Has your neighbour crossed the line?

Establishing the boundaries . . . 

During Covid-19 pandemic the period of lockdown has seen many of us spending more time at home, and in an effort to adapt to the new normal, many of us have been keeping busy by embarking on DIY projects, garden make-overs and home renovations.  Unfortunately, this has led to a rise in boundary disputes between neighbours.

What is a boundary?

Simply put, a boundary is a line which separates adjoining pieces of land.  Determining the boundary is vital as the boundary of a property establishes the benefits and obligations of the property owner or occupier.  Boundaries have the following attributes:

      •      A boundary could be physical, in the sense that it is shown as a physical feature, this could be natural (like a stream)

             or on the other hand it may be artificial (like a wall or a fence).

      •      A boundary might be horizontal or vertical.

      •      A boundary may be legal, in that it is ascertained in the title documents.

      •      A boundary may be fixed by an agreement between the land owners.

      •      A boundary could be fixed by law or a legal presumption.

 

Examples of boundary disputes:

There are many examples of boundary disputes. It may be that your neighbour has encroached on your boundary line.  For instance:

      •      Your neighbour may have demolished a wall which is on your boundary;

      •      Your neighbour may have planted Bamboo plants and they may be encroaching on and damaging your garden;

      •      An extension may be built on your land or encroach on your land.

 

How do you establish a boundary?

The first point of call if you are experiencing an boundary dispute is to look at the title deeds to try to establish the boundary line. This may be useful in determining the general boundaries instead of the precise boundary line.  Ordnance survey plans are another tool which can be used as a general guide when looking at boundary features.

In some cases, it may be particularly difficult to determine where the precise boundary line lies and in those circumstances it may be necessary to obtain an expert’s report to help to establish where the boundary line lies. 

If you have a boundary dispute or require further information or advice, then please call our Dispute Resolution Team on 0800 118 1500 or email Zackia Begum to find out how we can help you.