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LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 818
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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My shed and wall fence have been in the same position prior

Customer Question

My shed and wall fence have been in the same position prior to me aquiring the property in 1992. In 2008 my neigbour sent me a letter via a solicitor complaining that 'the shed and the boundary wall built by you' were encroaching on her property. I asked for legal advice and replied asking her to supply me with evidence to support her claim, such as a detailed report from a boundary surveyor. She choose not to reply in a civilized way, but on several occasions she went on a rampage, chopping the rosemary bush that grows in my garden against the said wall and throwing all the branches in my garden. The police intervened on three occasions, the last one last Tuesday, when she was actually detained overnight in custody. I always maintained that if she is so sure to be right she should take me to a civil court, and this is also wat the Police have advised her to do, as they cannot do anything (in spite of her criminal damage and trespassing) as she has the right to defend herself. I am distraught and find the situation intolerable. I knoe that she can play the system and will never take me to court. But I need to put an end to this horrible situation. What can I do? Meanwhile I looked for the deeds to my house and cannot find them. Is it possible to obtain them from the Land registry? Would they show for sure that the boundary belongs to me and it is where it should be? Shoul I take her to court? I am 77, of very modest conditions and desire only justice and peace! Please help!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I am a solicitor wit 20 years experience. I will try to answer this for you.
You can search the title register and the title plan at the land registry
online here
The answer will not be definitive but it is a good place to start, and at the very least is indicative. To really establish the boundaries you may need to try to find the old unregistered deeds. If the property is on an estate it may be that by looking at other properties nearby you can deduce the boundary. Even if the old boundary is where your neighbour thinks it is you may have an argument that you have acquired the land through adverse possession (ie squatter's rights).
You say she has committed criminal damage. She is allowed to chop back your plants to the extent they encroach into, under or over her land. Trespass in itself is not a crime.
It night be a good idea to check the land registry and your attitude that she needs to prove ownerhship is a perfectly reasonable one.
I don't think you need to take her to court as she is the one asserting a different boundary to the one existing on the ground.
I suppose you could suggest mediation which is non-binding and can be an effective way of resolving disputes.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So far this has costed me, apart from the harassment and the stress) the legal fees in 2008, the present fee for your advice, and the gardener fee for clearing the mess. Is there any way I could claim for a refund?

I thank you for your advice, although I can not understand why her behaviour can be tolerated in law. I will continue to search for the original deeds and will search for the land registry on line as you suggested. I may also try for mediation, as you suggested. Thanks.

Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry but no I don't think there is any legal remedy that would be of use to you.