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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Just moved into a property. Land Registry plan clearly states

Customer Question

Just moved into a property. Land Registry plan clearly states I am responsible for boundary, this is defined by the familiar 'T'. Property to the rear of me has a fence in place, five foot high that the owner put in. Not me or the previous owner as detailed by the 'T'. Problem is, inside what looks to be my garden are Blackthorn Trees, my neighbour can see the tops of these and feeds the birds en mass. All the seeds etc fall onto my side of the fence however the owner of this property claims to own half of the blackthorn trees in my garden, those that back onto his fence and out of his sight for the most, and he informs I own the other half on my side? This in turn reduces the size of my garden quite considerably. My deeds state that I cannot remove the trees and must prune them, I was happy with this arrangement. The owner produced a map, albeit this was all he could produce that showed the boundary of the properties going right down the middle of the blackthorn trees. My wife and I were going to make the trees a feature in the garden but the neighbour has refused this, this means the bird feed fallen, clumps of grass growing and general weeding has to stay as he has instructed, this has an immediate detrimental affect on our enjoyment of our garden. Any fence would be impossible. If you know where I could go to get a definitive answer, whether the neighbour owns the trees in my garden this would be mighty helpful. I have tried Land Registry again but just received the straight lines plan that I received with my recent move, this was not cost effective. My neighbour has this vague plan and informs an agreement was made with the developer, he also says, although he would not provide the name but stated that the solicitor said it was his land. I was going to ask for some evidence in writing from his solicitor, post the letter to him and request the information within 28 days.
Complicated report here but I have tried to give you all the facts.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property 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 :

May I clarify please you mention you have tried the land registry already. Does this mean you have obtained your title plan which should show a red line around your property. Does this agree with your view or your neighbour view or is it inconclusive please?

Joshua :

The red line denotes your extent of ownership

JACUSTOMER-347t7q8b- :

The red line does denote my boundary but as my neighbour informs and he is right, this is not measured out. My neighbour says the red line is in the blackthorn bushes although it does not detail any shrubbery or trees, I have tried too looking at google but with it being summer I cannot see a clear line of fencing going up the close.

Joshua :

Thanks. He is right up to a point but this does not mean his view is right either. If I may expand...

Joshua :

If he disputes the location of the boundary line what you have effectively here is the potential for a boundary dispute. If there is a dispute with regards to the location of the boundary line then the first thing to look at 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 him the opportunity to object to their proposals. You can include the evidence such as you have with your application and can show this to your surveyor when he is preparing his plan.

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 he 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 :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

JACUSTOMER-347t7q8b- :

I guess this is it, I will try this avenue. Incidentally, from last replying I was rather cobsmacked (got photos) to see both Mr and Mrs Owners in my garden, they had lifted a fence panel and were busily planting shrubs and hoeing the ground?

Joshua :

sorry for the delay in reverting to you - I have been driving home.

Joshua :

From what you say, the area of land is in dispute and this being the case, until such time as one of you can establish a claim to the land, then neither of you have any rights you can confidently exercise and you would be within your rights to challenge such behaviour.

Joshua :

although the land Registry plans are as discussed above, typically restricted to being for the purposes of identification unless measurements are shamed thereon, they can often be used to reasonably accurately identify where a boundary line should be particularly by reference to other structures though this is by no means all is possible I quite accept. if the neighbour continues to exercise rights overland you claim as yours, consider serving upon them a notice advising the you dispute their claim to the land and requiring them to cease-and-desist exercising any rights or entering onto land to make changes to it until such time as the matter was settled either amicably or via the land Registry adjudicator process as above

Joshua :

Are you happy with the information I have provided to you above or is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?

JACUSTOMER-347t7q8b- :

Just checking out getting a RICS qualified surveyor and talking to Land Registry. I will rate your advice once I am confident that Land Registry offer this as a possible solution, I say this as I did ask them if there was a way, re measurements that would resolve this. A judicatory after employing a surveyor was never discussed ad an option. I like this idea, I will rate once I know this is good advice.

Joshua :

No problem

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