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Boundary Disputes & Determination

Our Surveyors have worked on hundreds of Boundary Disputes over the years

Boundary Determination

We pride ourselves in our thorough and impartial approach

A Boundary Dispute arises when owners who share a boundary line have a difference in opinion on its location, width, direction or rights over it.

Boundary Disputes are an incredibly common type of neighbourly dispute. It is important to remember that if you find yourself a party to a boundary dispute, there is procedure to help deal with the matter and if possible avoid lengthy and costly legal action. 

In the first instance and before instructing professionals to formally advise, we would always recommend attempting to discuss the matter directly with the neighbouring owner. In many cases informal discussion can ultimately enable resolution to prevail. 

Boundary dispute resolution doesn’t need to be overly formal or legalistic, a simple agreed scaled plan, along with a simple document signed by the owners who share the boundary line is legally sufficient. 

However, if neighbourly approach doesn’t work, the only option is to seek the input from a Boundary Surveyor. 

What does a Boundary Surveyor do?

A Boundary Surveyor’s main objective is to take an impartial and objective approach to determining the position of the boundary, presenting their opinion on the neighbourly dispute.

The outcome of the Surveyor’s report, assuming it agrees with your positon on the boundary, will enable you to then present the findings to your neighbour and request they abate the trespass.

Once you furnish the neighbouring owners with the report, if they still dispute the findings, at that point it would be appropriate for them to provide their own Surveyor’s report, disputing your Surveyor’s outcome.

This isn’t necessarily a bad situation to be in, at this stage there are two points to the dispute, with each Surveyor’s report specifically confirming their logic. It is then simply a matter of narrowing the dispute and ultimately agreeing a final agreed boundary position.

What Type of Information Does the Boundary Surveyor Review?

Each and every Boundary Dispute is different, however commonly the Boundary Surveyor’s approach and review will include the following:

Historic Maps

Historic Maps can prove to be an all important resource in determining the boundary line. While boundary lines can change over the property’s lifetime as different owners purchase and sell the property, the intended boundary line rarely does. These maps can act as an excellent indicator to any change.

Aerial Photographs

Much like historic maps, aerial photographs can prove to be an all important resource in determining the boundary line. Photographs can offer great insight into the location, plane and direction of the boundary line. The vantage point they provide is also second to none, in terms of information. 

Satellite Imagery

Commonly Google, Bing and a few other resources can act as an excellent point of call to establish the location, plane and direction of the boundary line. This can be a limited resource as in many cases the date of the photograph restricts its relevance, however none the less it’s a great tool in a Surveyor’s arsenal. 

Land Registry Information

Land Registry Information if often a pivotal resource in determining a boundary line. Both title deeds and plans will be called upon to assist in determining the boundary line. It’s worth bearing in mind that while the land registry may contain a map as part of the legal title, in more cases than not, these plans are insufficient for scaling onto site, they do however act as an excellent and unrivalled indicator. 

Planning Records

Through the process of submitting a planning application, scaled drawings will need to be provided as will site plans. In many cases these can document the boundary line and act as an excellent benchmark as to the understood boundary position. We look at both the subject property and any surrounding properties to best establish a datum point.

Historic Photographs

These can come in any shape or form, from historic family photos where the boundary is visible in the background, to sales particulars, or any other means. If found and relevant, these can act as an excellent boundary positon indicator. As a starting point we would advise checking your records as you may be in possession of the smoking gun when it comes to the boundary determination!

Boundary Surveying Costs

Here at Stokemont, we believe that Boundary Surveying costs should be transparent and clear. As a guide our prices are as below, in order to obtain a fixed cost, please get in touch with our Surveying team who will be happy to advise. 

Boundary Surveying determination of one boundary line

From £800 + VAT

Boundary Surveying determination of two boundary line

From £1,000 + VAT

Boundary Surveying determination mutual appointments by both parties for the boundary

From £1,150 + VAT

Typical Boundary Surveying Questions

What do I do once I have my Boundary Report?

Once you have received the Boundary Report from the Boundary Surveyor, assuming the Surveyor agrees with your position on the boundary. We would advise presenting it to your neighbour, and either asking them to abate the nuisance, or alternatively respond with their own Surveyor’s formal opinion.

The aim of this is to ensure that you have notified them of the outcome and ultimately giving them the chance to act upon it. It is also conventional to give them a time frame in which to respond by. Commonly this is 28 days.

What happens if my neighbour does not remove the trespass?

If the neighbour does not respond to your Boundary Surveyor’s Report, or does not abate the nuisance or trespass, at this stage the only option you have is to pursue them through the courts.

Court procedures are incredibly costly, we would therefore advise taking legal advice in advance of progressing down this route.

We’d be happy to recommend solicitors our clients have worked with in the past to assist in these procedures.

Does the Boundary Surveyor visit the neighbour’s property?

In many cases this is not possible as either the neighbour will not engage in the determination process, or the situation on site not may not be accommodating of a safe site visit.

In all normal circumstances, Boundary Surveyors are able to provide opinion and determination based off site inspection to one side of the Boundary and the desktop research associated with that.

What happens if I don’t agree with my Boundary Surveyor’s Report?

This is a relatively rare position to find yourselves in.

However, if you disagree with the Boundary Surveyor’s determination, we would always advise fully discussing the disagreement with them with the ultimate aim of arriving at a resolved solution.

What happens if there is insufficient information available to determine the boundary?

Boundary determinations are a combination of both a Boundary Surveyor’s site inspection and also thorough desktop research into both current and historical information.

Irrespective of the level of information, an experienced Boundary Surveyor will always take this into account and ensure it does not hinder his or her professional input and opinion on the Boundary Dispute.

Team Qualifications 

Our team of Surveyors are not only highly experienced but importantly they are also qualified.

 We’re proud to confirm our Surveyors hold membership status and accreditation to some of the world’s leading professional governing bodies including; the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), The Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE), the Pyramus and Thisbe Club (P&T) and the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR).

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