicated than they first appear. However, we believe in doing all we can to address the issues involved and (if possible) resolve them before they get to court. In order to discuss your situation and what we can do to help, please contact us today so we can get you in touch with one of our legal specialists.