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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 2456
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Boundary Dispute

Customer Question

Boundary Dispute - we have lived here for 14 years and in this time we have maintained our borders. There were 3 tall trees conifers, at one side of our boundary which we were told were ours, they were bigger than our house and the roots go underneath our home. We bought a chainsaw and my husband would cut the tops and branches down and keep them tidy.One tree died and so I planted another. Our wheelie bins have also been kept there for the whole period of time. Our neighbours moved in 8 years ago. They have asked me when are you going to cut the trees lower they are taller than your house, so we would cut them lower. Recently a tree surgeon came to the door, he had been next door and was told they were our trees. He then came to me, he showed me the middle tree had been hacked into and was dead. With this I decided to have them cut down at a cost of £240. To keep the boundary line I put planters on top and planted two large plants. I work from home and had an excellent relationship with our neighbours. About 6 weeks ago the neighbour asked me to move our bins, I didn't understand, she now says since I have cut the trees down that this area is hers. She had a contractor round measuring the tree bit for her drive. Can she do this after 14 years of us maintaining it, our gardeners weeding it and working on it, us paying to cut the trees down and all the time she has never said a word. Can she just claim it now? why should we maintain an area we believed was our boundary for some 14 years on for someone to just take it. I have land registry documents. Our house was built by the builder of the road after all of the other houses and so he built it on three separate pieces of land, 3 pieces of 3 peoples gardens. If you look at the plan of the road prior to our house going up you can see clearly the house next door and the trees on the land boundary that the builders bought for our house. The subsequent deeds show more of a straight line through the trees. What can we do? the laws in the UK used to be that if you could prove you had maintained a piece of land for more than 12 years then it became yours, we maintained the boundary and the trees. Also we didn't cut out the roots of the trees as we didn't know how far the roots go underneath our home, so the roots are underneath the planters.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Why does this only become an issue now?
Is it because the neighbour didn't want the land when the trees were on it but now that you have removed the trees at your own cost, they have decided they want it back?