Garden Disputes

May 6, 2022

Thank you for clicking on today’s property surveying blogpost topic.  In this week’s addition of our property surveying blogpost, we are going to be talking about boundary disputes, and in particular, boundary disputes that exist within gardens.

Boundary surveying is one of the most common types of services that our team here at Stokemont offer on a daily basis.

A boundary dispute will occur when two neighbouring owners, who share a border, boundary line or properties adjoining one another, have some form of difference, disagreement, or dispute in respect of the position, placement, plane and location of the boundary line.

Perhaps you have found yourself in a position whereby you believe your neighbour has incorrectly taken a portion of your land, perhaps your neighbour has suggested that you have unfairly undertaken some of their land.  If either of these issues have arisen, the first point of contact you will need to make is to an experienced boundary surveyor.

The boundary surveyor’s role will be to look at the lay of the land, both as it is set out on the day of their inspection, and also by taking a comprehensive review of as much information as possible that they can locate from the desktop.

This review will include various different information sources.  Here at Stokemont, in our experience and in our day-to-day activities, this list includes, however is not limited to:

  • Land Registry Title Maps
  • Land Registry Title Deeds
  • Historic Maps
  • OS (Ordnance Survey) Maps
  • Aerial Photographs
  • Satellite Imagery
  • Historic Photographs
  • Contractor Specifications of Works
  • Planning Permissions and Consents
  • Architectural drawings
  • Structural calculations and/or drawings

Overall, our aim will be to try and establish as much information as is possibly available, so that we can fully understand the dispute at hand, and best advise the client as to where the boundary line realistically lies, taking into account all of the information and data we locate.

Assuming the report is in your favour, whereby the boundary surveyor agrees with your understanding and belief on where the boundary should rest or lie, at that stage we would recommend that you contact your neighbour to discuss the boundary surveyor’s findings.  The aim of the discussions should not be to definitively conclude matters.  Instead, they should be looked at as open negotiations and a reasoned attempt to resolve and avoid further dispute.

In many cases, it is not going to be uncommon for your neighbour to dispute your findings.  Furthermore, they may even dispute your boundary surveyor’s findings.

If this does occur, what we tend to advise here at Stokemont is that the neighbouring owner have their own surveyor’s report undertaken, with that boundary surveyor then presenting their findings in a similar report format, and then sharing these with both yourself and your surveyor.

At this stage, assuming the neighbouring boundary surveyor was to arrive at a different opinion, you have effectively got two ends of a dispute that can then be narrowed through professional discussion and looking at the differences from a reasoned and pragmatic perspective.

Boundary disputes are naturally stressful, in many cases unlike other forms of legal dispute, your home will often no longer become your sanctuary.  Instead, the turmoil that comes with the dissatisfaction of a boundary dispute can often be staring you in the face when you return home from work, or enjoy the weekends.

We would therefore advise that you take a proactive and swift approach to any boundary disputes.  Ultimately the aim should be to get the professional input as soon as you can, so at the very least you can understand whether your position and understanding of the boundary is indeed a correct and well-considered one.

We would also advise that you carefully consider discussions and interactions with your neighbour in respect of the boundary, as in many cases these can often become heated and can lead to unnecessary tension between yourself and your neighbour.

If you would like to discuss how our team of boundary surveyors can be of assistance to you, please feel free to give us a call today, and we will be more than happy to assist and advise you.

We are also very proud to offer a no-obligation free advice service.  Through this service you can send us photographs, plans, or have a quick discussion to vocalise the issues that have arisen.

We will then be able to give you a firm and impartial understanding of what we would do to best resolve and assist.  Furthermore, we can provide professional input to confirm if there are any common issues that we have seen in the past.

If you would like to take us up on this offer, feel free to give us a call, or pop over any information via e-mail, and we will happily review and respond to you.

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