Solution to a boundary problem?

Solution to a boundary problem?

Postby Danfuss » Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:19 pm

We have a long-running boundary dispute with the owners of the house next door. I would very much appreciate views on our situation and apologise for the length of the post.
Each is an end mid-terrace and ownership of the driveway between them was, according to my original deeds, shared equally between them.

Until recently the neighbouring house was occupied by a tenant and had been for over 50 years. It is now empty and the owners want to sell.

When I bought our house some 30 years ago it was unregistered land. In 2004 the title was registered. Unfortunately, the Land Registry plan did not clearly reflect the extent of our ownership of the drive – the scale used (1:2500) did not help.

Later, the landlord/owner of the neighbouring house registered their land and claimed all the remaining land constituting the driveway and omitted the ROW we have over part of the driveway in their ownership. (The driveway is our only means of access to our garage and has been the case for all predecessor owners since the garage was built in the late 1960s.)

After some exchanges between our respective solicitors, they accepted that the boundary as recorded by the Land Registry was incorrect and should be rectified. A boundary agreement was produced (at our expense). They then refused to sign it, unless we undertook to stop parking on the driveway something which we (and our predecessors) have been doing for over 40 years.

Fast forward to recently and the owners have approached us, via the estate agent handling the sale, to see what could be done to resolve the problem. Our main concern was to have both titles rectified at the Land Registry. We also wanted the other side to compensate us for the costs of producing the boundary agreement and plan.

The response has been that they have been advised by their solicitor that there is no need for the titles to be rectified as they were prepared to “convey” to us that portion of the driveway incorrectly ‘absorbed’ into their title. I find it difficult to believe that any solicitor would have advised his/her clients that this was a viable option to solve what is a joint problem.

Thank you for reading.
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Re: Solution to a boundary problem?

Postby despair » Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:31 pm

Sure our wonderful contributor Conveyancer will be along with correct process shortly
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Re: Solution to a boundary problem?

Postby Conveyancer » Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:44 pm

It often happens that those who missed the chance to put things right when they had the opportunity have to come back when they want to sell. It would be tempting to take the opportunity to set the terms, but since it is in your interest too to sort everything out what you should aim for is to achieve what should have been done many years ago. What you need is:

·An agreement as to where the boundary is. Ideally that should follow the LR's recommendations - see this guide: https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... boundaries

·If your part of the drive is in your neighbour's title a transfer of the land to you.

·The grant and reservation of mirror rights of way over each half of the drive.

·An agreement as to parking on the drive.

·Provisions for the future maintenance of the drive.

How much the neighbour should contribute to past and future costs is down to negotiation.
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Re: Solution to a boundary problem?

Postby Conveyancer » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:18 pm

despair wrote:Sure our wonderful contributor Conveyancer will be along with correct process shortly


A glowing reference, thank you!

I am in fact now away until the end of the month so any follow up will have to wait.
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Re: Solution to a boundary problem?

Postby despair » Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:08 am

Enjoy your break conveyancer
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Re: Solution to a boundary problem?

Postby Roblewis » Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:50 am

The need for a sale has clearly brought home the problems of selling a house tainted by a dispute. They are offering to formally convey to you title to the driveway that was" incorrectly" placed in their deeds. Unless your solicitor advises you otherwise I would take it. It will formalise the situation that you actually wish. You do need a solicitor to guard your interest.
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Re: Solution to a boundary problem?

Postby Danfuss » Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:05 pm

Very many thanks for the helpful replies.

I will wait for their offer to be put in writing but, if it is as described by the estate agent, I will view in a more positive light!

Our previous experience in dealing with the owners has somewhat tainted our opinion of their good faith. And, yes, we will be taking our solicitor's advice.

Thank you, once again.
Danfuss
 
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Re: Solution to a boundary problem?

Postby Danfuss » Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:12 pm

Well, the situation has moved on and not in a good way.

Negotiations conducted through our respective solicitors were proceeding fairly smoothly and a draft TR1 was produced. Unfortunately, this did not include the points agreed in principle as to our respective rights and obligations over the shared driveway so a revised draft was produced.

At this point, the owners of the neighbouring house invited their prospective buyer to comment on the TR1 and this introduced a number of restrictions on our use of the drive which were unacceptable. While negotiations were ongoing the property was sold, albeit at a discount.

We have no claim against the sellers as we have been advised that the usual rules of contract do not apply to land.

We are at a loss to understand why anyone would be so foolish as to buy a property with a declared boundary problem.

Any advice would be gratefully received.
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Re: Solution to a boundary problem?

Postby mr sheen » Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:12 pm

A couple of points occur to me.....

If I was buying the neighbouring property I would absolutely object to a neighbour parking on my land. Since you only have a right of way over their land, you should not be parking on it. Is this one of the issues?

The onus is actually on you to prove your case since the neighbouring land is registered and you claim the registration is incorrect.

So actually I can see why the dispute hasn't prevented a sale and why they refused to accept an agreement.

This leaves you having to prove your claims I'm afraid. The sellers will no longer be interested in negotiating if the sale is going through.

If the parking is the sticking point, you could park there openly at all times and especially when the purchasers are around to illustrate the problems they will have with you parking on your right of way ie their land. They would have to issue proceedings against you for an injunction and then a Judge would decide if you have developed the right to park there...or not. Or....they could park on their land, your ROW to stop you parking or passing and repassing creating serious unrest.....but a reasonable resolution to this would be both parties agree not to park on the ROW.

You actually only have a boundary document produced by your side making a claim. Nothing agreed nor signed. They have the LR registration in their favour.
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Re: Solution to a boundary problem?

Postby Danfuss » Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:35 pm

Thank you, Mr Sheen. Perhaps I had not made myself clear.

The sellers had conceded that the boundary, as recorded by HMLR, was incorrect. This was to be the basis of the transfer of the land back to us together with the recognition of our right of way over a parallel section of the drive belonging to the neighbouring land - as recorded in the original deed.

It had also been accepted that due to the passage of time, we had a claim to a prescriptive right to park on the drive having done so without permission, force or surreptitiously as we continue to do.
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Re: Solution to a boundary problem?

Postby mr sheen » Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:55 pm

Presumably you have signed agreements to support your claims above.
Because if not.....your say you agreed....they may remember it very differently.
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Re: Solution to a boundary problem?

Postby mr sheen » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:00 pm

In your first post you indicate that the neighbours were agreeable to the boundary change IF you stopped parking on the ROW. You did not agree....so there is no agreement.

All communication via solicitors will be 'without prejudice' with a view to coming to a reasonable agreement as an outcome and consequently does not constitute an agreement.

What agreements have been completed and signed?
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