I have lost 2 foot of my garden!

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    I have lost 2 foot of my garden!

    I own a massionate where I own the ground floor flat. It has a shared garden with flat upstairs everything has been ok for the past 25 years.

    I share the freehold with the upstairs landlord who also rents the flat out. He has just bought the flat and share of freehold.

    The other day he errected a fence seperating our 2 gardens and laid a new foot path on my garden. He has eaten 2 foot into my garden.

    I called him and said you have errected the fence 2 foot into the my garden. He said there was nothing I can do and was happy for me to waste my money on surveyors and lawyers as he would never pay even if judgement against him!

    My reaction is to just take the fence off my garden. Is there a non time conusming and cost effective way of dealing with this. Or is this another area of the law that does not help the landlord.

    Many Thanks

    #2
    Take down the fence, and dispose of it. Your neighbour will soon get fed up with paying out for new ones. Could you dispose of the path also?

    Comment


      #3
      I'm confused. I thought you said the garden was shared?

      Comment


        #4
        We assume when the flat was sold, the Land Registry was changed
        from, shared ownership of garden between 2 flats, to 50% of the
        garden demised to each flat ?

        If that is thecase,that your plans now show a CLEAR boundary of
        ownership of 50% of garden to each flat, and CLEAR divison,

        Then I would write to the B***ard stating you will will be burning
        some timber that is on your land, and just to let you know there
        may be a bit of smoke.

        Preferably when other one is out, with garden hose at the ready,
        set fire to the middle panel. ( BBQ starter fuel [liquid] or a SMALL,
        very small amount of petrol ).

        Thats cheaper than removing it.
        It's on your land to do with as you please.
        Burn one panel a week ( you will be stopping the fire spreading
        via watering the rest. )

        Good luck.

        Comment


          #5
          This sort of problem is discussed here: http://www.swarb.co.uk/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=1332

          For anyone not wanting to read the whole thread I said this:

          Those who insist on repeating that where there is a wrong the law has a remedy are quite right. However, it ignores practical reality. mikemalin says:

          "..... any opportunistic 'neighbour' is perfectly free to build a wall on my land, without as much as by your leave ..."
          "..... the aggrieved party, have to go to quite disproportional lengths and expense to try to lawfully recover my property."

          Even if we may not agree with the way he has phrased it he has hit the nail on the head. When boundaries disputes feature in the news with the scathing comments of the judge and the huge expense incurred reported it is no doubt hoped that it will deter litigation. I am sure it does that but, perversely, it encourages encroachment. The criminal law cannot be involved as you cannot steal land except by misappropriation. A neighbour who has encroached a few feet can say: "Sue if you like. Got seventy grand to spare, have you?" It is as one conveyancing partner used to say to his clients: "It is all very well having principles, but can you afford them?"

          If the encroachment is more than de minimis but not sufficient so as to deprive the owner of a significant part of his holding, the encroacher can soon turn things round and make the owner looks as if he is making a ridiculous fuss over a few inches. The owner is faced with accepting the position or taking a "give them an inch and they'll take a mile" stance. And those who take an inch do often go on to try and take the mile. If the owner takes immediate action he may suffer costswise for failing to try and negotiate. If he delays he may be told he has waited too long and has to accept the status quo. Self-help is, quite rightly, discouraged by the law as the peace must be preserved.

          What is needed is either for a tribunal to be set up to deal with boundary and other land disputes or compulsory arbitration. It should not take a competent lawyer and a competent surveyor working together more than a day or two to prepare a submission. The evidence the tribunal needs is nearly always going to be fairly limited. There is little law in boundary disputes.

          What is also needed is a law which requires anyone wanting to substantially alter, take down or put up a boundary feature to obtain his neighbour's agreement or serve notice of his intentions. If he fails to do so and loses a case he should be penalised, though the criminal law needs to be kept out of it.

          Comment


            #6
            It's summer soon. Does this neighbour usually go on holidays?
            If he does, move the fence back when he is away and make sure to get concrete to hold the poles in place.

            Comment


              #7
              Someone did the same thing in a flat I used to rent.... My landlord had a huge bonfire that night, and the fence never went back up.....

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                This sort of problem is discussed here: http://www.swarb.co.uk/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=1332

                For anyone not wanting to read the whole thread I said this:

                Those who insist on repeating that where there is a wrong the law has a remedy are quite right. However, it ignores practical reality. mikemalin says:

                "..... any opportunistic 'neighbour' is perfectly free to build a wall on my land, without as much as by your leave ..."
                "..... the aggrieved party, have to go to quite disproportional lengths and expense to try to lawfully recover my property."

