Boundary disputes may refer to several different issues. Neighbours may have conflicting opinions on where the boundary line between their properties lies, or a party may be knowingly crossing a boundary line. It is not always obvious where property boundaries are, and title information can be difficult to interpret.
It is a common misconception that the boundary between one property and a neighbouring property is a line straight down the middle of the two properties; this is not always the case. If you are experiencing problems, our boundary disputes solicitors can help.
At Preston Redman, we regularly work with clients from Bournemouth, Poole, across Dorset and beyond. Our team will be happy to advise you over the phone, via email and through videoconferencing, as well as in person for your convenience.
How our boundary disputes solicitors can help you:
Our expert solicitors for boundary disputes can offer support with disputes in many ways, to include:
- General legal advice on boundary disputes
- Legal support to review title documents to establish where the boundary lies
- Boundary disputes mediation service, helping you and your neighbourhood to amicably reach an agreement on the boundary
- Assisting you and your neighbour in creating a boundary agreement
- Representation in Court where boundary disputes cannot be solved with alternative dispute resolution
Common questions about boundary disputes
What is a boundary dispute?
Boundary disputes occur when neighbouring properties are in disagreement about where the boundaries lie between their land. For example, if one neighbour has built onto, or is using, land which the other believes is within their property. A typical example would be party wall disputes.
How are boundary disputes resolved?
To resolve a boundary dispute, it is necessary to determine the exact boundary line between the neighbouring properties. Usually, this information can be found in the property deeds. However, not all property deeds will make this clear.
If the boundary line cannot be established by reference to the deeds, our solicitors specialising in boundary disputes can help. It is sometimes necessary to refer to matters outside the deeds such as who has maintained the boundary structures to date and the way that previous owners of the properties have used the boundaries. It is not uncommon to bring in a specialist surveyor to assist with the dispute.
Our solicitors for boundary disputes have experience advising on boundary dispute protocol and boundary laws in England and Wales. We are happy to talk you through your options and the processes to follow.
How do I know where my boundary line is?
When a party takes ownership of a property, that ownership is usually registered with the Land Registry, and a title plan is prepared based on ordnance survey mapping data to define the property boundaries. If you do not have the title plan, you can contact Land Registry to obtain it for a small fee.
Unfortunately, though the title plan displays the rough position of the property, it does not show the exact boundary line. The Land Registry title plans can be off by up to 1m either side of the boundary and are only intended to show the ‘general boundary’. This is known as the general boundary rule.
If you’re having a boundary dispute with neighbours, accessing the following documents can also allow property owners to establish where the boundary line is:
The Title Register: Including a title number, information about who owns the property, mortgage details, and information about land rights of way.
Title Deeds: The legal documents that are transferred from the seller to the buyer to establish ownership.
Our boundary disputes solicitors have much experience in supporting clients to resolve boundary disputes, ensuring that the boundaries between their properties are more clearly defined. If you need support to access and review these documents, please contact us.
What is a boundary agreement?
When resolving boundary disputes, one of the best options is to use a boundary disputes mediation service, and our solicitors at Preston Redman can facilitate this.
Where both parties can come to a mutually acceptable agreement, our solicitors specialising in boundary disputes can support you in drawing up a boundary agreement. This can either be a simple agreement recording the location of the boundary as agreed by the parties or a more formal determined boundary agreement which records the location of the boundary as determined by a surveyor.
Both agreements can be registered with the Land Registry to avoid future disputes and our boundary dispute solicitors will provide advice on which form of agreement is more suitable for your circumstances.
A boundary agreement may include the following matters:
- Establishing where the exact boundary lies
- Potentially agreeing the position of a hedge, fence, or other boundary feature and which neighbour is responsible for maintaining it
- Potentially involving the transfer of land for a newly agreed boundary (it is not uncommon for both parties to transfer small slips of land to reflect the location of an agreed boundary)
Why choose Preston Redman’s boundary dispute solicitors?
At Preston Redman, we’ve much experience helping clients to resolve complex boundary issues and boundary disputes with neighbours. We have expert knowledge of boundary laws in England and Wales and pride ourselves on helping clients to find resolutions as quickly as possible.
We recognise that boundary disputes can often be a symptom of an underlying clash with a neighbour. We tailor our advice to factor in the over-all circumstances of the matter to ensure that a cost-effective solution can be found, before matters get out of hand.
We understand that every dispute is different, and so we offer a bespoke service, taking the time to understand every client and their unique needs. We’ll always listen to your requirements and concerns and attempt to reduce conflict as far as possible.
Our boundary dispute solicitors’ fees
At Preston Redman, we may be able to take on some cases on a fixed fee basis. However, due to the often complex nature of boundary disputes, the majority of cases are more suitably charged at an hourly rate.
Most boundary dispute cases are charged on an hourly basis. This allows us to give exactly the level of support you require while you stay in complete control over the costs involved. We will still provide details of anticipated costs and review those with you at regular intervals.