Most properties have defined boundaries. They might be fences, walls, hedges, edging stones, sides of buildings or even roads and rivers.
It is important to maintain these boundaries and ensure they don’t fall into disrepair. If some or all your boundaries are not clearly defined it is important to ensure that you and your neighbour understand and agree where the boundary is. It may well save problems in the future if you take steps to erect an appropriate boundary feature.
You should discuss it with your neighbour before starting any work. Never erect a boundary without your neighbours’ knowledge or while they are away.
Changes to your boundaries
This is particularly common where a hedge is replaced with a fence. Always remember that a hedge is a general boundary and the only way to decide where a replacement fence should be positioned is by agreement between the neighbouring homeowners.
Never make any changes to your boundary structures without talking to your neighbour.
Many boundary disputes arise from a homeowner trying to build right up to a boundary. Consult your neighbour before you apply for Planning Permission. Even if they cannot agree to your proposals, do try to ensure that you both agree where the boundary is and ensure that your works stay on your own land.
What happens if a boundary disagreement arises?
A minor disagreement can quickly become a full-scale dispute involving Solicitors’ letters and threats of court action. Ultimately, the cost of protecting your right to land in court could be prohibitive so it pays to think hard before rushing into legal action.
The key to resolving a dispute speedily and successfully is to seek expert advice as soon as possible. In the first instance, this advice can be from either a Chartered Land Surveyor or a Chartered Surveyor specialising in boundary disputes. Before you ask an expert to work on your behalf, check the following:
- do they specialise in boundary work?
- do they have experience of mapping and land surveys?
- are they skilled at interpreting aerial photographs?
- are they familiar with the latest civil procedure rules and experienced in preparing reports for court?
- do they have experience as an expert witness in court and, if so, how many court appearances have they made in the last year?
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Thank you for the very thorough way you have conducted my homebuyers survey and for the helpful notes accompanying the report. This has brought about a satisfactory purchase arrangement, agreeable to both parties.
We made real headway with our dispute within a couple of days of Housemartins becoming involved.
Bill, East Sussex Flat Owner
Many thanks for your help and advice which I have found very helpful. I look forward in due course to working with you again.
Ms R, Bexhill
Thanks very much for your help and advice. We particularly appreciate the speed and efficiency of your service.
Thank you for your support yesterday, for all the work you have done, you were great!
Daphne, Company Director
Housemartins helped find the best solution and gave us honest and invaluable advice.
Just wanted to thank you both for the efficient process and great quality report – I will recommend you to my various friends who are currently house hunting too!
I just wanted to thank you for a great service you have provided. Highly recommended and wouldn’t hesitate to use you again.
We would like to thank you and the team for the great and very efficient service. We needed our house valuation completed urgently and you did just that. Definitely exceeded our expectations. Thanks for all the hard work.
I just wanted to thank you and your company for acting so quickly for us and we are very impressed with the way in which we have been communicated with and kept informed of what is going on and the professional and friendly way you do business. Thanks again and we will not hesitate to recommend you to our friends.
Trudy and Simon
A note to say many thanks to you for your excellent service and report.
I have written personally to Mr Gray to thank him for the speed and thoroughness of his report, and have been singing your firm’s praises ever since.
Thank you for being so reliable and helpful with my matters that you have been dealing with. Please also thank Melissa too, for her attention to detail and kind assistance.
We were very pleased to read John’s report. Please would you kindly pass on our thanks to him for all his help and the very informative and useful report. Many thanks to Housemartins for the firm’s kind attention.
Thank you for doing such a thorough job and taking the time out to discuss your findings with me.
Many thanks and appreciate all your efforts and time with this matter. I would have no issues with recommending both Lee and Housemartins to friends, work colleagues and family who may ever require a survey.