350m boundary in place for 33years being challenged

Re: 350m boundary in place for 33years being challenged

Postby stufe35 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:34 pm

PS as developers they are likely to have good knowledge of land law and have appropriately skilled and experienced solicitors. You need to make sure yours is too.

They clearly have a game plan. Why the interest in access at this point ? Clearly there is an issue with the other access to this field as the previous owner requested a gate here too. Or does it somehow make the land potential development land ?

You can rest assured at the very least with gates now in place they will be taking periodic photos of their vehicles on your drive , probably whilst you are out, such that in twenty years time they can attempt to claim a prescriptive easement. The gates need to go now !
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Re: 350m boundary in place for 33years being challenged

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:54 pm

rovpaul wrote:
MacadamB53 wrote:Hi rovpaul,

hedges and streams do move over time as you correctly state.

does the original document refer to these as being the boundary or where to locate the fence?

Kind regards, Mac

Many thanks for your reply Mac, the original documents refer to the hedge and stream as being the points from which the fence should be measured i.e. 15 feet from the middle of the hedge and 30 feet from the eastern edge of the stream. The stream meanders so it would have been impractical for the fence to follow it from 30 feet from it's edge all the way along the original owners agreed with each other a straight line parallel to the stream which in parts is more or less than 30 feet from the "eastern edge" of the stream. The neighbours are pointing to the fact that it is more than 30 feet in places as being encroachment on their land.
Hi rovpaul,

thanks for clarifying.

as others have picked up, this means the neighbour has misunderstood the situation and needs to be informed.

the fence marks the edge of what you own.
whether it wasn't placed the correct distance from the hedge for the entire length is a moot point - the vendor was evidently happy with its placement.

I'd remove the stakes, remove the gate and replace my fence - whilst also explaining to the neighbour how I can understand how they made such a mistake and I won't hear a grudge.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: 350m boundary in place for 33years being challenged

Postby Eliza » Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:55 pm

stufe35 wrote:I echo what others have said. Im no expert but my take on this is:
They are developers trying it on. The fence is yours, they have committed criminal damage and theft by removing it.
The fence was agreed at the time of the conveyance (1984), and was unchallenged when you and they bought your properties 3 years ago. It now represents the boundary line and the fence belongs to you as it was erected by the former owners of your property.

IMHO your solicitor or you should write to them telling them to remove their gate and reinstate the fence at their cost in a reasonable (defined) timeframe, say 1 month, otherwise you will do so and seek costs. Remind them they have no right of access along your drive and that they or agents acting on their behalf should not come on to your property for any purpose other than an emergency without your prior permission otherwise you will regard it as trespass.- in the same letter point out the situation with the fence as I said above.

Im amazed your solicitor hasn't simply done this are you sure he/she is the right person for the job ?...you should perhaps consult a specialist in landlaw.

The time for worrying about neighbourly relations is gone- what sort of people enter your property without permission and erect gates 'thinking' it will be ok to use your drive. ....i'll tell you---greedy nasty ones who care about no one other than themselves and are trying to bully you. Don't let them.

My advice...do not accept a right of way on your property. Just look at other threads on this site at the problems people have.

In the immediate term I would padlock their gates and erect a tempoary fence/barrier in front of them to prevent their use.



I'd second every word of that.

These are developers - out to extract maximum value possible from their land and not caring if its at your expense. The phrase they must be repeating to themselves at regular intervals is "softly softly catchee monkee" and hence why they were being nice to you originally. They are now showing their true colours imo.

It looks to me like they are "playing a long game" and may indeed be planning on trying to claim "prescriptive easement" on your drive in time to come. I've been in a similar position myself - and had to take action "hard and fast" to prevent any possible building up of "prescriptive" rights on my land. My feeling was that my own neighbours anticipate my property might be in a position to make a profit for itself at some point - and they wanted me to use some of MY "profit" to pay them off if it came to it. This may, possibly, be something akin to what they are doing. That being - they know that they should, rightfully, pay you for the new properties they have in mind to develop on THEIR land having access up YOUR drive and hence they are trying to make out that its not fully your drive iyswim. Thereby hoping to avoid paying you some of their anticipated profits your land would have facilitated.

I may be wrong - but that is a possible game they might be playing here.
Apologies for not giving exact personal details in my posts - you never know who is reading....
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Re: 350m boundary in place for 33years being challenged

Postby rovpaul » Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:16 pm

Thanks for everyone that has taken the time and trouble to respond. It's heartening to know that my suspicions about what their true motives may be may not just be paranoia on my part and that right seems to be very clearly on our side. I have a meeting with them tomorrow as a last ditch attempt to resolve and where I intend to make my position very explicit politely but firmly that I will be removing their stakes and I expect the fence to be repaired. If they don't agree, them I'll give my solicitor the nod to use the full force of the law; I'd held off in the hope it could be avoided but, given that we have been assured by our insurance company that this constitutes a nuisance claim which they'll cover, we will pursue as necessary. I'll be sure to post back with how it goes.
Thanks again all.
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Re: 350m boundary in place for 33years being challenged

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:35 pm

Hi rovpaul,

I'll be sure to post back with how it goes.

I do hope so - many threads fail in this regard.

All the best for tomorrow, Mac
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Re: 350m boundary in place for 33years being challenged

Postby stufe35 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:44 pm

One other point you might do well to understand before your chat tomorrow.

Your predecessor was required to erect 'a fence' .

