Crossing a general boundary = trespass?

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geordiepete
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Crossing a general boundary = trespass?

Post by geordiepete »

Hi. I'm after some advice regarding crossing a general boundary, does this constitute trespassing? I live in a small cul-de-sac, at the very end where a single lane road comes off the cul-de-sac serving the front of my house only (number 4). My house faces my neighbour's side garden (number 5) and they have installed a gate to access this road (planning permission for a fence in 2002, gate installed 2005, used with permission by us and previous homeowners (who told us the strip of road was private) but number 5 claim this access is a right). The general boundary between us is on the furthest side of the road, so the road is fully within my boundary giving me frontage on both sides. For them to use this gate they have to cross the general boundary. Their argument is that the boundary between us is the kerb (giving them frontage?), whereas my argument is that this is where the general boundary begins and that if they owned to the kerb then the boundary would be in the middle of the road (ad medium filum - like the rest of the cul-de-sac). According to the deeds this is a shared boundary, there is no 'T' mark.

The road, according to the council is adopted, however they can not evidence this even though they acknowledge it was private until 2002 (sold by the Ministry of Defence to a developer). I went to a solicitor a year ago who believed the road would not have been adopted, and advised I submit a Freedom of Information requesting the evidence of adoption. The council responded stating they have no evidence. I appealed through the ICO who also confirmed there was no more evidence, even though the council searched 10 departments including emails and paper files. The council still however claim the road is adopted. The council has confirmed that, according to them, only the road is adopted, not the verge/general boundary. I got some legal advice six months ago from a solicitor who told me that I could stick a fence up in the general boundary area blocking the neighbour's gate and erect my own gate across the road blocking all access to it and then see what happens. I could do this, but I want to be legally sound in any action I take before I go angering the neighbours!

I've attached two files. One is the title plan, the other is from the TP1 when the land was transferred out of the larger plot which had previously been fully owned by the Ministry of Defence and divided up into single dwellings by the developers.

Thank you.
MacadamB53
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Re: Crossing a general boundary = trespass?

Post by MacadamB53 »

Hi vegansavage,

could I be cheeky and ask for a plan that identifies your property, their property and the location of the gate?

kind regards, Mac
geordiepete
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Re: Crossing a general boundary = trespass?

Post by geordiepete »

Hi Mac, I attached a picture of the title plan and TP1, are they not coming up?
IdefixUK
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Re: Crossing a general boundary = trespass?

Post by IdefixUK »

Hello vegansavage,

I would like to ask you which property (4or5) was the first to be sold by the developer. I think that the order of sale is important for any ad medium filum presumption .

If 5 was sold first then (so far as I'm aware) the presumption would be that half the width of the road was sold with that property, even if the general boundary was drawn excluding the road. This leads to a situation where,later, at the sale of number 4 the land already sold to 5 (meaning that bit being half the width of the roadway) cannot then be transferred along with number 4 as it was no longer in the ownership of the developer. So both 4 and 5 would own half the width of the road each.

Alternatively if 4 was sold first then the whole of the land including the whole roadway up to whatever was the boundary feature indicated on the map was conveyed with number 4. With the whole of that land sold to the new owners of number 4 the developer could not then sell it later to the new owners of number 5. In this case the ad medium filum presumption is rebutted.....I think!... And the whole of the roadway belongs to number 4.

Regards
geordiepete
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Re: Crossing a general boundary = trespass?

Post by geordiepete »

Hi IdefixUK, thank you for your response. The whole cul-de-sac of 9 properties were bought by the developer from the Ministry of Defence in 2002. That same year the developer submitted planning permission for open space to be incorporated into private gardens (giving number 5 a larger back garden), with a "party-line fencing" between our properties - this established the boundaries. This fencing was not erected until 2005, when the gate was also established. Number 5 was first sold two days before my property was first purchased. I used ad medium filum rather lazily. In the rest of the cul-de-sac, where property boundaries meet the developers have put the general boundary in the middle of the road, however with my property the general boundary is not in the middle of the road, but on the side of the road further from my house.
mugwump
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Re: Crossing a general boundary = trespass?

Post by mugwump »

Have you looked at no. 5s LR docs?
geordiepete
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Re: Crossing a general boundary = trespass?

