Our specialist solicitors deal with a range of land and boundary disputes, affecting all types of properties.
We understand that sometimes arguments arise over the boundary between pieces of land and that some are not as clear cut as others.
What is a boundary?
Every piece of land and property has an exact legal boundary, which is an invisible line that divides one property from another.
The physical boundary is a feature such as a fence, wall or hedge. The physical boundary may or may not follow the line of the legal boundary. The problem lies when the physical boundary changes over time, for example a wooden fence that moves slightly every time it is replaced. This may consequently lead to a dispute.
When do Boundary Disputes occur?
Disputes can occur with neighbours regarding ownership of a piece of land which may affect your home or business.
Boundaries may vary over time, and may have been affected by agreements with those who occupied the land before you. You may encounter further difficulty when relying on Land Registry maps. These are drawn generally and are not specific enough to refer to details of boundaries.
Boundary disputes may arise from any of the following:
- overhanging foliage
- overhanging house extensions
- disagreements over boundary lines
- determining who is responsible for fence maintenance
- positioning of pipes and drains
- positioning of fences
- land registration
- rights of way
- repairs and responsibilities
- surveyor disputes
- adverse possession
Leasehold Property Disputes
Many people own their properties under a lease, either because the property forms part of a bigger building or estate (such as a flat or maisonette), they have bought through a shared ownership scheme, or they have been sold a new-build home as a leasehold rather than freehold. When a property is sold as a leasehold a third party will own the freehold of the land, and the lease governs the relationship between the owner of the individual property (the “leaseholder”) and the owner of the estate or development (the “freeholder”).
A range of disputes can arise between leaseholders and their freeholders, including, but not limited to:
- Interpretation and enforcement of lease clauses
- Breach of a lease (by either party)
- Modifying leases
- Ground rent and service charge disputes, including escalating ground rent
- Buying the freehold
- Tenants’ management companies
If a neighbour has caused serious harm to your property, or unreasonably interfered with your property rights, you may also be entitled to bring a claim in nuisance.
How to resolve Boundary and Land Disputes
Our dispute resolution team bring a practical view to these matters as well as their legal expertise.
Our aim is to try to resolve these problems as quickly and cost effectively as possible. We are able to assist in reaching an amicable agreement, by taking the advice of joint experts, attending mediation, and conducting alternative dispute resolution. If it becomes necessary, our solicitors are also able to assist you in taking court action.