The purpose of this fence was to define the boundary and the fence (or boundary feature) belongs to you.

If your neighbours chose to keep cattle in their field, they are responsible for containing those cattle within the field. They have no right to repair, maintain or even use your fence for this purpose...they can of course with your permission- and inevitably that is what is common practice where neighbours get on as it is often ridiculous to have 2 fences.

What im saying really is, you are not responsible for maintaining a fence to restrain their cattle, they are and if yours is unsuitable they should provide their own on their land.

You don't need to present this fact, just understand it and have it up your sleeve in case discussions develop in that direction.
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Re: 350m boundary in place for 33years being challenged

Postby stufe35 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:10 pm

Just a further thought...has this fence been renewed at sometime since 1985... It would seem highly likely. Was it the owner of your property that did this ?
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Re: 350m boundary in place for 33years being challenged

Postby jonahinoz » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:29 pm

Hi,

I believe at one time you could prevent a track from becoming a ROW by blocking access for one day each year, OR, by erecting a sign saying PRIVATE - NO RIGHT OF WAY. I assume that is no longer the case? If it ever was. ???

Your neighbours predecessor asked your predecessor for a ROW. That would indicate that he knew he did not have a ROW.

Is there any way that you can put a gate across the entrance to your drive, without inconveniencing yourself? No doubt there are hi-tech ways of doing this ... electric parrier, buzzer and walkie talkie. You could erect a gate, and lock it when your neighbours are visiting their land. Is that allowed?

Plant a poplar (?) sapling every few feet along the fence, starting with outside their gate. I know nothing about trees. Maybe a cordon (?) of fruit trees. Something that is obviously planted with a purpose, that would be criminal damage to destroy.

It is an ENDORSABLE offence to drive on private land without authority. Two exceptions ... you may drive up to 15 yards from a public highway provided you park ... you may drive across or along a footpath to access property that you have the authority to enter. But your drive is not a footpath. I don't know if either is worth running with.

John W
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Re: 350m boundary in place for 33years being challenged

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:50 pm

Hi John W,

I believe at one time you could prevent a track from becoming a ROW by blocking access for one day each year, OR, by erecting a sign saying PRIVATE - NO RIGHT OF WAY. I assume that is no longer the case? If it ever was. ???

are you thinking of Public Rights of Way perhaps?

the owners of permissive paths - which are not PROWs - often close them at least once a year.
a classic example is to close it for odd days for a shoot, or switch which side of a field it runs down as cropping arrangements change.

the owners of private rights of way or land over which the public might trespass across can prevent long user creating a PROW by erecting signs like "PRIVATE - NO RIGHT OF WAY".

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: 350m boundary in place for 33years being challenged

Postby jonahinoz » Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:42 am

are you thinking of Public Rights of Way perhaps?

Hi Mac,

Probably.

But I understood that a PROW had to be built up to an acceptable standard before it was recognised as such by the LA. Or are their two levels of PROW?

Whatever, if it doesn't apply in this discussion, let's leave it for another day.

602
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Re: 350m boundary in place for 33years being challenged

Postby rovpaul » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:04 am

stufe35 wrote:..has this fence been renewed at sometime since 1985... It would seem highly likely. Was it the owner of your property that did this ?


Hi,
Yes, we have a written statement from the original owner that the fence was replaced since but that the occupant at that time was also happy with the line of the fence. We also have aerial photographs from 1990, 2000 and 2008 which show the fence following the same line.
Thanks
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Re: 350m boundary in place for 33years being challenged

Postby stufe35 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:16 am

I believe you have little to worry about, just get rid of the gate either in the way I suggested or the way Mac suggested.

You have the evidence and support of the previous owner...I suspect they have nothing. You simply state as mentioned by other posters the fence was erected in 1984 in agreement with all concerned on a line set out using the guidance stated in the deeds. As such the fence now represents the position of the legal boundary.

The reality is at the time they probably measured 30 ft at one end of the stream, 30ft at the other end of the stream (maybe a couple of intermediates) and pulled a stringline between the pegs. You usually put fences up in straight lines whenever possible. If the stream meandered a bit then it cannot be proven and if it does now its of no consequence, the line was agreed. (Would be my understanding of the situation as a non professional)

I believe they are bluffing , stand up to them, if things get heavy make sure you have a solicitor experienced in land law...not just your high street divorce and conveyancing type.

Look forward to hearing how you get on today.
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Re: 350m boundary in place for 33years being challenged

Postby arborlad » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:47 am

stufe35 wrote:In the immediate term I would padlock their gates and erect a tempoary fence/barrier in front of them to prevent their use.



I'm less certain of that, it would add a tacit, if wholly inaccurate acceptance that the gates are in some way legitimate. The gates and everything associated with them have to go and the fence reinstated - all as was.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: 350m boundary in place for 33years being challenged

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:35 am

arborlad wrote:
stufe35 wrote:In the immediate term I would padlock their gates and erect a tempoary fence/barrier in front of them to prevent their use.



I'm less certain of that, it would add a tacit, if wholly inaccurate acceptance that the gates are in some way legitimate. The gates and everything associated with them have to go and the fence reinstated - all as was.
+1
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Re: 350m boundary in place for 33years being challenged

Postby stufe35 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:48 pm

Gents, I agree with your comments, I guess what I meant was disable the gates right now (using the methods mentioned)...until there permanent removal can be arranged.
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