Building & Boundary Disputes

No straight line

Over 6 million Brits had boundary disputes with a neighbour between 2021 and 2022. Interestingly, the average garden space that people argue about comprises just 2% of a typical garden.   It may seem insignificant, but the building- and boundary lines are, for some, a matter of principle; therefore, these disputes have evolved into a complex area of the law.

Boundary disputes can arise because of technical- or physical issues. 

  • On the technical side, there could have been a change in property ownership or a lack of evidence to confirm property boundaries. There could have been discrepancies in mapping out properties, or there could have been conveyancing errors. Also, because of the movement of natural features such as hedges or waterways over long periods, it might be increasingly difficult to pinpoint the exact boundaries of a property.
  • Physical issues can arise with new buildings, property- or land developments, the ‘right of way’ or the position of drains and pipes.

Most commonly, building- and boundary disputes in the UK start when a neighbour tries to build up to the boundary of their land. These neighbour disputes can be very stressful and costly to resolve unless you have access to legal advice at the right time.  

There might also be a dispute about the building itself with possible planning permission objections from neighbours with the need to deal with matters at a very early stage. You might find yourself in a planning permission appeal situation.

It is essential to seek legal advice as soon as possible.  Your Robertsons property litigation solicitor will carefully consider the property deeds of the land in question and the boundary concerned, the relevant title documents, and other extrinsic evidence such as old photographs.  Sometimes, one might need expert assistance from a land surveyor to consider boundary disputes.  If no agreement can be reached between neighbours, Robertsons Solicitors can help you with your court case, where a judge will rule on the location of the boundary of the land

Boundary Disputes FAQs

The place to start is your title deeds and information you can obtain from the UK land registry.   It can give you an idea of where your property begins and ends.

It may be, however, that the existing documentation does not tell you much.  In this case, the best way to deal with the situation would be to agree with your neighbours about where the boundaries lie.   This is far better than fighting a costly battle over a few feet of land.

At Robertsons Solicitors, we can help set this up.  Once you've reached an acceptable compromise, you should all sign an agreement, draw up a plan specifying the new boundaries, and submit it to the Land Registry.

We would advise you to resolve the issue amicably.  Most reasonable people would want to resolve a dispute quickly and cost-effectively.  Try and have a friendly face-to-face conversation with your neighbour.

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