Help - impending boundary action by neighbour

Boundary dispute and weird neighbour

Postby Wellway » Wed May 03, 2017 5:05 pm

Hi all

We currently have a boundary dispute with our neighbour.

We purchased our property in mid 2012 and at the time our neighbour only owned the plot to the right of our garden.

In 2014, a house that had an extensive garden along the back of the street, sold the majority of its garden to my neighbour. This has made their garden into a T shape pretty much and it backs onto 4 properties, including mine and theirs.

At the top of our garden, there was previously a hedge which belonged to the previous owner that sold to my neighbour. We maintained this since ownership as the previous owner of the land was elderly and did not care for the garden. To the right of us there was a fence which had not been maintained and it was falling over into my neighbours garden.

In mid 2015, we discussed with my neighbour erecting two new fences to replace the hedge and the their fence. We would remove the hedge and fence and replacing them at our cost, they did not offer. We said we wanted them changed due to us having a pets and a little one on the way, so wanted it to be more secure and private. The neighbour said that the hedge was hers and same with the fence, we agreed to place the fence in line with the hedge after it was removed, so no gain of land and we said that was fine.

When the work commenced, the hedge was removed and the posts were cemented into the ground. They used the line between the two existing fences on either side of my property which had ran to the hedge. Our neighbour seen where they were placed and came and complained that we had moved our fence into their land. We disagreed with this, but they were aggressive and believing nothing we said. We even had left the flag stones on the ground from our shed which backed onto the hedge, and they remain there currently, the fence is built on the end of these, posts are just behind them.

They also had an issue with the position of the replacement fence between our gardens and stated that we would need to place this on our side of the original fence so it was in our garden as the previous fence was in theirs, we agreed to do this.

While they were arguing about the issues, where the boundary line should be. This measurement had changed multiple times throughout the day as it was off the top of their head. We asked for them to show us where this came from but could not, I said we would finish the fence and would be happy to move it if they found the measurement and proved the boundary to be wrong. They were not happy with this and continued to be angry and aggressive towards us, mostly my wife that was heavily pregnant at the time.

We heard nothing more from them on the matter until a couple of months ago when we received a solicitor letter saying that we removed the hedge and moved the boundary outwards by two foot or so, thus encroaching their land and trespass and gave us 6 weeks to reposition the fence without stating where to.

We asked the solicitor to provide us with details of this and for our neighbour to show us where they feel the position of the fence to be. They ignored the request a few times while letters went back and forth. We stated that we would call the police if they decided to remove or fence before this matter was resolved, we confirmed this was fine to do with the local police too.

We have photographs showing the outline of our garden from when we purchased the property, to when the fence was being put up to what it looks like now and there is no change in boundary or size of our garden, just looks better. We sent these to the solicitor to show we had not done what they had claimed as nothing detailed was provided by the solicitor.

Now our neighbour has marked the position where our fence should be at the rear of the property (25ft). And at the front, they have displayed the title plan for their plot, in a childish ploy. The measurement for the rear fence has been taken from the title plan of her house, the plan is a proposed site plan of the street on a scale of 1":20ft. and the only measurement it states is the approx. sq yards of the outlined plot. I do not have these for my property but have seen other neighbours and it appears to be correct measurement scaled up.

They have not shown us any title plan of the land that they purchased, which I feel may cause discrepancies if placed together with our streets plans for the width of the land and our gardens.

The hedge was approx. 28ft from our property and this had been a feature between the house and the previous garden, prior to our neighbours purchase, for many years. It is visible on Google Earth historical images from 2002. The hedge also a boundary feature of the neighbour that is disputing our fence, prior to them purchasing the land and removing the section between her garden and land.

The neighbour has now replaced the fence on the other side of them with a new fence, which I feel they may have shortened at one side to create a wider angle if used to continue up the rest of the land. They have also removed the fence of the neighbour on the other side of me, which he has said had been there for 60 years and was pretty much in line with mine. They had not provided my neighbour with notice before removing this fence and is not happy with this.

