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Boundary Dispute

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Great interaction. I had a simple question which would have cost a fortune going to see a local solicitor. It was all very professional but still friendly. The solicitor I spoke to was the chief executive of her law firm (I looked her up on LinkedIn). You are dealing with very good lawyers who earn additional money through Lawhive. I would definitely use this service again. Highly recommend.
Mark,
29 December, 23
The solicitor who was appointed to me was outstanding
Very simple to engage with instant confirmation in writing straight after. Daniel, the solicitor who was appointed to me, was outstanding in his approach, his understanding of the technicalities of the law and, crucially, a genuine care for the client. Would definitely advise using Lawhive, you won't regret it.
Tahir Idris,
04 October, 23
We were so pleased to find the Lawhive website
After struggling to find a solicitor willing to give us advice, and for a reasonable cost, we were so pleased to find the Lawhive website. At first we wondered how well it would work, but needn't have worried at all - the whole process was simple, straightforward and professional and great value for money. We felt extremely lucky to be matched with our solicitor, Sonay Erten, as she was exactly what we were looking for - knowledgeable, patient and kind - a refreshing change from solicitors we have used in the past. She showed a great deal of empathy for our situation and explained things in language that was easy to understand (rather than the usual "solicitor" talk, which can be intimidating). She's a shining example of what a solicitor should aspire to be and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to others or use her again in the future. We came out of our session reassured and confident of what we needed to do going forward, so a big "thank you!"
Julie Taylor,
01 June, 23
Fast and professional
I got the outcome I wanted regarding cease and desist to a competitor spreading defamatory statements about my business. Fast and professional, and at a much lower price than high street firms. Highly recommended thanks.
Jason Hunter,
23 July, 23
Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
I found the website very easy to use. Quick responses and I was even able to talk to someone who was friendly and competent. She rang me rather than emailed me. A solicitor was quickly found who could help me and once the relevant identification was approved he started work. Within two days the solicitor had checked documents and commented on them. Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
Pauline Piper,
15 February, 23
The service was fast and ultra professional
Sonay was really informative and understood my questions instantly, what I thought was complex Sonay simplified massively. She regularly checked in and the service was fast and ultra professional. Would highly recommend.
Jamie Crichton,
09 November, 23
Great service and very reasonably priced,
Great service and very reasonably priced, Kem was really helpful and professional. Would use again
Sarah Shanks,
21 November, 23
Great Interaction
Great interaction. I had a simple question which would have cost a fortune going to see a local solicitor. It was all very professional but still friendly. The solicitor I spoke to was the chief executive of her law firm (I looked her up on LinkedIn). You are dealing with very good lawyers who earn additional money through Lawhive. I would definitely use this service again. Highly recommend.
Mark,
29 December, 23
The solicitor who was appointed to me was outstanding
Very simple to engage with instant confirmation in writing straight after. Daniel, the solicitor who was appointed to me, was outstanding in his approach, his understanding of the technicalities of the law and, crucially, a genuine care for the client. Would definitely advise using Lawhive, you won't regret it.
Tahir Idris,
04 October, 23
We were so pleased to find the Lawhive website
After struggling to find a solicitor willing to give us advice, and for a reasonable cost, we were so pleased to find the Lawhive website. At first we wondered how well it would work, but needn't have worried at all - the whole process was simple, straightforward and professional and great value for money. We felt extremely lucky to be matched with our solicitor, Sonay Erten, as she was exactly what we were looking for - knowledgeable, patient and kind - a refreshing change from solicitors we have used in the past. She showed a great deal of empathy for our situation and explained things in language that was easy to understand (rather than the usual "solicitor" talk, which can be intimidating). She's a shining example of what a solicitor should aspire to be and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to others or use her again in the future. We came out of our session reassured and confident of what we needed to do going forward, so a big "thank you!"
Julie Taylor,
01 June, 23
Fast and professional
I got the outcome I wanted regarding cease and desist to a competitor spreading defamatory statements about my business. Fast and professional, and at a much lower price than high street firms. Highly recommended thanks.
Jason Hunter,
23 July, 23
Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
I found the website very easy to use. Quick responses and I was even able to talk to someone who was friendly and competent. She rang me rather than emailed me. A solicitor was quickly found who could help me and once the relevant identification was approved he started work. Within two days the solicitor had checked documents and commented on them. Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
Pauline Piper,
15 February, 23
The service was fast and ultra professional
Sonay was really informative and understood my questions instantly, what I thought was complex Sonay simplified massively. She regularly checked in and the service was fast and ultra professional. Would highly recommend.
Jamie Crichton,
09 November, 23
Great service and very reasonably priced,
Great service and very reasonably priced, Kem was really helpful and professional. Would use again
Sarah Shanks,
21 November, 23
Rated 4.8 / 5. Showing our 4 & 5 star reviews.

