Resolution to trespass

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    I agree with Pilman that when faced with an encroachment onto your land you need to stand back and take a businesslike approach. Over on Garden Law, where encroachment comes up regularly, I have said the you need to ask not what your neighbour has gained but what you have lost. If the encroachment is minimal, for example where the fencer has not sited the new fence exactly where the old one was, you let it go.

    Once the neighbour starts to take liberties and the encroachment is signifcant* it is a different matter. The landowner whose land has been encroached on has a dilemma. If he does nothing he runs the risk the neighbour will take a further liberty and in any event why should he give up some land? What action can he take without involving disproportionate expense? If he cannot resolve the matter quickly with the neighbour a letter from a solicitor who does not overcharge may do the trick. The snag with that is if it does not do the trick and no more letters are received the neighbour will take it a sign that the encroached owner has decided not to risk any further expense. That leaves self-help. That will bring matters to a head in no uncertain terms but is always risky - see observations above.

    *In the case the land is a strip three feet wide. That may not sound significant but that is a good flower border. What homeowner would not object if he went away on holiday and came back to find the flower border at the bottom of his garden gome?


      Hi Pilman. The last photograph shows the trespassers garden and not the tenants garden. I posted it to show the front edge of the low wall he built up against the encroaching fence as the true boundary. I initially offered to let him keep the land if he paid the expenses involved in formally recording the alteration but he declined. I am concerned as any unresolved/inaccurate boundary issues could affect affect a future sale of the property.

      Law cruncher - following your advice I sent him a letter to which he did not respond. He then agreed by text to have a meeting with my husband who is a better mediator than me and then cried off. Having had enough I have twice arranged for a fencer to remove the fence but my tenant is now refusing access unless the fencer re erects the fence where it should be. I will dig out the tenancy agreement but I suspect he is in breach of his tenancy agreement in denying me access. I would happily ask him to do this but it's problematic because the trespasser has constructed the low wall on the correct boundary. The fencer was going to run fencing wire between the original concrete boundary posts and put the ball in the trespassers court so to speak as he will not want an unfenced boundary. From looking at the photos it doesn't look as if the bricks are cemented in place but the paving stones on top probably are and I don't want to be accused of criminal damage in dismantling the wall.


        Hi - it bothers me because it's on my land.




            He has insisted he replaced the fence exactly as it was with two dog legs. I've discovered a Google Earth image taken from above his property of the old fence in alignment with his neighbour's fence which begins in the corner immediately to the right of her shed. He is now considering my offer to share the cost of resiting the fence as long as he takes down the wall he built immediately behind it. Fourteen months of prevarication.


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