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Typical Boundary Disputes

May 22, 2023


Boundary disputes and boundary surveying can be a concerning time for property owners.

A boundary dispute typically arises when two owners who share a boundary have some form of disagreement in respect of the boundary’s position, direction or location.

As with any dispute, the first point of reference should always be to enter into neighbourly discussion, in the hope of not only resolving the issue, importantly resolving it without any cost or legal procedure.

However, as is natural with dispute, there is always going to be a degree of situation and scenario whereby reasonable resolution cannot be achieved.

If indeed you are unlucky enough to find yourself in this position one of the only options you will have open to you is to have a boundary surveyor’s report undertaken.

What is a Boundary Surveyor’s Report?

A boundary surveyor’s report will see an experienced and qualified property surveyor visit, assess and advise on the current position of the boundary. 

Furthermore, the surveyor will then cross reference their findings with desktop research, relying upon a significant number of trusted and helpful databases to arrive at the most informed position on where the boundary should be.

Once the surveyor has formally made this determination, they will present that by way of their expert report. 

The expert report being provided to their client, with the aim of ensuring better understanding and ultimately resolution of the boundary dispute at hand. 

So What Do I Do Once I Have My Boundary Surveyor’s Report?

First and foremost, we would advise that you accommodate your neighbour with whom you share the boundary dispute with the facts. 

Ideally this will be by way of presenting them with the report and giving them a reasonable and fair period of time to enter into discussion with you. 

The outcome here is to ensure that they too are fully accommodated with the information and boundary surveyor’s informed position on the dispute at hand.

The aim is that they undertake necessary adjustments and changes to the boundary line, thereby regularising the issue at hand.

What Happens if my Neighbour Isn’t Prepared to Engage?

Unfortunately it is quite a common outcome.

Many owners will simply want to dispute the findings, or alternatively will hope that if they ignore the problem, it will often go away. 

In the scenario whereby the neighbour isn’t prepared to open engaged discussion, we would advise that they are sent a letter before action or notice before action.

This notice before action ultimately giving them a reasonable period of time to review, engage and respond to the report’s findings.

Ultimately, if the neighbouring owner still fails to abate the issue and regularise the boundary matter.

At that stage the only real option would be to progress legal procedures against the neighbour.

It is also worth noting that with legal procedures there is always going to be additional cost. 

However, so long as the owner whom activates a legal process can demonstrate that they have attempted to avoid the matter and costs associated with it, they are likely to be given the benefit of cost recovery through the legal means.

When it comes to typical boundary issues, there are often common characteristics that we see day in, day out.

We are now going to touch on these in a little bit more detail, hopefully to help you best avoid the tell-tale issues. 

Typical Boundary Problems


Fences are one of the most typical form of boundary disputes we see year on year here at Stokemont.  A simple exercise of replenishing, adjusting the position or replacing the fence can result in boundary lines being changed by virtue of the on-site fencing or separations.

It is important to note that the fencer contractor you use is highly unlikely to ever look at your Land Registry Title Deed or Title Plan when setting out the position for the new fence.

Equally, if they have planned the job whereby the entirety of the fence is removed, for it to then be reinstated. 

It can be highly likely that they are even going to unknowingly change the position of the fence as they won’t have the original positions or markers to work off.

When you are planning on undertaking fence works we would advise approaching this very carefully with your neighbour.  Ultimately you want to ensure that whatever upgrade and modernisation work you do do to your garden it is done sympathetically and with the aim and intent of avoiding boundary issues. 

Construction Works

Construction works are another typical boundary dispute issue. 

The planned construction works often being rear or side extensions.  Those rear or side extensions having their flank walls interrupt with the boundary line. 

When this occurs, it is highly likely that the neighbour with whom that specific boundary line is shared, will take some form of issue with the placement of the planned wall.

It is therefore key and important to ensure that things like boundary matters are discussed and resolved when in advance of contractor’s turning up on site to actually start the works.

Change of Ownership

Change of ownership is another incredibly typical boundary dispute creator.

In many cases when a property changes ownership, the incoming owners will want to ensure that they exercise the necessary due diligence and are fully aware of where their boundaries are.

This can often lead them to looking at Title Registers, Title Deeds and Title Plans, with the aim of having a full understanding as to where the full extent of their boundary should be. 

In doing this, they will naturally overlook historic matters on site, in some cases those historic markers forming the boundary position or boundary identification points. 

If you would like to discuss boundary surveying with our team of experienced and qualified surveyors here at Stokemont, please feel free to give us a call today, we will be more than happy to assist and advise you.

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