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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Hi. I am arguing with my neighbour about repairing our dividing

Resolved Question:

Hi. I am arguing with my neighbour about repairing our dividing wooden fence about 50 feet long. I have employed a builder to do the job He has replaced the posts on a like for like basis. He has drilled out the old concrete from the post holes and replaced the with repair spurs. Our neighbour is now saying that they on over her side of the boundary. The builder says they are not. Te neighbour says that if we go ahead with the work she will either knock it down or cut the posts down to where she thinks is right and will attach anything she wants the back side of my fence. The builder and I have argued with her all day to no avail. The builder has now stopped work and will not finish the job until the problem is solved. Sorry to lumber you with this But I don't know what to do next?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

does the neighbour have any evidence to support her claim that the fence is on her land please?

Customer:

Hi Joshua

Joshua :

Hello

Joshua :

are you able to kindly assist me with my above query?

Customer:

Hi Joshua Answer is no. As far as I know The fence is where it has been since I have lived here since 1978. She has not made any queries about the fence before. The builder did move one of the posts as she complained that he had touched her land. It is now where we consider in the right place but now it has been put right shestill insists it is wrong and is threatening

Joshua :

thank you. Have you obtained a copy of your title plan? if so, does the fence line lie in accordance with that plan?

Customer:

We don't think we have got one

Joshua :

thank you. If you do not have a copy of your title plan you can obtain one for 3 pounds from the land Registry using the following link:

Joshua :

http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/public/property-ownership

Joshua :

Comparing the plan to the position of the fence on the grounds, can be useful in terms of ascertaining that the fences broadly in the correct place

Joshua :

assuming you believe it does, there are two approaches you can proceed under. the first is an aggressive approach whereby you aver that the fence is in the correct place and construction will continue. if you can procure construction of the fence from a willing builder, if the next neighbour subsequently damages your fence in any way, you can claim criminal damage and make a report to the police and issue proceedings for a civil claim.

Joshua :

if you simply cannot construct the fence because of the interference from the neighbour and do not believe you could for example complete construction whilst your neighbour is out or something of that nature, you may need to resolve the position formally as follows

Joshua :

in the circumstances, what you effectively have is a boundary dispute or at least the potential for one. If there is a dispute with regards XXXXX XXXXX boundary line then the first thing to look at as above is your title plan which you can obtain from the land registry if you do not already have it. Occasionally, though not often, measurements can appear on the plan. Where this is the case the measurements will be legally binding. More often than not however the plan will contain no measurements but will be expressed to be for the purpose of identification only.

Joshua :

In these circumstances the plan is, whilst drawn to scale, only for the purpose of identification and will not necessarily establish the exact location of the boundary line very precisely. Where this is the case you can either agree between you where the boundary line lies or failing which you would need to resolve the matter either using the RICS boundary resolution service or through the land Registry adjudicator or alternatively the County Court.

Joshua :

It can often be difficult to determine the exact position of a boundary in terms of centimeters or inches but a plan should enable identification of land in terms of several feet usually. As above, properties are generally registered with a plan for identification purposes showing the general position of a boundary. Sometimes it can be relatively straightforward to determine the location of the boundary by reference to another structure such as the house but not always and even then not necessarily with the degree of accuracy that may be required.

Joshua :

If you are unable to agree the location of the boundary line, you can ask the Land Registry to determine the boundary on the title plans by instructing a surveyor to prepare a a very precise plan showing the exact line of the boundary in the surveyors opinion. You will need to use a RICS qualified surveyor to draw up a plan. You then complete form DB (link below) and send to the Land Registry who will inspect the same and serve a notice on your neighbour offering her the opportunity to object to your proposals.

Joshua :

http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/_media/downloads/forms/DB.doc

Joshua :

There is a fee of £90.

Joshua :

If your neighbour agrees to this proposal you can share the cost of a surveyor. If she refuses then this amounts to a boundary dispute which can be determined by the Land Registry Adjudicator. If the boundary is determined in the above manner then your title deeds will be updated with precise measurements which are legally binding going forward.

Joshua :

from this point, you will have an indisputable basis on which to measure the extent of your boundary and can continue with the erection of the fence. if the neighbour continued to interfere, you could ultimately either make a complaint to the police is a breach of the protection against harassment act and/or seek an injunction to prevent her from continuing to interfere with your boundary.

Joshua :

is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

Thank you Joshua. What ewe are talking about is actually a couple of millimetres

Joshua :

neighbours can be extremely difficult with regards XXXXX XXXXX lines. Whilst all of the above steps are ultimately open to you, pragmatism can often be more attractive than long winded formal processes and accordingly you may either consider capitulating if it is practical to do so or simply trying to complete the erection of the fence whilst your neighbour is out. There is no reason by the builder cannot simply continue and contact the police if the lady is violent or harassing him. Once the fence has been put up, if she interferes with it and damages the fence, she is guilty of criminal damage

Joshua :

is there anything else I can help you with?

Joshua :

Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?

Customer:

also there is a post attached to the end wall which is her main concern I believe. She says it is not in the middle and is about 1 inch too far over her side (the houses are terraced). The walls have been rendered. and I could possibly move the post a little to please her. However this would leave a nice big hole her side as the walls were rendered many years ago. Is it worth going

Joshua :

if you can find a way of reaching compromise without any significant loss to yourself, this may be preferable to following the above formal process for determining the boundary line as indeed might other practical approaches we discussed above. Clearly you would not want to compromise to significantly so as to cede any significant part of the garden to your neighbour however if relatively minor alterations can be made to achieve compromise, this may well be worth considering

Joshua :

Are you happy with the information I have provided to you above or is there anything above I canclarify further?

Customer:

Joshua. Thank you very much. I hope my builder has come up with a solution.

Joshua :

A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me

Customer:

He has agreed with her to put blocks on the posts so that the actual fence is actually fixed to my side in full rather than almost attached to her side. It will probably mean me losing half an inch of my post on each panel. For half an inch or so it is not worth arguing!!

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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