My Neighbour Has Put a Fence in the Wrong Place
In the United Kingdom, property boundaries and fencing disputes are quite common. When neighbours put fences on the wrong side of the dividing line, tensions between the two parties may arise. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the reasons behind these disputes, in addition to offering solutions for resolution.
Background and Significance
Knowing the precise location of a property boundary is essential for homeowners to avoid disputes in the future. Land ownership often comes with clearly demarcated boundaries, typically in the form of a legal description or a property title report. However, due to a lack of proper maintenance, longstanding misunderstandings, or confusion on the part of either party, fences can sometimes be put in the wrong place, causing neighbourly disputes.
The Law Regarding Property Boundaries
In the UK, property boundaries are overseen by the HM Land Registry. Land Registry plans, also known as title plans, define the general boundary of a property, which are based on existing areas of land, buildings, and other registered interests. However, these plans are not always precise and should not be considered as conclusive evidence of the exact boundary location.
Further details regarding a property's boundary may be found within the deeds of the property. The deeds could consist of descriptions, agreements, and dimensions that offer more clarity in establishing the correct position of the boundary.
What To Do if Your Neighbour Has Erected the Fence in the Wrong Place
If you believe your neighbour has placed their fence in the wrong position, the following steps can help you to navigate the dispute:
- Communicate: Start by having a polite conversation with your neighbour, highlighting your concerns and discussing any information that you have regarding your property's boundary lines. Be sure to keep a record of your communication, including dates and the content of the discussion. Oftentimes, a friendly, open conversation can resolve the issue amicably.
- Gather Evidence: Research your property boundaries by reviewing the Land Registry title plan and your property deeds. Alternatively, consult with a chartered land surveyor to obtain an expert opinion, which can help you present your case in a more concrete manner.
- Seek Legal Advice: If the matter remains unresolved, seek legal advice from a solicitor specialising in property disputes. They can help you review relevant evidence and assist with your approach in resolving the situation.
- Mediation: In situations where a legal resolution appears unattainable, consider involving a professional mediator. Mediation is a more affordable and less adversarial alternative to court proceedings, and it works to find a mutually agreeable resolution for both parties.
- Legal Proceedings: As a last resort, you may have to take your case to court. However, this should be considered carefully, as legal proceedings can be a lengthy and expensive process with no guarantee of a favourable outcome.
Disputes arising from incorrectly placed fences can be difficult and time-consuming to resolve. However, understanding the law and following the steps outlined above can significantly help homeowners navigate these issues and reach a peaceful resolution. By maintaining open lines of communication with your neighbour, gathering relevant evidence, and exploring avenues for a mediated resolution, it is possible to address property boundary issues in a civil manner, fostering a better understanding and respect between neighbours.