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Avoiding Costly Boundary Disputes

Avoiding Costly Boundary Disputes

We all strive to own our own homes and expect to enjoy our time in those homes, making them a comfortable, safe haven. Much time, effort and expense can be put into making that home and a garden the place where we retreat to from the stresses and strains of daily life. There is little worse than the thought of that peace and safety being turned upside down by boundary disputes with a neighbour making the very thought of spending time at home a nightmare.

Boundary can, and often do crop over the most minor of incident but can escalate out of control and end up costing thousands in legal and expert fees and destroy previous good relations with the people living right next door.

Most boundary disputes occur when the owner of one property inadvertently or intentionally encroaches onto the neighbouring property. This can be simply as a result of a misunderstanding of exactly where the boundary between two properties lies.

Before doing any work to the boundary of your property you should establish, as far as possible, exactly where the boundary lies. You can do this by checking the documents at the land registry. While they may not give exact measurements of plots of land and the drawings cannot totally be relied on they do provide a very good indication of where the boundary lies.

If you intend to carry out any work to or near the boundary of your property you should notify the owner of the neighbouring property and try to agree where the boundary is before you start work.

If you are able to reach an agreement put it in writing, draw up a plan or get a surveyor to draw up a scale plan so that there can be no misunderstanding.

Problem most often occur when a hedge is replace by a fence. Typically a fence will take up less space than a hedge and will more clearly define a boundary than a hedge, so try to agree exactly where the boundary is before you start.

If a dispute arises between neighbour over a boundary this can result in very costly negotiation between the parties, lawyers and surveyors can become involved and sometimes dispute even end up before a judge in the County Court leading to thousands of pounds being spent over what is very often a very small piece of land.

Compromise is the key. You want to enjoy your home and one of ensuring that is to get along with your neighbours, apart from the expense, falling out with neighbours over a boundary will leave ill feeling between you making it difficult and uncomfortable to continue living in your home, so before starting any work on your boundary talk to your neighbours and reach an agreement with them.

If you can’t then we are happy to assist you, either in those negotiations, or if necessary, in taking further steps to establish the boundary and your rights: Contact Us

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