About

A boundary dispute arises when owners or residents of neighboring properties disagree about the location of a boundary. Typically, this involves hedges, walls, or fences. If these disputes cannot be resolved directly, local councils can intervene, and legal action may be necessary with the assistance of a solicitor.Next steps

How much does a Boundary Dispute cost?

The cost for a licensed solicitor to help with a Boundary Dispute is dependent on many factors including the complexity and specific requirements of the case. On average it is expected to range from £112-£149 but in some cases it could cost as much as £186.

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Boundary Dispute Solicitors

When problems disrupt your home life, even small issues like guttering hanging over your property can lead to arguments.

boundary-dispute

Boundary disputes happen when neighbours can't agree on where the lines between their property are, and they're often a significant cause of tension exacerbated by changes over time, like adjustments to boundaries and past agreements between previous owners.

If you're in the middle of a bitter boundary dispute, our network of neighbour dispute solicitors is here to assist you in finding the best solution, reducing tensions between you and your neighbour and minimising your stress levels. Contact us today for a free case evaluation and explore your legal options.

What causes boundary disputes?

Boundary disputes happen when two parties claim the right to occupy the same piece of land.

Often, these kinds of disputes come up when one party builds an extension, summer house, other outbuilding, fence, or wall on land that another person believes is theirs.

In the event of a boundary dispute, a solicitor can help by reviewing the title deeds of the properties involved alongside other evidence like photographs, architects and construction plans, and past agreements.

Common causes of boundary disputes

Some of the most common boundary disputes include arguments over:

Are Land Registry plans proof of boundaries?

Most title plans don't clearly define boundaries, and homeowners aren't required to document them.

Land Registry plans are essentially maps that show property boundaries, nearby buildings, roads, intersections, and landmarks. They also guide easements (public right of way) and access restrictions.

Property boundaries are usually marked with red lines on these plans. However, you may also see trees and other markers that overlap the boundary or extend beyond it.

How do I identify my property's boundaries?

If you live in England or Wales, there's typically no recorded information about the precise boundaries between two properties or the ownership of hedges, walls, trees, or fences between two properties.

Title plans don't usually show exact boundaries because they don't have to be precisely recorded. But, you can get a good idea of where your property boundaries are by looking at the title plan in most cases.

However, even if a boundary line is marked in a title deed, it might not still be valid due to boundary adjustments or adverse possession.

If your title deeds aren't clear about where your property boundary lies, a boundary dispute solicitor can help you.

Usually, they'll review the title deeds alongside other historical documents (such as property plans or previous boundary agreements) and aerial photos. If necessary, they may also arrange a land survey to assist in pinpointing your property's boundaries.

What are boundary features?

A boundary feature is any object that separates properties or suggests a boundary between them, such as:

  • Fences

  • Walls

  • Hedges

  • Trees

  • Ditches

  • The edge of a driveway.

Relying solely on boundary features to identify boundaries between properties can be problematic.

Boundaries are fixed lines without width that show where a property ends, while boundary features can exist on either side or stretch across both properties.

Therefore, using boundary features as the sole identifier of boundaries can lead to boundary disputes, as they may not accurately represent the actual property lines.

Fences, hedges, and walls do sometimes indicate property boundaries, but they might not always be legally recognised as boundaries as they can move over time, especially fences.

How to resolve a boundary dispute

If you and your neighbour are locked in a boundary dispute, the first step is to review the evidence and see if you can reach a mutual agreement.

Sometimes, this may be as easy as checking the title deeds or having an informal discussion. However, if this doesn't solve the matter, there may be other ways to resolve the problem.

Using experts

Most boundary disputes need experts to look at records such as the title deeds, old photos, and the property to decide where the boundary is.

You can instruct a surveyor to do this for you, however, it's important to note that even if they agree with your side of the dispute, your neighbour may employ a surveyor who comes to completely different conclusions, which can cause the matter to escalate further.

Applying for a determined boundary

To legally define a boundary, homeowners can apply for a determined boundary. You do this by submitting a form to the HM Land Registry to request that a boundary be recorded in the register as an agreed-upon line between neighbouring properties.

