Boundary dispute

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    Boundary dispute

    Hello All,

    Thanks for setting this forum up.
    I have been going through a boundary dispute since I moved into our current property a little background below:

    We moved in on the 12th of July 2016 and the following day my next door neighbor tried to moved the fence 12 inches my side, we had a few arguments and police were involved and told him to stop and seek legal advice.

    My neighbours reasoning behind his hostile takeover is that the title plan shows the line between our properties to be right in the middle however on the ground it shows that I have around 70% of the side land.

    There is a good reason for this as I have a garage on my side, I appointed a solicitor to investigate the issue and go through my title deeds and found nothing in my neighbours favour.

    I have also had a survey done on my side which outlined the limitations of the title plan and advised that the boundary looks to be in the correct position all along obviously my neighbour refused my findings. Luckily the previous owner of my house has been very helpful and provided photos and most of the old documents in his possession. one of the docs is a letter from the council granting permission to build a garage.

    My neighbour intended to build a side extension which is why he wanted more land. We are now in a position where he has finally agreed to a joint survey but I am still quite weary as his solicitor sent me a letter outlining his evidence which is just dissecting the title plan and drawing lines in the middle showing the extent of the encroachment I have supposedly taken.

    I can confirm that the fence which separates our land has been in its current location since the 1980s (photographic proof) but I feel the joint survey will go down the adverse possession route which my neighbour will just say he was right and I should still move my fence to reflect what the title plan shows.

    My question is:
    My neighbour only the title plan and possibly a plan held by the council dated 1966 showing the plan of my garage.

    where as I have photo's and I also checked google maps which allowed my to go as far back as 2001 showing the boundary in the same position it is now.

    I don't want to escalate the situation but would rather resolve this amicably worse case will be that I will never be able to use my garage.

    Your input is greatly appreciated.

    #2
    Originally posted by Pilavas719 View Post
    the title plan shows the line between our properties to be right in the middle however on the ground it shows that I have around 70% of the side land.
    Whoever said the fence is the boundary -- that does not have to be the case -- a person is fully entitled to build a fence however far within their boundary they wish. If you wish you can put up another fence within your property.

    So the position of the fence is not really relevant at all unless you have been trespassing onto the strip between the fence and the actual boundary and denying the neighbour access to their land for a very long period.

    Adverse possession for one day after you moved in (or even since 2016) is not going to work.

    Please let your neighbour put their fence where they want it to be...... Or I suppose you could offer to purchase 12 inches of their land.

    Comment


      #3
      To add - the fact that the council provided permission to build has absolutely no relevance at all to the boundary position. Planning decisions do not necessarily take account of the right to build on a particular area of land. I could put in an application to build a garage in your garden if I liked, and it might be approved on technical grounds -- that does not mean I am allowed to go ahead and build it.

      Since neither you nor the previous owner have applied for adverse possession, and the actual owner (based on the deeds) is using his possession (which you can't prevent - in contrast to the situation if it was unregistered land) I cannot see how that would work.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post


        Adverse possession for one day after you moved in (or even since 2016) is not going to work.
        Hello Andrew Dodd,

        Thanks for your reply, you mean the clock resets itself once I have bought the property ?

        What If I have evidence proving the fence to be long standing for over 30 years, even longer.

        I feel he is trying it on since he lived their 8 years prior to me moving in, I only ask as I want to do this legally If he is entitled to move the boundary then so be it I will give it to him but If he is muscling me to take my land surely no one would agree to it.

        What is your view on the limitations of the title plan ?


        Comment


          #5
          You need a statutory declaration from the previous owner (at your expense) that the fence has been where it is during his ownership. Then the clock is not reset.

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks JK0, The previous owner has given me a sworn statement to support this. I know the surveyor we will appoint will be RICS and follow certain protocols.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
              To add - the fact that the council provided permission to build has absolutely no relevance at all to the boundary position. Planning decisions do not necessarily take account of the right to build on a particular area of land. I could put in an application to build a garage in your garden if I liked, and it might be approved on technical grounds -- that does not mean I am allowed to go ahead and build it.

