T marks indicate boundary?

T marks indicate boundary?

Postby Dorje » Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:29 pm

Hi folks,
I purchased my property in 2015. It has four straight boundaries. Three are fenced. One borders the public road.
One of these boundaries has two boundary features: a fence and a hedge, on my side of the fence. The fence and hedge are a metre apart. My neighbour's 1955 Lease plan has a T on this boundary. The Lease requires the leaseholder to maintain, "...the fences along the boundaries...", marked with a T.

Can we infer that the fence is "on" the legal boundary? I suspect it's not so simple.

My neighbour asserts he owns the land to two metres on "my" side of the hedge, however there is no feature describing that imaginary line. I feel he is making a landgrab. My vendor's Dad (they are/were all friends) is buried within that two metre area. Secondly, between exchanging contracts and completion my vendor moved the bench she had placed between her father's grave and the hedge onto my neighbour's land, on his side of his fence. When I asked my vendor about this, she told me she did this because she thought I may not want her visiting my land.

Historically, the hedge has been maintained by and for the benefit of the owner of what is now my property. A similar situation on another boundary of my property sees the fence belonging to the (different) neighbour and the hedge to myself. When I purchased the property in 2015 I imagined that the same situation applied to the boundary now in dispute. I assumed that the two straight line boundaries I now share with this tricky neighbour are defined by his fences as our legal boundaries. Was this naieve?

Finally, is it possible that the hedge must now be considered a party boundary because the historical neighbourly agreement otherwise no longer exists?
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Re: T marks indicate boundary?

Postby Collaborate » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:07 am

Go ahead and erect your own fence just inside your neighbours. Make it 2m high.
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Re: T marks indicate boundary?

Postby arborlad » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:25 am

Dorje wrote: My neighbour asserts he owns the land to two metres on "my" side of the hedge, however there is no feature describing that imaginary line. I feel he is making a landgrab. My vendor's Dad (they are/were all friends) is buried within that two metre area. Secondly, between exchanging contracts and completion my vendor moved the bench she had placed between her father's grave and the hedge onto my neighbour's land, on his side of his fence. When I asked my vendor about this, she told me she did this because she thought I may not want her visiting my land.




Do any of these boundary features line up with anything of known ownership, gable end, party wall etc.?

Presumably you were fully aware of this burial site before you purchased.
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Re: T marks indicate boundary?

Postby Roblewis » Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:28 pm

A nice little mess of potage - technically your vendor misrepresented the property by removing the bench without notification on the SPIF before contract exchange and completion. Smile and put up a 2m fence between you and your neighbour, just inside his fence. Land transfers now days have to be registered to have legal status, informal arrangements simply do not cut any ice in court especially those not revealed before contract exchange and completion. YOUR VENDORS BURIAL ALSO STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT THE HEDGE TO FENCE STRIP IS PART OF YOUR PROPERTY REGARDLESS OF GENERAL LAYOUT. Get your fence up asap and I would check with the LA that the burial has been discussed with them. You actually can apply to the home office for an exhumation licence to remove the body and the vendors consent or even notification is not required. The vendor now has no right of access to the grave - Useful ammunition if the landgrab continues to be asserted.
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Re: T marks indicate boundary?

Postby Dorje » Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:33 pm

I attach a map, for clarity.

My vendor's SPIF indicates only that the leaseholder of property A "owns or maintains" the boundary features between it and property B. As the leaseholder of property A regularly maintained property B on account of his close friendship with my vendor, I did not derive any inference of ownership of the disputed hedge from that information.
My concern is that if I object via a solicitor, my neighbour may now argue that the hedge is the shared boundary and the fence was placed where it is because it could not be placed in the centre of the hedge. However, the owner of property D, whose family have been here since the 1850's as farmers, says that the disputed hedge has always belonged to property B. He cut the hedge to the benefit of the owner of property B (in the 1970's), as I mentioned before.

Erecting a second fence seems both laborious and confrontational. It would not prevent access to the disputed hedge should a person feel they had a right to do so.
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Re: T marks indicate boundary?

Postby Collaborate » Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:40 pm

Go ahead and do what you want with your land, but I would reiterate my advice to erect your own fence just inside theirs. Start as you mean to go on.

Do you really think a judge will think your vendors buried their father on land A, and that land A owners either consented to it, or were never aware of the burial? I couldn't conceive of land A being declared owner beyond their own fence.
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Re: T marks indicate boundary?

Postby Dorje » Sat Dec 03, 2016 12:43 am

There are many ways I can assert my sense of ownership here, such as managing the overgrown (deciduous) hedge without notice. Key is, if my neighbours' hungry solicitor charges criminal damage, trespass and/or worse what legal precedent/caselaw can I cite in defence? I have seen them argue the most ridiculous positions on other matters, as a deterrent to negotiation, all the while presenting as creating good neighbourly relations. I agree that Land A appears to end at the fence. It seems a reasonable assumption that this is why the bench was moved from the gravesite on land B to 1 metre inside land A, albeit without notice to myself as the incoming purchaser. However, with such unimaginably unreasonable neighbours so prone to landgrabbing and expensive, circular, offensive litigousness, appearances and reasonable assumption are cannon fodder.
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Re: T marks indicate boundary?

Postby arborlad » Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:15 am

arborlad wrote:
Dorje wrote: My neighbour asserts he owns the land to two metres on "my" side of the hedge, however there is no feature describing that imaginary line. I feel he is making a landgrab. My vendor's Dad (they are/were all friends) is buried within that two metre area. Secondly, between exchanging contracts and completion my vendor moved the bench she had placed between her father's grave and the hedge onto my neighbour's land, on his side of his fence. When I asked my vendor about this, she told me she did this because she thought I may not want her visiting my land.