Post by geordiepete »

I've seen
mugwump wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:55 am Have you looked at no. 5s LR docs?
I've seen their title register and plan from Land Registry - the ones that cost £3 each. My neighbours have also shared their TP1 map which has their red line on the other side of the black line from my red line (if that makes sense!).

I should add that number 5 does have a driveway to the front of their house, plus another side gate to access their back garden from their front garden. The gate that comes on to this road is an additional gate.
mr sheen
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Re: Crossing a general boundary = trespass?

Post by mr sheen »

vegansavage wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:22 am Hi. I'm after some advice regarding crossing a general boundary, does this constitute trespassing?
I got some legal advice six months ago from a solicitor who told me that I could stick a fence up in the general boundary area blocking the neighbour's gate and erect my own gate across the road blocking all access to it and then see what happens. I could do this, but I want to be legally sound in any action I take before I go angering the neighbours!
A solicitor has reviewed all the documents and provided you with legal advice for which they have insurance.
What makes you think that a discussion forum with no access to all complete and relevant documents and no insurance or comeback for any advice given, will provide information or advice that would be « legally sound »?

Any action taken is likely to anger the neighbours but, if you have followed legal advice from your solicitor, he/she could then support your defence with reference to documentation if a legal dispute ensues.
mugwump
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Re: Crossing a general boundary = trespass?

Post by mugwump »

vegansavage wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:19 pm I've seen
mugwump wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:55 am Have you looked at no. 5s LR docs?
I've seen their title register and plan from Land Registry - the ones that cost £3 each. My neighbours have also shared their TP1 map which has their red line on the other side of the black line from my red line (if that makes sense!).

I should add that number 5 does have a driveway to the front of their house, plus another side gate to access their back garden from their front garden. The gate that comes on to this road is an additional gate.
Unless I'm mistaken, no 5 appears to own the bit of driveway outside your boundary so I suggest a bit of give and take otherwise your gate becomes pointless.
geordiepete
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Re: Crossing a general boundary = trespass?

Post by geordiepete »

mugwump wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:15 pm
vegansavage wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:19 pm I've seen
mugwump wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:55 am Have you looked at no. 5s LR docs?
I've seen their title register and plan from Land Registry - the ones that cost £3 each. My neighbours have also shared their TP1 map which has their red line on the other side of the black line from my red line (if that makes sense!).

I should add that number 5 does have a driveway to the front of their house, plus another side gate to access their back garden from their front garden. The gate that comes on to this road is an additional gate.
Unless I'm mistaken, no 5 appears to own the bit of driveway outside your boundary so I suggest a bit of give and take otherwise your gate becomes pointless.
I'm not sure what piece of driveway you believe number 5 own? The driveway in the map is fully within my boundary. In the image where I've pointed to a gate, that is access that number 5 have erected to access their back garden, however they open the gate onto the general boundary between us and access it that way. The point of my question was to see if anyone knew what the law was regarding stepping over a general boundary. Usually one would end up on someone else's property, but in my case my neighbour is stepping on to alleged public highway (no evidence of adoption). Just to clarify, I've not taking anything away from my neighbours, they are the ones who have infringed upon us.
MacadamB53
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Re: Crossing a general boundary = trespass?

Post by MacadamB53 »

vegansavage wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:39 am Hi Mac, I attached a picture of the title plan and TP1, are they not coming up?
yes, but neither of those show where the gate is or which neighbour your talking about...
geordiepete
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Re: Crossing a general boundary = trespass?

Post by geordiepete »

MacadamB53 wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 2:15 pm
vegansavage wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:39 am Hi Mac, I attached a picture of the title plan and TP1, are they not coming up?
yes, but neither of those show where the gate is or which neighbour your talking about...
I live at number 4, my neighbours at number 5. In one of the pictures I've attached I've marked where the gate that they erected has been installed. It is within the general boundary area between our properties which they have to cross over to use said gate.
IdefixUK
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Re: Crossing a general boundary = trespass?

Post by IdefixUK »

Hello again,

There is an"L"shaped area within the property of number 5 which is shaded grey (on the image provided). Is there anything "on the ground" which follows this area. Is there any mention in the title deeds (the written part) of either number 4 or 5 relating to this area. I would like to know why it is shaded differently. Where does the shaded land go eventually as we look going down and left on the plan. (Just speculating that it might be a right of way benefitting your property....now wouldn't that be fun?)

