A boundary dispute is one of the most common disputes here in the UK. A boundary dispute generally happens when a neighbour puts up a fence or wall marking out their boundary without confirming with the neighbours.
Another popular boundary grab is when a neighbour sells a property and another neighbour erects a fence overnight outlining their “NEW” boundary lines.
This type of behaviour can quickly deteriorate into a neighbour dispute, which will include court costs with chartered surveyors and solicitor fees.
In this guide, we are going to share our experience when it comes to outlining your boundary wall with your neighbour and what to do if you have a neighbour that has grabbed land not belonging to them.
Before Erecting A Fence
If you and your neighbour are on good terms then we suggest you share your plans with your neighbour.
You should approach your neighbour and explain you want to fence off your garden/land area.
You can use a string line and stakes to come to an agreement before you erect the fence or b
If you have the land registry plans or house deeds at hand they will give you a better understanding of where the boundary walls should fall.
- Use stakes and a string line for accuracy
- Order your land registry for comparison
- Compare your boundary with the deeds and land registry
- Agree with your neighbour before erecting your fence
- Take pictures of the boundary lines you have agreed upon
Common Boundary Disputes
When the removal of trees or bushes is replaced with a fence is the number one cause of boundary disputes.
Another common dispute is a new driveway and/or out builds such as sheds and garages.
If your neighbour has erected a fence DO NOT try and remove it because you will cause a confrontation or in many cases be arrested for criminal damage or breach of the peace.Wezaggle Boundary Disputes!
The best thing you can do is follow our guide and keep calm. Nothing will come of you ripping down your neighbour’s fence or arguing with your neighbour in the street.
Just explain the boundary is wrong and it will be disputed in court if need be.
Sometimes an initial solicitor letter and a copy of the deeds and a chartered surveyor report will persuade your neighbours to correct the mistake and then you can agree.
My Neighbour Has Erected Their Fence On My Land
If you have discovered a fence you believe to be on your property then you will need to dispute the claims made by your neighbour.
You should first take any pictures and start building a case if the dispute ends up in court.
- Take pictures of the new fence
- Order the land registry for you property
- Deeds will also have boundary lines (measurements)
- Speak with your neighbour and explain your dispute
- Hire a chartered land surveyor and have everything needed for them to carry out a survey of your property (1,2 & 3)
Once you have reached this point you will have a more definite answer as to your boundary lines.
If your chartered surveyor has disputed the fence then you should move onto the next level and contact a solicitor.
Disagreeing With Your Neighbours Chartered Land Surveyor
In many cases, the chartered land surveyors for each neighbour will dispute each other’s claims.
If this is the case and you cannot agree with your neighbour on their findings then you should go ahead and have a judge rule on the boundary rules.
- A chartered land surveyors report is not the law
- If your neighbour still disputes their report then a court case is needed for
clarificationon the boundary walls.
Settling A Boundary Dispute
Your solicitor will note the FACTS and correspond with your neighbours on your behalf.
Generally, this is when your neighbour will remove the fence or double down and a court case will be noted.
Make sure you keep all land documents, surveyor reports, pictures and even dates of any discussions with your neighbour.
These are all the things that will conclude the court case ruling.
After A Boundary Dispute Ruling
Once a judge has settled the boundary dispute through the facts and expert experience, you must adhere to these laws.
If the judge ruled in your favour then be courteous and you can start correcting any fences, sheds or buildings on your property.
How Long Does A Boundary Dispute Take?
Disputes can take a few years to complete, all parties need to collect information and surveys for the case to conclude.
But the majority of the time it takes a few months for land surveyors to conclude on the information provided.
If your neighbour is reasonable they will agree with the surveyor and there will be no need for expensive solicitors and court costs!
On average only around 20% will need a court ruling.
We love to help our readers and share any experiences we have for other readers having the same boundary issues.
Ask a question or let us know your own experience when it comes to neighbours and land disputes.