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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 30008
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Boundary dispute. The fence between my parents property and

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Boundary dispute. The fence between my parents property and next door has been in place 15 years, I believe it is their responsibility, which they erected. The property next door has recently changed hands and the new owners are querying the line of the fence. My parents deeds do not show any measurements. How is this resolved?
JA: What are you located? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Holmer Green, Bucks
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No, the neighbour contacted me, as my mother’s property is up for sale, as she has dementia and is in a home.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Not that I can think of.

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

I am very sorry to read of the above and I imagine how frustrating it must be. I will certainly try to clarify the position for you.

May I ask if your parents have asked the neighbour to produce any evidence to support their query please?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
My father is dead and my mother has dementia and lives in a care home, so I am dealing with the sale.
When I spoke with the neighbour we both agreed to get the Deeds to each property in order to try and resolve the matter. Looking at my parent's Deeds, it is just a colour piece of land with a straight boundary, no measurements, the conveyance was done in 1956.
I am wondering if there is a Statute of Limitations or something, as the fence, put up by neighbouring property is 15 plus years old?
  1. thank you. I'm sorry to read of the above. From what you say, you are presently selling the property. What stage has that sale process reached please?
  2. has the neighbour raised a formal dispute or simply made informal enquiries at this stage?
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
The property is still being viewed, no offers received.
He has made an informal enquiry

thank you. In the context of a sale, to the extent you can keep this matter on an informal basis the better as if it becomes any form of formal dispute, you will have to declare it to any potential buyer. however, to the extent you are not able to prevent the matter escalating into a formal dispute, if there is uncertainty with regards ***** ***** location of your actual boundary the first thing to look at is your title plan which from what you say you have already done. Occasionally, though not often, measurements can appear on the plan but from what you say this is no exception in that measurements are absent from the plan which will be expressed to be for the purpose of identification only.

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.

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.

If you are unable to agree the location of the boundary line, one of the most cost-effective approaches as mentioned above is that you can ask the Land Registry to determine the boundary on the title plans by instructing a surveyor to prepare 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 your proposals.

There is a fee of £90.

from there, there is a process that is followed whereby the neighbour will have the opportunity to either agree the proposal or reject it and prepare their own report to counter yours. The land registrar will then make a decision and if either of you disagree, that decision can be appealed to the property tribunal.

However, irrespective of the outcome of the above process, because from what you say the fence has been in place for more than 10 years, there would be a basis on which the claim adverse possession of any land which is determined in the above process to actually belong to your neighbours on the grounds that the fence has been in place for more than 10 years, and therefore your parents have had factual occupation and possession of the land in the honest if mistaken belief that it belonged to them. Accordingly, there is really no point in the neighbours pursuing a formal dispute as irrespective of the outcome, I cannot see that they would be successful in being able to claim the land on this basis

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Joshua, thank you for a very full and comprehensive answer to my query. I am very pleased I used your services. Gillian Aver

I'm glad the above answers all your questions for now. If you have any follow up questions please revert to me.

Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer and see you again in the future I hope.

Joshua and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I agreed to an initial £5.00 payment, I did not authorise or agree to a further £50.00 being put on my debut card. This was out of order.

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