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How to resolve a Boundary Dispute

May 27, 2022

Today through our weekly blogpost we are going to be a taking a look at building surveying.  In particular, we are going to be taking a look at the specialist topic of boundary surveying.

Here at Stokemont our RICS registered surveyors undertake numerous different boundary inspections and dispute resolution on a weekly basis.  Over the course of undertaking these inspections and providing clients with informative reports and outcomes, we have noted a few common issues or approaches that can be taken, in order to best avoid a boundary issue in the first instance.

Through this blogpost we are going to address these and hopefully offer you some handy and helpful advice.

Neighbourly discussion

First and foremost, neighbourly discussion is a significant step toward resolution of a dispute.  In many instances, whilst it may feel as if there is a boundary dispute, if you discuss the matter with your neighbour and they open to resolving the issue, or some form of mediated resolution, it could the dispute in its tracks.

Even if neighbourly relations are not the greatest, or there has been some form of issue in the past, here at Stokemont we would still very much advise attempts are made in that regard.

Undertaking your own research

Another very well-established approach is for the property owner to undertake their own research.  This can be as simple as looking over the legal pack you would have been provided with, or potentially your solicitor would have been provided with, at the time of purchase.  Alternatively you could speak with surrounding neighbours and/or to the rear, in an attempt to try and establish a lot more information on the issue.  This is especially helpful if you are a new owner, or have recently purchased the property.

Often the neighbouring owners, who are not a party to the dispute, will have a very good unparalleled position and take on the matter and might be able to offer you key information that could go someway to boundary dispute resolution.

Undertaking your own informed assessment

This is obviously a touch tricky, as the very premise of a boundary surveyor’s role is to administer and fulfil his/her duties in an impartial manner. 

However, in doing that, they are going to be looking as much information as they can get their hands on and, furthermore, they are going to be looking at it with an impartial stance and without any bias being applied to their instructing client.  This effectively means that any information they find will be looked at from a neutral stance. 

That being said, when it comes to boundary disputes, we would advise attempting to remove as much of the emotion as possible and assuming this is something you are able to do, undertaking your own informed desktop research is a fantastic way of narrowing down the issue and attempting to confirm if indeed your position on the boundary line is a reasonable and substantiated one.

With tools generally available to the general public, such as Google Earth, Google Earth Pro, Google Maps and various other mapping providers, it is not a complicated or even a time intensive procedure these days to undertake research in that regard.

Boundary surveyor discussion

If all else fails and you feel as if the matter is definitely going to progress toward a formal boundary dispute, we would advise discussing the matter with boundary surveyors in advance of their appointment.

Here at Stokemont we regularly give no strings attached boundary advice, which can be as simple as discussing the background to the issue, with the potential client or, alternatively, looking at photographs in order to best advise.  In any event, resolution and further information is likely to be easy to find and then applied to the matter in hand.

Research and Reading

Much like undertaking your desktop analysis, research and reading can go a long way to helping rectify and remedy the particular matter in dispute.  There is a lot of information on the worldwide web that can go a great way to aiding in full understanding of boundary matters, boundary surveyor jurisdiction and the approach a boundary surveyor will take.  You can therefore ultimately find out a lot of information through this media thereby hopefully placing you in the most informed position, should you indeed wish to instruct a boundary surveyor.

All this having been said, it is important to note that boundary surveying is complex and here at Stokemont, when we say there are no two boundary disputes that are alike, we genuinely mean that.  With various different moving pieces to each and every dispute, whether they be different properties, owners, information available upon the surveyor’s research, or just site-specific factors to consider, the approach is very much going to be custom considered for the matter in hand.

If you would like to discuss how our surveyors can be of assistance with your boundary dispute, feel free to give us a call today and take us up on our free advice. 

This is a fantastic way to sound out what exactly a boundary wall surveyor will help and how they can assist, thereby, giving you a full understanding as to whether the service is the most applicable one for you.

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read more