Boundary disputes typically occur when two people both believe they have the right to a piece of land. They often begin when one person puts up a fence or wall on land which another person thought belonged to them.The best way to avoid a boundary dispute happening in the first place is to try and firmly establish the boundaries of the land before you change anything. Even work which you do not think will change anything could lead to trouble if you are not cautious.
You should never change or add a boundary divider without checking with your neighbours first.
In order to properly establish a boundary, you should first gather as much information as possible about your property and the properties bordering it. Consult your title deeds and obtain information from the Land Registry. This will give an idea of your property's boundaries.
In many cases, the boundaries of property are only vaguely defined, so existing documentation may not give you exact information. The best way to deal with this situation is to reach an agreement with your neighbours on where the boundary should be. Obtaining help from a Chartered Surveyor is essential.
Once you have found an acceptable compromise with your neighbours, have them to sign an agreement stating their acceptance. You should then employ a Chartered Surveyor to draw up a plan specifying the agreed-upon boundary and submit it to the Land Registry, ensuring that the boundary is clearly established in the records.
Handling a boundary dispute
If you are already involved in a boundary dispute, you will need to seek advice over the issue from a Chartered Surveyor; proving which parts of the land belong to whom will mean looking over the deeds to the properties involved and consulting the Land Registry’s records.
If no agreement can be reached between you and your neighbour, the case will likely end up going to court, where a judge will rule on the location of the boundary resulting in the extent of each party’s land being clearly defined.