It's important to note that the Land Registry doesn't settle disputes about boundary lines. Instead, in this case, the register a boundary as determined if the right evidence is provided.

To do this, you have to fill in Form DB and submit:

  • A report from an expert, like a chartered property surveyor.

  • Certified deeds to your property predating its listing on the Land Registry.

  • A statement signed in the presence of a solicitor, notary, or commissioner of oaths.

  • Any additional supporting evidence, such as a boundary agreement with your neighbour.

If the determined boundary is registered, neighbouring property owners will be notified.

It's a good idea to apply for a determined boundary after you've reached an agreement with your neighbour, that being said you can start the process without their agreement.

Making a boundary agreement

A boundary agreement is an official record between you and your neighbour that documents the agreed boundary between two properties and who is responsible for maintaining boundary features between the properties.

If you are considering creating a boundary agreement with your neighbour, you should get legal advice from a boundary dispute solicitor before doing so.

This kind of agreement is a legal document and, as such, may have long-term consequences that remain in effect after either you or your neighbour sell your respective properties.

Boundary agreements must also be recorded with the HM Land Registry so the register for your property can be properly updated.

At Lawhive, our boundary dispute solicitors can help you create a valid boundary and carry out the necessary administrative process to update the register to reflect the agreement. Contact our legal assessment team for a free quote and start working with a solicitor within 48 hours.

Going to court

Sometimes, the only way to settle a boundary dispute is in court, where a judge decides. However, this should be a last resort because going to court can be costly, time-consuming, and stressful. It can also strain neighbourly relations for a long time. Instead, prioritise open discussions with your neighbour during the dispute. If that's not possible, consider alternative solutions like mediation before going to court.

Using Lawhive

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Conveniently online

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Traditional Law Firms

Pay by the hour

Hourly charges mean costs are hard to predict and you could be charged more than you expect.

Frustrating

It can be take days or weeks to hear updates from your solicitor.

Outdated and offline

Offline and slow procedures will require you to visit firms in-person.

No support

No dedicated support team. You'll have to deal with issues on your own.

What is adverse possession?

Adverse possession happens when someone who didn't originally own land occupies it for a certain period and meets legal requirements to claim ownership.

If a property boundary has shifted over time, a property owner may be able to claim land due to adverse possession if they meet the requirements. That being said, changes in the law since 2003 have made it harder to acquire land through adverse possession.

How to prevent boundary disputes when buying a house

If you spot structures encroaching on a boundary or an irregular fence line while purchasing a house, discuss it with your conveyancing solicitor right away. They can review the title deeds to clarify boundary lines and, if needed, communicate your concerns to the seller. Dealing with these issues before finalising the purchase can prevent potential boundary disputes down the line.

What is the Party Wall Act 1996?

The Party Wall Act 1996 regulates changes to outdoor walls and fences, as well as shared walls and ceilings inside properties. It mainly deals with major structural changes that could affect neighbouring properties.

If you or your neighbour are planning renovations that impact a shared wall, get advice from a property solicitor to ensure any work complies with the Party Wall Act.

Can a surveyor determine a boundary?

A surveyor can help you support your application for a determined boundary by creating a plan showing where you believe the boundary is.

However, your neighbour can still disagree with where the boundary is and the matter may still need to be settled in court or a tribunal.

Common boundary dispute misconceptions

One of the biggest misconceptions about property boundaries is that you automatically own the left or right-hand side fence based on your perspective facing the house.

Similarly, ownership of boundary markers like trees and hedges isn't predetermined and can be influenced by historical use, agreements, and land use.

Title plans only give a rough idea of where overhanding or jutting structures are and how big they are, not who owns them.

As you can see, getting a concrete answer on property boundaries can be tough given their vague nature - even in law. This makes it even more important not to rely on misconceptions like those above during boundary disputes. Doing so is likely to cause more confusion and disagreements, what's more, mistakes can be expensive. Therefore, getting advice from a solicitor who specialises in boundary disputes is best to gain clarity on the best way forward.

How can Lawhive help?

At Lawhive, our network of boundary dispute solicitors is on hand to help you solve your property matter with your neighbour quickly and efficiently. They can help you establish your boundaries, make legal agreements relating to property boundaries, or provide practical help with adverse possession claims or any other legal action relating to your boundary dispute.

To find the best solicitor to handle your boundary dispute, contact us today.

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