Our disputing neighbours seem to live on intimating behaviour with the neighbours, whether they do it on purpose or do not process their actions to be hostile and seem to be alienating themselves further with their actions on this matter.

Queries
Would my neighbour be entitled to reposition the boundaries of all the gardens based on measurements of her house title plan only? Should it not be considered from the plan of the land they had just purchased? I do not think any surveyor has looked at these.

I assume the fence we placed between the gardens to be my fence due to it being put on my side of the old fence, is this correct? If so, are they allowed to attach items or do anything on this fence if this in within our boundary?

Would we have a claim for adverse possession given the boundary feature (hedge) has been in place for over 12 years, even though I have not lived in the property for whole period? Has anyone made this claim and know what this require apart from a small fortune for 2-3ft?

Thanks
Wellway
 
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Re: Boundary dispute and weird neighbour

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed May 03, 2017 6:22 pm

Hi Wellway,

Would my neighbour be entitled to reposition the boundaries of all the gardens based on measurements of her house title plan only?

nope - otherwise you'd end up with a "I'm Spartacus..." kind of situation

I assume the fence we placed between the gardens to be my fence due to it being put on my side of the old fence, is this correct?

yup - the law presumes a landowner will fence to the fullest extent of his land

are they allowed to attach items or do anything on this fence if this in within our boundary?

if you allow it - by express permission or by doing nothing when it happens

Kind regards, Mac
ps - not sure why you're asking about AP?!?
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Re: Boundary dispute and weird neighbour

Postby Wellway » Wed May 03, 2017 7:10 pm

Hey Mac, thanks for th reply.

We had said to remove the nettung from our fence but she said get away, its none of business.

AP was for the difference in boundaries from the proposed site plan and where the hedge had been. Otherwise she is wanting to return all the boundaries to the only documented place. Unless anyone has a different idea i can try to avoid my fence moving as we will be the only fence that wont have moved and she will move it shortly.

Thanks
J
Wellway
 
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Re: Boundary dispute and weird neighbour

Postby SwitchRich » Thu May 04, 2017 9:47 am

Hi Wellway, I would suggest reading as many of these threads in this forum as you can. The regular posters here have put down a whole wealth of knowledge.
I've literally copied and pasted this for you as thought it could be relevant.

"Ask the neighbour to show you his permanent ground markers. These days things have to be done properly with permanent reference points such as permanent ground markers that cannot legally be interfered with.
Basically under the current law the only measurements on a plan which can be used to legally define the exact location of a boundary are those which have been recorded in accordance with section 60 of the land registration act 2002."
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Re: Boundary dispute and weird neighbour

Postby despair » Thu May 04, 2017 1:10 pm

you can tell your neighbour that

1) they cannot paint or stain your fence or wall
2) They cannot attach anything whatever to it
3)they cannot pile soil or anything else against your fence or wall
4)they cannot lean anything against your fence or wall
5) they cannot grow ivy or other climbers up your fence or wall

in short its your fence and your property on your land and you are entitled to remove anything they attach or do etc and reclaim any costs from them
They can verify the above is the law at any solicitors or CAB office

its exactly the same as you cannot paint their car or attach anything to it if they want to argue the toss
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Re: Boundary dispute and weird neighbour

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu May 04, 2017 3:43 pm

Hi Wellway,

not sure if you realise, but you've accidentally started a new thread.

here's a copy of what you posted:
Wellway wrote:Hi

Just a couple of questions to see if anyone can put my mind at rest?

I see lots of posts saying that the boundaries shown on the plans are not reliable. I would agree with that as boundaries change.

I supposedly have a few foot more land following placing a fence in front of a hedge that stood there. This hedge has stood there for ages, Google Earth has it there earliest 2002, and I would have guessed earlier.