              Since neither you nor the previous owner have applied for adverse possession, and the actual owner (based on the deeds) is using his possession (which you can't prevent - in contrast to the situation if it was unregistered land) I cannot see how that would work.
              I thought you can't base the position of a boundary on a title plan given the general boundary rule. Surely If this is what the LR practice you can't just move a boundary based on plans alone. If what you're saying is right I can still make an adverse possession claim and claim the land with proof that my previous owner has had possession for over 12 years ?

              Comment


                #8
                You might want to craftily find out when your neighbour moved in. If the fence was in its present position then, I can't see he has a leg to stand on.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Did the neighbour object to the trespass of by the fence previous to your ownership? How was this dispute resolved? Whilst boundary plans are not definitive, a line drawn at the 50% mark in relation to actual structures is at the 50% mark.

                  How do you actually know that the neighbour has not been using the area of land the other side of his fence? For example I may plant a row of trees a metre within my boundary and then walk around them often. How can you prove that?

                  You are not moving a boundary -- you are moving a potential boundary feature. What sort of fence is it anyway? Does it have a gate or any gaps at all?

                  How do you know the potential boundary feature was not placed where it was with the owner (of the land's) consent - which would make it not a matter of adverse possession but perhaps something else.

                  What else is there on the land -- for example a fence might not represent a boundary if there is something stopping the fence being built at the boundary (like a ditch, a public drainage system, high power electric cables).

                  I suppose the other factor is whether you are a decent person and whether you actually want to live in an atmosphere of bad karma with your neighbour and the universe. What you can do and what you should do are often different.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
                    Did the neighbour object to the trespass of by the fence previous to your ownership? How was this dispute resolved? Whilst boundary plans are not definitive, a line drawn at the 50% mark in relation to actual structures is at the 50% mark.
                    A line drawn at the 50% mark on the title plan with no measurements has an accuracy of a meter, Since the title plan holds no ground to demarcate the boundary line render's it useless in my case. we are disputing 3.6 meter of land between our properties where I have 2.2m and my neighbour has 1.4m.

                    there were no disputes previously recorded as nothing was declared when the house was for sale only a day after I bought the property this was raised. Clearly with the actions of my neighbour trying to move the boundary around this time shows he has no legal ground to take the land otherwise he would have done so when he moved in back in 2008.

                    The layout of the land as it stands now between us is a fence on my side leading to the back on my garage, where part of it has been removed and a trench measuring 6 meters long and 30 cm to my side exists.

                    I have tried engaging with my neighbour but when I show him the limitations of the plan he is relying on so much he just walks away. I want to live in peace no one wants war but people tend to be very protective of their possessions. Its like buying a second hand car and with two previous owners and one of the owners coming along and saying the wheels are his and I should give them back to him at no cost.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The following statements are usually true:

                      · If a house owner wants to build an extension and it would be handy if the neighbour's fence was in the wrong place and could be moved towards the neighbour, the fence is in the right place and the boundary follows the fence.

                      · If a fence has been in position for years the boundary follows the fence.

                      · Conveyancing plans, including Land Registry plans, cannot tell you precisely where a boundary is - their purpose is to identify property. (To paraphrase one judge: Many are the litigants in a boundary dispute who have come a cropper relying on a conveyance plan.)

                      In a boundary dispute the court will consider various factors including: any description of the property in an unregistered deed; the plan(s) on any old deed; the LR plan; any note in the property regsiter of registered land; the lie of the land; the boundary features; old photos. Each factor will be given such weight as the judge exercising his discretion thinks fit.

                      The following threads I started a few years ago go into the above in a bit more detail:

                      http://www.gardenlaw.co.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2247

                      http://www.gardenlaw.co.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3149

                      For a comprehensive discussion of land boundaries you cannot beat this site:

                      http://www.boundary-problems.co.uk/

                      (It is a long time since looked at the site - the last time I did I found some statements of the law I did not agree with.)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks Lawcrancher, I have visited Jon Maynard's website I even had the pleasure of booking an hour consultation with him, he completely agreed that my neighbour was in the wrong. I have probably read everything online about boundary disputes already. I have come across this forum today and thought to get further opinions on my situation.

                        Has anyone been in a similar situation and had a joint survey done, I want to be 100% sure the survey will be in my favour.

                        Comment

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