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Boundary Disputes & Trespass

Cases of boundary dispute and trespass can be very complicated. Here are my tips as a property solicitor of over 23 years for dealing with these.


Boundary disputes

INVESTIGATE


Property Deeds are available online and are a matter of public record. Copies can be obtained via Gov.uk. Order office copies of your and your Neighbour's property title or land  Obtain a copy of the register and plan for both.    


If any historic Conveyance or Transfer Deed is referred to as “filed” then obtain these as well. Such Deeds will often contain boundary rights and covenants or conditions. A Conveyancer can explain these to you.


Check that your neighbour is on his land and that you are on yours. Red edging will show the boundary lines.



DEEDS


Property Deeds are now commonly referred to as office copies of registered title. They are an electronic précis of the historic bundle of paper Deeds. HM Land Registry (a Government body) maintains these records and each property has a unique title number.


When you buy a property, your Conveyancer must update HM Land Registry records. Although this can take some time as Land Registry are slow.


You will need office copies of the register of title and a filed plan.  Red edging should show your boundary lines.



COMMUNICATE


Speak to your neighbour. It is often better to discuss things first. Once it becomes adversarial it can be hard to de-escalate things.



ACTION


If this does not work, you can provide your neighbour with a copy of the office copies and filed plan so that he can see he is trespassing on your land.


Often people genuinely believe they are entitled and need to see the evidence for themselves.


Give as much detail as possible, and calmly ask for this to be rectified.  Make and keep a written record of these discussions. It is also advisable to hold photographs of the trespass for evidence.



EXPERTS


Consider instructing a Chartered Surveyor to check the boundary lines and measure these to scale and compare to the plans.


A Chartered Surveyor is an expert who can attend at the property to review the boundaries, check measurements and give you feedback. They can be found online or referred to you.


The Surveyor’s findings are evidence you can rely on going forward. This may also save you from wasting time on an unsuccessful action.



FINALLY


Instruct a litigation solicitor who can assist you in corresponding with your neighbour. A solicitors letter will frequently resolve matters. Otherwise, you are looking at taking a Civil Claim in the County Courts. That is not cheap, takes time and there is no guarantee of success.



[NB:  These are very general tips and suggestions and cannot be relied upon since I have NOT been to the property or seen your deeds or office copies. Accordingly, no guarantee as to success can be given.]







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