Would I just need to be as stubborn with my neighbour that wants to reset it to their scaled up measurement of the boundary, this is on a "proposed" site plan. Anything I could quote to their solicitor? Or would ai need to consider AP?

The hedge was agreed to be hers, thats why we placed the fence in front. But she has only owned the land for 3 years and us 5 years. We maintained the hedge since owning the house as the previous land owner was elderly and gave up on the garden, hence the sale.

Just dont know what other evidence would be needed before taking to a solicitor to make the claim. The neughbour is on the brink of cutting it down
if you're quick, I think there's an hour's grace period during which you can delete messages, you could remove the other thread...

Kind regards, Mac
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Help - impending boundary action by neighbour

Postby Wellway » Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:37 pm

Hi

We have a dispute with my neighbour over a boundary after removing a hedge and replacing with a fence. The fence was placed on our side of the hedge.

Our neighbour purchased a separate plot of land to the rear of my garden, as well as the plot relating to their house on the side of my house, making their garden into a T shape.

They have sort of shown us a proposed title plan (from their window) for her house plot, no measurements are on the plan and it is scaled 1" : 20ft. They have scaled up from the plan the length of the garden between both houses and say this should be where the boundary to the other plot starts. This will shorten my garden by 2ft.

I assume that due to no defined measurements on the plan, no mention in the deeds of measurements from fixed features and that the plan is "proposed", that the boundaries outlined would be considered using the general boundary rule and should not be used in the way they have done so?

Our neighbour has removed and relocated two other boundaries on the street along this line they have assumed is correct. One is not affected too much, but the end house (my other neighbour) is losing a similar size from the top of his garden, if not more. Prior to this, the physical boundaries of the houses were in line with ours, including the hedge running between ours and the disputing neighbour. This can be seen on Google Maps all the way back to 2002, I assume that these boundaries would have been the legal boundary for the gardens over the proposed site plan boundaries?

We have written to their solicitor regarding the dispute and they have ignored all request for information or to show proof relating to the land that they purchased rather than her plot relating to her house, which is no affected by the fence issue. I assume the solicitor is doing this on his clients wishes and due to us not corresponding through a solicitor either.

They have informed us via their solicitor that they planning erecting a fence (on our land) on Saturday and have said they will not damage our fence in the process. All of our garden is fenced and they will have to remove part of the fence to do this. I have informed that I will contact the police for any criminal damage or trespass, but feel they are going to try it on anyways.

Can anyone help me on this, as I feel I have exhausted most avenues without contacting a solicitor, which may be too late now. Just feel a solicitor may milk the dispute on fees (no offence to any solicitors ha).

Many thanks
J
Attachments
Plot 3.jpg
Google Maps 2002
Plot 3.jpg (143.19 KiB) Viewed 1533 times
Plot 2.jpg
Latest Google Maps
Plot 2.jpg (229.11 KiB) Viewed 1533 times
Plot 1.jpg
Neighbours Proposed Site Plan - House
Plot 1.jpg (83.91 KiB) Viewed 1533 times
Wellway
 
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Re: Help - impending boundary action by neighbour

Postby mr sheen » Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:45 pm

Write to their solicitor and copy them in.
You don't have to use a solicitor and their solicitor should reply to you.

I would make it absolutely clear that they are not to touch my land or my fence and anything placed on my land will be removed immediately. I would also point out that there are procedures to be followed, this is not a hill-billy state where people fight over land! Take the 'high ground' and behave impeccably since their actions are aggressive and you need to be squeaky clean in case it goes to court. My letter to the solicitor with copy to them would be.....

I refer to your letter dated xyz.

The boundary fence in question has been in the same current position for many years.

If you are claiming that the existing boundary feature does not represent the correct position of the boundary, you need to provide evidence to support your assertions and conform to the Civil Procedure Rules for resolving civil disputes. You have provided no evidence that the current fence does not represent the position of the boundary.

Any aggressive act against us such as interference with our land or our property will result in the Police being called. Any item placed on our land inside the current existing boundary will be removed immediately.

