Boundary Disputes - How to avoid them

Finally, the sun has arrived and what better way to enjoy the good weather than by getting out in the garden and making a start on that list of jobs. However, before you decide to replace that tired looking boundary fence, or remove an overgrown, high maintenance hedge it is important that you check the position with regard to your boundary first.

Boundary disputes are becoming an ever increasing issue and therefore it is important that you do your homework before commencing any works. Often by simply knowing your entitlement and seeking advice in the first instance a dispute can be avoided.

In particular, it is important to establish whether you own the fence that you want to remove. Is it a shared boundary and therefore do you need to have consulted your neighbours first? Will you be blocking or restricting anyone else’s use of the land? But perhaps most importantly, do you intend to replace the fence with like for like along exactly the same boundary line?

Our homes and gardens are our pride and joy and therefore it is no surprise that people become very distressed and defensive when they feel that someone else is encroaching or threatening what they believe to be theirs. A minor disagreement can very quickly escalate into a dispute if it is not handled correctly.

Often a dispute can be avoided simply by letting your neighbour know what you intend to do before you start and keeping them updated throughout. You never know, if it is a shared boundary they may even contribute?

Boundary disputes are a very complex area of law and once a dispute has arisen it can easily lead to an intolerable situation with your neighbour which can go on for many years and be very stressful for all involved.

It is a common misconception that Land Registry Plans are accurate and therefore many people mistakenly rely on them to define a property’s exact boundary. However, this is not the case as these plans are for guidance only and for this reason boundary disputes often require the instruction of an expert surveyor who will consider the Title Deeds for a property as well as any old photographs and witness evidence before determining the true line of the boundary.

Litigation should always be a last resort and by contacting a specialist Solicitor early on, either before making any changes to the boundary or during the early stages of a disagreement you could resolve or avoid altogether a potential dispute.

If you would like any advice with regard to a boundary issue then please contact me, Jennifer Woods at Terry Jones Solicitors on 01952 810307.

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