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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10738
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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We have lived in our property for 39 years and our new neighbours

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We have lived in our property for 39 years and our new neighbours have sent us a soliciters letter disputing the boundary.They have not moved in yet but are carrying out building work.My father built my neighbours property which was originally a semi detached bungalow with the property on the other side of boundary. he built a detached property on his boundary ajoining our property in 1969/70. he did this to give him as much access to the other side of his property.His boundary was his gutter line.he laid a boundary line fro the front of his house to the end of his drive, which runs on the gutter line. This boundary line is clearly marked and is still there.
The problem is there is an alleyway between the two properties, it has always been that next doors part is in line with his gutter and we own th rest. OUr Paving goes up to boundary line and we have used alley to access rear of our property and for garden storage ie pots etc. The alley has never been used by our neighbours being firstly my parents and subsequently the people they sold to.This boundary has never been in dispute.It has been maintained ie tarmacked several times over the years and paid for by ourselves, the neighbours have never contributed and have only gone into alley to repair etc there property.
We have a hedge in our front garden bordering the new neighbours property. We planted this on our side of the boundary years ago, but new neighbours want to remove this hedge saying it is on there property and they want to build a brick wall.It is quiet clearly on our side of boundary.Our property is pre war and I believe land is not registered. How do we prove this issue? His solociters have sent copy of plans we had done 18 years ago and say boundary is our gutter not our neighbours. My sister can testify these facts are correct and confirm my father built on his boundary also the prebvious owner of our property which was purchased 6 years after our neighbours property was built confirms the boundary has always been as described.The people who bought the next door property also never disputed the boundary. So whats your advise please, thank you joy
Hello Joy and thanks for using Just Answer.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX am happy to assist you with your enquiry.

As regards XXXXX XXXXX property is registered at the Land Registry or not, you can do a search at the Land Registry to find out this information. Your Solicitor can do this for a nominal fee or you can apply yourself to the Land Registry (called "an index map search").

Either way, whether your land is registered or not, because the boundaries have been as they are for the last 39 years, your new neighbour has no legal argument to dispute the boundary. Even if the boundaries are "incorrect" the law states that if you have been using land that is not legally yours for 12 years or more without interruption or dispute, you are entitled to claim what is called "possessory title" of the land. Therefore, were there to be a question mark as to the correct legal boundary, the fact that the current boundary has been in place for over 12 years goes 1005 in your favour.

I would therefore suggest that you go and see a local Conveyancing Solicitor (please look on the Law Society website and pick such a Solicitor who has the "Quality Conveyancing" accreditation and he will be able to do the Land Registry search for you and reply to your neighbour's Solicitors letter.

I hope this assists and answers your question.

Kind Regards
Aston Lawyer and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

t present there is no fense between us and my grandson lives with us part time he is only 2 years and I am concerned about :

1. Neighbour making good at his expence and:

2.MY grandson safety.

he has commences building and I want fence put up asap can I state this in letter to him and what are legalities of this. I have also received letter from council re: proposed extention next door and looked on web site at plans which show upstairs extention over garage on our side and rear extention aprrox 6metres by 4 metres. He has stsarted building but footings and block work is approx. 6 metres straight across rear of house approx. 10metres. I Phoned council to ask why plans on there web site were different and they say permission hadn't been given yet and they shouldn't bebuilding yet. What are legalities of this? also finally upstairs extention will need access to said alleyway and if he persists with boundary issue can I refuse him access to my part of alley. I don't want to do this , we have never had any neighbour disputes and I find this very upsetting, whats to come. thank you joy

Hi Joy,

You are free to put up a fence to show the correct boundary and extent of land you have been using for so many years.

As regards XXXXX XXXXX you should make a formal complaint to the Council who can take enforcement action against your neighbour if work has started without planning permission (this would normally entail the Council's planning officer inspecting the site and serving a Notice on your neighbour demanding that work be stopped until planning permission was granted).

As and when planning permission is obtained, if he is building close to the boundary line, he is legally under a duty to serve you with a Party Wall Act Notice. You are then obliged to consent to the proposed work or object to it. On the basis that you will be objecting, you will be entitled to instruct a Surveyor to negotiate with your neighbour's Surveyor so that an amicable agreement can be reached. This would include arranging what type of access he is entitled to, over your land.

Without this agreement, you are entitled to prevent him and his workmen from accessing your property to carry out work UNLESS there is a specific right in his Deeds allowing such access onto your property. The good thing about the Party Wall Act is that your neighbour would be responsible for paying for your Surveyor's fees.

I hope this assists.

Kind Regards
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi AL sorry some of my questions have not been answered..
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX building on his boundary at rear of his property and fence I want erected at rear of property is his fence not ours, because of danger to our grandson I want our property secured, can I request fence be erected asap and is he liable to pay for repair/ extension to my patio and low brick wall where he has removed hedge and which leaves a metre gap on our land.This space now means our low brick wall needs exstending to new fence he has to errect and also our patio. Is he liable to pay cost of this work?

Regarding front hedge neighbour wants to remove, can he remove hedge without our permission and what would legal repercussions be to him if he did. He has already cut part of our hedge down by half without permission, how can I prevent him repeating this Is the party wall act applicable in this instance and should we be instructing a surveyer.. thank you joy

PS I don't think my first reply was sent in full which is why it was unclear thank you

Hi Joy,

If the boundary upon which you want the fence to be put up is your neighbours responsibility, then I'm afraid you can't force him to put up a fence. Nor is he responsible for any costs to any work you need to carry out to wall/patio.

As regards XXXXX XXXXX hedge, if he removes it totally without your consent, then he is guilty of criminal damage. This is a criminal offence, although I'm afraid the Police are unlikely to take action on such matters.

You do really need to speak to a local Solicitor and Party Wall Surveyor just as soon as you can, so that matters don't escalate.

I hope I have helped.

Kind Regards