If you wish to dispute the position of the boundary, you need to provide evidence to support your clients assertions which despite our requests for such, you have not provided. It is our intention to resolve any dispute amicably and in compliance with the CPR. We are shocked that you are proposing that your clients resort to the kind of aggressive, provocative actions your letter proposes. We reserve the right to forward your correspondence to the Court and/or the Law Society since the actions you indicate are entirely inappropriate and contrary to the CPR.

Please confirm by return as a matter of urgency that you have reconsidered your position and that your clients will not trespass on our land on Saturday, date....
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Re: Help - impending boundary action by neighbour

Postby ParallelLines » Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:50 pm

One great thing in your favour now is you can film and take photos so easily nowadays. You could put a measured piece of wood down to show scale.

You could consider contacting the community police today and report your concerns.
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Re: Help - impending boundary action by neighbour

Postby Wellway » Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:40 am

Hey

Thanks for the replies.

Would the CPR need to be followed normally or just when going to court?

Also, what would the measured piece of wood to show scale be used for? Good idea for calling with a heads up, I have already called previously when they had initially discussed taking it down.

The rain may hold them off haha
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Re: Help - impending boundary action by neighbour

Postby arborlad » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:09 am

Should be read in conjunction with this thread - I've asked for them to be merged:

viewtopic.php?t=20757
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Help - impending boundary action by neighbour

Postby mr sheen » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:22 am

Ahhhhh...thanks Arborlad .....mmmmm.....more to this matter than indicated in posting here.

OP - the position of the fence was disputed immediately you put it up. The neighbour has taken legal advice. You need some too. You may be in be wrong, surely you wouldn't want to be the bad neighbour, so get a professional opinion of who is right and if it's not you then seek to resolve the issue amicably.

CPR and spirit of CPR have to be followed by solicitors at all stages.
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Re: Help - impending boundary action by neighbour

Postby Wellway » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:55 am

Hi

Sorry, not meaning to be misleading. Just I could keep writing about this and it would be long ha

As I said, the boundaries of all properties on my side of the street ran along the same line prior to their purchase of the land (as shown on the Google Earth images). The hedge was removed, our fence was placed on our side (no gain for us) and our neighbour had a new fence and the hedge removed gaining a few feet in the garden, all for no cost.

They disputed the position of our fence posts at the time, even though connected to their existing fence (between the houses) and told us a figure off the top of their head for the length of the garden fence between houses, which had changed 3 times during the day and gradually got less when it showed their existing fence was shorter than the initial measurement provided. So it would not have been normal to accept that they wanted to shorten our garden immediately after the positioning of the previous physical boundaries that stood. Also to mention that they were hostile when stating the points on the fence posts didn't help. I asked them to show us where they thought it should be from the plans but they never came back until the solicitor letter after a year and a half.

Its the fact that the physical boundaries of these properties ran along a different line when compared to the streets proposed site plan on the title plan which makes me think that the plan is not correct. Otherwise the person in the house behind us that sold the land would have objected to 4 houses moving all the boundaries further into their garden at some point since the houses were built.

I do not intend on being the bad neighbour, they have shown this with our elderly neighbour by their attitude (shouting at him when he approached them about what they were doing) and ripping his fence down and moving a new fence further onto his land without consulting or notice.

If we do not lose out on Saturday with the fence, I may seek some further advice.
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Re: Help - impending boundary action by neighbour

Postby arborlad » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:47 am

Worth checking the neighbouring property for planning applications, this has all the hallmarks of somebody wishing to develop but has insufficient land for their purpose.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Help - impending boundary action by neighbour

Postby Wellway » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:57 am

Hi Arborlad

I have thought this before but there is nothing planned yet. They are building bizarre structures out of old branches throughout the garden.

I think they just want to fight for a feet or two more garden even though they will have gained the equivalent of 4 more gardens when purchased and it is like a jungle still. They have nothing better to do.
Wellway
 
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