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Typical Boundary Surveying Questions

Jan 5, 2023


Today, in this instalment of our property surveying blog, we are going to be taking an in-depth and focussed look at boundary disputes, boundary determination and boundary surveying.

We are going to be taking a deep dive into some of the more typical questions we find ourselves asked here at Stokemont on a daily basis!

What do I do once I have my boundary report?

First and foremost, we would advise fully discussing it with the boundary surveyor who completed it. 

The aim is to ensure you not only fully understand the outcome, however are fully aware of the surveyor’s logic in getting to that point. 

Assuming the report goes in your favour in respect of the boundary line position, we would then advise you share the report with your neighbour in an effort to open up discussions and aid resolution of the specific boundary dispute at hand.  

The aim is to ensure that they too, are abreast of the content so you can them can have an informed discussion.

What happens if my neighbour does not remove the trespass?

In the event that the boundary report has been in your favour, and the report has been shared with the neighbour, however that neighbour doesn’t abate the nuisance or trespass.

We would advise seeking legal advice from an experienced and qualified solicitor. 

We can indeed recommend solicitors who have assisted clients in the past, and who would be best placed to advise you. 

Ultimately, the solicitor will start procedures to pursue the neighbouring owner through the necessary court protocols, holding them to account for the trespass and ensuring that the boundary is reinstated in its correct and rightful position.

Does the boundary surveyor visit the neighbour’s property?

In the majority of cases, it is unlikely that the neighbouring owner is going to allow your boundary surveyor to access their land. 

In fact, the vast majority of surveys we have done here at Stokemont, have been done with access to one side of the boundary. 

Realistically, if the neighbouring owner is aiming to thwart or stall your boundary surveyor’s assessment and outcome, they will believe that by preventing access they can achieve this. 

Ultimately, whether the boundary surveyor is given access or not, an informed and robust report is going to be prepared with that report setting out the boundary surveyor’s position on the respective boundary dispute. 

If indeed that report is in your favour, we would advise that you not only share it with your neighbour, but you give them a period of time to open discussions and dialogue with you, in an attempt to resolve the matter.

What happens if I don’t agree with my boundary surveyor’s report?

There can be some areas where the client will disagree with the boundary surveyor’s assessment. 

In preparing and serving our report on our clients, we will set out the logic and premise behind the boundary surveyor’s decision.  

The aim of this is to ensure the client fully understands how the surveyor got to that point, and all of the necessary information that they have reviewed in forming that opinion. 

If indeed you still disagree with the surveyor’s outcome, ultimately you will need to get another surveyor to assess the matter, with the aim of disputing the original surveyor’s boundary position. 

It is relatively rare that this type of scenario happens and therefore, if you are on the receiving end of a negative boundary report, we would advise having discussions with the surveyor at the earliest possible opportunity.

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

It is a rare outcome, however there have been instances whereby there is an incredibly limited amount of information for the boundary surveyor to work off. 

It is usually just a hurdle in the way of the boundary surveyor’s final determination. 

In most cases, the boundary surveyor is going to have the necessary experience, and will have compiled enough information from both the site inspection and desktop assessment to formulate a well rounded and robust professional opinion on where the boundary should be.  

If indeed, the scenario does come to light, the boundary surveyor will likely discuss the outcome with you as soon as possible, so that further avenues can be explored in respect of obtaining additional information.

What can I expect from a boundary survey?

First and foremost, the boundary surveyor will visit the site and have an informed discussion with you. 

During that discussion they will try to understand the background and context of the boundary dispute. 

That will involve asking questions, reviewing historic information and ultimately gaining a full understanding of the matter. 

The surveyor will then progress to fully inspecting, undertaking measurements, and looking for any information that can aid resolution of the boundary matter. 

They will then head back to the office and undertake a full desktop assessment, looking all historic information they can locate in order to best arrive at an informed boundary surveying position. 

Once they have done this, they will then progress to preparing the boundary surveyor’s report, setting out all of their findings, both from the site inspection and desktop research. 

The report will then be presented to the client, along with full logic, photographs, measurements and of course, the outcome.

Post report, the boundary surveyor will invite the recipient to ask any questions in an effort to help them fully understand the outcome.

Will the boundary surveyor give me scaled drawings?

No.  In the majority of cases, you are unlikely to be given scaled drawings by a boundary surveyor. 

More often than not, the requirement for scaled drawings is unlikely to be necessary. 

The very aim of the boundary surveyor’s report is to inform you on their position and opinion as to where that boundary should be. Giving the all important vessel to then open discussions with the neighbouring owner in an attempt to ultimately resolve the dispute at hand. 

There can be some areas whereby drawings are recommended. 

In that situation, we would put forward a number of different land surveyors who would be able to undertake a topographic survey, to provide necessary drawings and scaled plans.

Can you inform my neighbour of my boundary surveying assessment?

Yes.  If indeed the report is in your favour, we would very much recommend sharing the report with your neighbour in an effort to open informed discussion to reinstate the boundary in the correct place. 

The best way to do this is to share the report with them, and give them an opportunity to review, discuss and ultimately resond. 

We are able to write to your neighbour, giving them the opportunity to discuss the matter with us. 

This is something we can complete once we have served the boundary surveying report and discussed the next necessary steps to resolution with you.

How long does the boundary survey take?

Boundary surveys will be made up of both the site inspection and desktop research. 

The site inspection can take anywhere from 1-4 hours, depending on the level of complexity, and obstacles on site.

The desktop research can take anywhere from a couple of days to a few days. 

In any event, you will always be kept well informed of the surveyors progress so you are well abreast of when you are likely to receive the boundary surveyor’s report.

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

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