Is there any mention in either sets of the title deeds to easements, right of way, right of access, quasi easements,or similar. If so please post the wording.

Do you know if there was any evidence on the ground that this area was being used for access to and from number 5 at the time of the sale of number 5 ? Look at old estate agent's photos etc, or historical aerial photos, to see if there was a track or similar entering what is now your land from the neighbours property .

I would be interested to know where the kerb is that you have referred to.

The boundary between you is an imaginary line where one property ends and the next begins. The general boundary shown on nearly all title plans allows you to identify the land, rather than to locate the precise position of the legal boundary.

If the road has been adopted by the council then the extent of the highway is generally accepted as being "hedge to hedge", rather than just the bit with tarmac. Have you tried looking at the definitive highway map for your area . I don't know who hold this info but it has been referred to on quite a few threads on this forum previously. Perhaps another poster knows where to get info on this.

Regards
geordiepete
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Re: Crossing a general boundary = trespass?

Post by geordiepete »

IdefixUK wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:21 pm Hello again,

There is an"L"shaped area within the property of number 5 which is shaded grey (on the image provided). Is there anything "on the ground" which follows this area. Is there any mention in the title deeds (the written part) of either number 4 or 5 relating to this area. I would like to know why it is shaded differently. Where does the shaded land go eventually as we look going down and left on the plan. (Just speculating that it might be a right of way benefitting your property....now wouldn't that be fun?)

Is there any mention in either sets of the title deeds to easements, right of way, right of access, quasi easements,or similar. If so please post the wording.

Do you know if there was any evidence on the ground that this area was being used for access to and from number 5 at the time of the sale of number 5 ? Look at old estate agent's photos etc, or historical aerial photos, to see if there was a track or similar entering what is now your land from the neighbours property .

I would be interested to know where the kerb is that you have referred to.

The boundary between you is an imaginary line where one property ends and the next begins. The general boundary shown on nearly all title plans allows you to identify the land, rather than to locate the precise position of the legal boundary.

If the road has been adopted by the council then the extent of the highway is generally accepted as being "hedge to hedge", rather than just the bit with tarmac. Have you tried looking at the definitive highway map for your area . I don't know who hold this info but it has been referred to on quite a few threads on this forum previously. Perhaps another poster knows where to get info on this.

Regards
Hi, thank you for your response, I really do appreciate it. Ok, the entire cul-de-sac , until 2002, was owned by the Ministry of Defence for army officers. I've been told by another neighbour that the shaded L shape area was a dirt track that would lead behind number 5's then back garden to a field behind numbers 6 and 7. This was for everyone who lived in the cul-de-sac's use and it all fell under the ownership of the Ministry of Defence. However when they sold the whole cul-de-sac in 2002 the developers submitted a planning application to add that shaded L shape area to within number 5's back garden. This application stated that there would be a "party-line fence" between our properties, but according to number 5 this fence was not erected until 2005 - when the previous owners put the gate in instead of a fence. When I purchased number 4 the previous owners completed a form that stated there was no access and we were under the impression that access was at our discretion. The cul-de-sac was under one ownership until 2002, then carved up into individual dwellings with the planning permission closing up any access that L shaped gave.

My deeds make no mention of any easements, rights of way etc, only for waterways, sewers and such like.

I have an email from the council claiming the road is adopted, but only to the kerb line, so not in my case hedge to hedge, so that's what I'm going with. It's the land between the kerb line and the gate that I'm most interested in establishing ownership. This is where the general boundary is located and what my neighbours have to cross to use the gate.

The road I live on is not on the definitive map as a right of way, it's on the List of Streets, but that in itself is not conclusive. The council have no evidence but claim it was adopted in 2002. I'm not sure how they can state that when they can't prove it!
IdefixUK
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Re: Crossing a general boundary = trespass?

Post by IdefixUK »

Leaving the question of adoption for a minute, how much distance is there between the kerb and the gate, are we talking a few centimetres or a few metres?
Do you know why MOD officers and/or their families were accessing the field? Eg is there a public footbpath running through the field. Does the field have access to a public road. Was it a short cut to the shops/post office,. Was/is that field MOD property?

Regards,
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