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Boundary Disputes

When a boundary is under dispute it is not only stressful but can be costly. What can cause boundary disputes and what can be done to help resolve the matter?

When a property is registered, HM Land Registry creates a drawing called a ‘title plan’. This will only show the general boundaries of the property, unless the previous owners had worked out the exact boundaries.

You can get a copy of the title plan for any registered property in England and Wales.

HM Land Registry 

If a boundary is under dispute it can delay the sale if you wish to sell and may affect the value of the property. Boundary disputes can also be costly and stressful to resolve as often the areas in dispute are small and the width of lines drawn on the plans are difficult to determine. It is worth noting that boundary dispute costs may be covered by your home insurance policy.

Examples of boundary disputes might be:
•Overhanging foliage
•Disagreements over boundary lines
•Determining who is responsible for fence maintenance
•Overhanging house extensions
•Positioning of pipes and drains
•Land registration
•Adverse possession
•Rights of way
•Repairs and responsibilities
•Surveyor disputes

If you do find yourself involved in a dispute about the boundary of your property attempt to talk it through with your neighbours and come to a resolution yourselves. An agreement can be drawn up and be submitted to the Land Registry where it will appear on the records of both properties.

If you can’t reach a successful agreement you can apply to the Land Registry for one of their registrars to determine the case for you. However, if there is an objection by your neighbour it is possible that the matter will end up as a contested hearing.

Taking a boundary dispute to court can be both lengthy and expensive. Your lawyer will be able to advise you on what will be required to give you the strongest case.

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