                Even if we may not agree with the way he has phrased it he has hit the nail on the head. When boundaries disputes feature in the news with the scathing comments of the judge and the huge expense incurred reported it is no doubt hoped that it will deter litigation. I am sure it does that but, perversely, it encourages encroachment. The criminal law cannot be involved as you cannot steal land except by misappropriation. A neighbour who has encroached a few feet can say: "Sue if you like. Got seventy grand to spare, have you?" It is as one conveyancing partner used to say to his clients: "It is all very well having principles, but can you afford them?"

                If the encroachment is more than de minimis but not sufficient so as to deprive the owner of a significant part of his holding, the encroacher can soon turn things round and make the owner looks as if he is making a ridiculous fuss over a few inches. The owner is faced with accepting the position or taking a "give them an inch and they'll take a mile" stance. And those who take an inch do often go on to try and take the mile. If the owner takes immediate action he may suffer costswise for failing to try and negotiate. If he delays he may be told he has waited too long and has to accept the status quo. Self-help is, quite rightly, discouraged by the law as the peace must be preserved.

                What is needed is either for a tribunal to be set up to deal with boundary and other land disputes or compulsory arbitration. It should not take a competent lawyer and a competent surveyor working together more than a day or two to prepare a submission. The evidence the tribunal needs is nearly always going to be fairly limited. There is little law in boundary disputes.

                What is also needed is a law which requires anyone wanting to substantially alter, take down or put up a boundary feature to obtain his neighbour's agreement or serve notice of his intentions. If he fails to do so and loses a case he should be penalised, though the criminal law needs to be kept out of it.
                What I came away with from that thread was

                If you are pretty darn sure that he has built on your garden then you could take down the offending items (returning then to him as a matter of courtesy)
                Then he could object to their removal saying it is on his land and decide to make a dispute of it himself. The tables are thus turned.

                If it turns out to be his land, your actions would have been criminal.

                If you do nothing, you will have seen to have acquiesed and accepted the current position. In which case perhaps a letter of objection recording what you have witnessed with photographs and notes from the conversation you had with him, sent to him by recorded delivery and saying what you want him to do before you take legal action ( a "letter before action") or a suggestion of getting together with a tape to measure and satisfy both of yourselves of the correct boundary. Maybe offer him your help to resite his fence so you are both satisfied.

                Its also worth checking if there are any covenants registered regarding putting up fences etc as some properties or housing estates restrict them
                All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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                Comment


                  #9
                  Like many posters here, O/P annoyingly seems to have forgotten his log in details, as he has taken no interest in any of the replies.

                  I think if people make the effort to reply, you should at least acknowledge it.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by JK0 View Post
                    I think if people make the effort to reply, you should at least acknowledge it.
                    Quite right, Mrs Mug often complains about that.
                    I also post as Mars_Mug when not moderating

                    Comment


                      #11
                      unfortunately you are going to have to be strong and treat them like they are treating you.

                      Easiest method just get a cheap saw and run it down the centre of each panel, keep doing this until they stop blowing £15 on new ones. Dump the resulting firewood on his property. Police WILL NOT get involved as its a civil matter. To protect yourself get a CCTV camera on you so if the other person threatens you the police WILL take action and he's screwed.

                      To keep your sanity look at this as a way of spending your a**hole neighbours money and it will cheer you up no end.

                      good luck!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks to those with constructive responses.

                        The estate agent who we both use and is apparently on good terms with the other landlord is trying to contact him and see if he can reason with him.

                        Will keep you posted.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by QuestForFreedom View Post
                          I'm confused. I thought you said the garden was shared?
                          Divided into two sections.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Bel View Post
                            What I came away with from that thread was

                            If you are pretty darn sure that he has built on your garden then you could take down the offending items (returning then to him as a matter of courtesy)
                            Then he could object to their removal saying it is on his land and decide to make a dispute of it himself. The tables are thus turned.

                            If it turns out to be his land, your actions would have been criminal.

                            If you do nothing, you will have seen to have acquiesed and accepted the current position. In which case perhaps a letter of objection recording what you have witnessed with photographs and notes from the conversation you had with him, sent to him by recorded delivery and saying what you want him to do before you take legal action ( a "letter before action") or a suggestion of getting together with a tape to measure and satisfy both of yourselves of the correct boundary. Maybe offer him your help to resite his fence so you are both satisfied.

                            Its also worth checking if there are any covenants registered regarding putting up fences etc as some properties or housing estates restrict them
                            Nicely put

                            Comment


                              #15
                              If nothing else, this thread has to win the prize for the most suggestive title as it appears on the home page in its abbreviated form:

                              I have lost two foot of my...

                              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                              Comment

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