A traditional firm with a modern approach
Boundary Disputes Solicitors
Our homes and land tend to be the most valuable assets we own, so it is normal to be protective over your legal rights, especially where the boundaries of your land are concerned. But boundary law is a very complex area, so when disputes arise, getting the best possible legal advice is the safest thing to do.
Boundaries are rarely straight lines as you might expect, and you cannot simply rely on fences or walls to accurately mark the boundaries of your land.
If you are having a problem concerning a boundary with your neighbour or another person, our specialist boundary dispute solicitors can help.
We understand that these types of disputes can be frustrating and also very worrying. At the very least, your neighbour may be restricting how you enjoy your own land, and in the most serious disputes, a landowner may be at risk of losing large amounts of land they thought belonged to them (as well as the monetary value of that land).
We will work closely with you with the aim of achieving the best possible result. Our expertise includes:
- Working with landowners, surveyors and third parties to establish boundaries.
- Strategically resolving disputes.
- Conducting court and property tribunal litigation to resolve boundary disputes.
- Seeking reparation for losses caused by boundary disputes.
Boundary disputes often arise once neighbours have already fallen out over other issues, such as noise nuisance or a right of way dispute. Our team also has a wide range of related land and property dispute expertise, including:
- General neighbour disputes, such as nuisance
- Party Wall Act claims and disputes
- Right of way disputes and easement disputes
- Planning disputes
- Adverse possession claims
Get in touch to make an appointment with our specialist boundary dispute solicitors in Berkshire and Hampshire.
Our boundary dispute solicitors’ expertise
Our boundary dispute solicitors’ take a tactical approach – we will first have an in-depth discussion with you about your expectations and what you hope to achieve. Then, we will provide open, honest advice about how to move forwards.
We advise clients from all walks of life, from individuals and families living in close proximity (such as terraced or semi-detached homes in towns and cities) to individuals, farmers and agricultural businesses with extensive rural landholdings.
With our advice and support, most of our clients are able to avoid lengthy legal disputes, saving them considerable time, costs and stress.
How we resolve boundary disputes
Land boundaries tend to vary over time. A boundary that was once a straight line may have been altered, removed or replaced over many years by many different owners. The fence line may not always be an accurate representation of where the boundary actually is.
Turning to Land Registry title plans may also not be sufficient, as these plans only show ‘general boundaries’ and are not maintained for the purpose of resolving boundary disputes.
Therefore, it is essential to enlist the advice and guidance of legal specialists to help establish boundaries and resolve disputes.
How do we find out where the boundary is?
If you cannot rely on fences or the Land Registry title plan, how do you work out where the real boundary to your land is?
The unfortunate answer is that it is usually impossible to say. You have several options for resolving the dispute:
- Make an agreement with your neighbours about the exact locations of the boundary
- Get the boundary established by an independent expert
- Go to mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution, such as arbitration
- Apply to court for an independent decision about the boundary
Making a boundary agreement
We appreciate that talking with your neighbours about these issues may feel like talking to a brick wall. Commonly, neither party wants to compromise on their position, especially if there are other related issues, such as a disagreement about a right of way.
Even if you have a good relationship with your neighbours, you will likely be feeling cautious about tensions rising.
This is where we come in – we specialise in helping people work out boundary agreements as swiftly, smoothly and cost-effectively as possible. We can help you work through challenges such as:
- Where the boundary’s true position is.
- Whether there are any boundary markers, such as fences, trees or hedges.
- Who is responsible for maintaining the boundary.
We can also register your boundary agreement at HM Land Registry on your behalf.
If your matter involves a land transfer, we often work closely with our Residential Conveyancing team to resolve any boundary disputes as part of the transaction.
Getting the advice of an independent expert
If you and your neighbours cannot agree on the boundary through informal negotiations alone, it may be necessary to instruct an independent expert to consider the evidence and make an assessment on your behalf.
We regularly work with experts, such as chartered land surveyors, to resolve boundary disputes without having to go to court.
Expert evaluations can be binding or non-binding depending on what is right for you in the circumstances. For example, if the expert evaluation is the only option before going to court, agreeing to a binding evaluation can help the parties avoid this. However, if a boundary agreement may be possible, the parties may agree to an initial non-binding evaluation which can then form a basis of negotiations.
Alternative dispute resolution for boundary disputes
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) can be quicker and faster than instructing an expert or going to court to resolve a boundary dispute. We can provide advice about accessing various methods of ADR, including mediation and arbitration.
Going to mediation involves negotiating a suitable outcome with your neighbours with the assistance of a qualified mediator. The mediator’s role is not to take sides but to help defuse conflict and guide the discussions, improving your chances of reaching a solution.
Arbitration resembles court proceedings, but the process tends to be cheaper and much less stressful and time-consuming than court. After listening to all the evidence, the arbitrator can make an independent decision about the boundary, but you will only be bound by the decision if you and the other parties agree to be before the process starts.
Land and property court and tribunal claims
Sometimes, court proceedings are inevitable, although the courts will always expect the parties to try to come to an out-of-court settlement before making a claim.
We have experience making and defending boundary dispute court and tribunal claims, with a strong track record of success.
Contact our specialist boundary dispute solicitors
Get in touch to make an appointment with our specialist boundary dispute lawyers in Berkshire and Hampshire.