Do any of these boundary features line up with anything of known ownership, gable end, party wall etc.?

Presumably you were fully aware of this burial site before you purchased.





There should have been a caution against the title of your property regarding the grave site, what did it say?

What type of fences are they?...........you have to be cautious with ex agricultural properties, fences erected for stock control may not be boundary features.
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Re: T marks indicate boundary?

Postby Dorje » Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:57 am

arborlad wrote:
1. Do any of these boundary features line up with anything of known ownership, gable end, party wall etc.?
2. There should have been a caution against the title of your property regarding the grave site, what did it say?
3. What type of fences are they?...........you have to be cautious with ex agricultural properties, fences erected for stock control may not be boundary features.


1. The disputed hedge stops 5 metres short of accepted boundary features on the left of the diagram. On the right, both the disputed hedge and the fence with the T mark join the accepted legal boundary between land B and land C.

2. There is nothing in the Deed regarding the grave. Prior to exchange of contracts I was informed of the grave verbally, and only by the vendor. I have not yet checked with Land Registry on this, as I believe advised above.

3. The fences are all stock fences - wooden posts with sheep wire to 3' and three strands of unbarbed wire to a total height of 5'. On the fence closest to our garden the three strands of wire are barbed. This, regardless of the fact that our neighbour is aware that my wife is traumatised by the barbed wire due to her experiences with anti-apartheid kettling practices used by the South African State Police in the 80's in dealing with the protests in which she and her friends were involved. In addition to the voluminous rolls of barbed wire used to corral the protesters, they used dogs to push the protesters up against the wire while spraying them with purple dye. The dye would then identify them as protesters for days following so that they could be arrested after the protest event had ended. The neighbour is aware of these concerns as we have put them in writing to him. He says he is not aware of them while claiming that he is promoting "good neighbourly relations" etc. etc. It is classic aggressive doublespeak in our view.
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Re: T marks indicate boundary?

Postby Dorje » Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:55 pm

arborlad
btw, land A is currently forestry/agricultural.
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Re: T marks indicate boundary?

Postby Roblewis » Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:39 pm

Unless you are prepared to be confrontational you will be bullied into handing over land, Your vendor has made it clear that the grave is/was on her land and the statement from property D demonstrates in my view that the hedge is yours. Fences are not that expensive compared to what it could save and if barb wire disturbs your wife a panel fence is a good concealer. Informal agreements are not worthwhile especially as your vendor did not enter it on the Sellers Property Information Form (SPIF). Be prepared to play hard with her if needed.
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Re: T marks indicate boundary?

Postby MacadamB53 » Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:55 pm

Hi Dorje,

would you consider gifting some land - grave plus narrow boundary only - to put an end to this and by implication agree the whereabouts of the boundary?

just an idea...

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: T marks indicate boundary?

Postby Dorje » Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:57 am

The grave sits on my side of the hedge's centre line, so while I appreciate your considerate suggestion I feel that's impractical. Secondly the hedge has clearly belonged to this property for generations, like its water supply and, latterly a right of way (http://www.gardenlaw.co.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=20227). In all three cases my neighbour has moved to assert ownership unduly and/or illegally.

A compromise would only be capitulation to bullying aimed at landgrabbing, in my view. For instance, with respect to the right of way he regularly leaves parked cars, a bag of leaves, a coiled hosepipe, feed buckets for his poultry etc. on it. The newly introduced poultry range freely across it, in response to my indicating my need to use the right of way. He has erected a fourth gate across the ROW to underline his response. He has promised to lock all four gates on the two metre wide by ninety metre long ROW. This would oblige a vehicular ROW user to walk the length of the ROW four times in order to unlock, open, close and lock the gates to drive over it. Clearly at some point in this process his poultry would be free to escape from his property, and he would no doubt charge me with some heinous crime which would see me thrown in the Tower. His response to my objections to his blocking the ROW has been to say that I should call him, despite the facts that he is often away for the day or the weekend, that he requires me to communicate with him via his solicitor on all matters and that he is legally obliged to retain the ROW free of obstacles to its intended use.

Our neighbour on the other side, whose family have been here since the 1850's refers to him and his wife as, "...intruders". Council are in the process of persuading him to remove an illegal dwelling on his land. So far he has ignored their warnings and the fact that they will impose an Enforcement Order if he continues to do so. In my view there is no talking compromise with such a selfish fellow. I feel that my only choice here is to patiently take practical actions on the ground in all these matters which a Court would uphold, once I am confident of same.

It's very easy for an impartial person to advise applying for Injunctions. With this particular person I am certain that this would become expensive, and quickly as his solicitors' without prejudice letters are both indulgently insulting and stunningly uncompromising. It is a real test of patience :roll:
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Re: T marks indicate boundary?

Postby Roblewis » Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:17 am

As a matter of interest - Do you know the Freeholder for land A? If so it may be worth a discussion with him/her about boundaries as they seem to have fixed a line in their minds to ensure a fence is built and maintained via the lease. The careful placing of the T mark on the stock fence would tie in to such an act.
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Re: T marks indicate boundary?

Postby Dorje » Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:51 pm

Reluctant to contact freeholders as they will likely engage in longwinded solicitors' discussions as deterrent, per neighbours' habit. Freeholders and tenant will likely circle wagons. I may approach freeholders later.
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