Put the tape measure away

Postby mboliston » Sat May 27, 2006 5:01 pm

Conveyancer , even though you may not be a litigator ..PLEASE can you nevertheless give us your long answer .So much of what you say is really helpful and so relevant to so many peoples problems on this forum ..so please, please lets hear it ! .I,m shortly facing judgment as a result of an angry neighbour producing an ancient title plan with a 'measurement ' and am wondering how much weight it will carry with the adjudicator !
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Postby Conveyancer » Sun May 28, 2006 4:35 pm

What follows is based purely on anecdotal evidence and is not to be relied on:

1. There is no certainty in any litigation, but property related litigation in the County Courts is more of a lottery than any other type of litigation.
2. County Court judges can get a little impatient with boundary disputes. They tend to think, and often with some justification, that people should be grown up enough to sort out their differences without resort to the courts.
3. County Court judges often take a robust view, deciding for the person with the most reasonable case, irrespective of whether the law is on their side. They may take the view that whilst one party may be right, it is no skin off their nose if the other party does what is complained of.
4. Most County Court judges are barristers (and if solicitors will typically be litigators) and, whilst versed in the law, do not have experience of conveyancing. They therefore do not have “grass roots” experience of the issues they have to decide in property disputes.
5. As I have suggested above, there is rarely any law in boundary disputes and the evidence of the parties’ surveyors is almost certainly going to be conflicting. They may therefore have to decide facts on inconclusive evidence.
6. Even where the facts are not complicated, estoppel issues, such as how long the fence has been there, as opposed to whether it should have originally been there, come into it.

Do not forget that the judge is not biased. He will judge the matter on who puts forward what he considers the most acceptable overall argument. This means that it is important to put over all your points as clearly as you can and deal with the points your opponent makes. Concentrate on the issues. The judge is not interested in what your opponent called your wife; it will be irrelevant.
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Postby mboliston » Sun May 28, 2006 8:05 pm

Thanks Conveyancer...I wonder if this applies when the case is being heared in court by the Land Registry Adjudicator...is it still a lottery or do you think the L.R. Adjudicator might know more than a County Court Judge when it comes to boundary disputes . Presumably most boundary disputes are judged by the L.R. Adjudicator first and only get to the County Court if one party is dissatisfied with the adjudication .?
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Postby Conveyancer » Sun May 28, 2006 8:37 pm

The Adjudicator will I am sure have more experience as he deals exclusively with property matters. An appeal can only be made to the High Court.
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Re: I want to move my boundary

Postby paul66 » Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:56 pm

paul66 wrote:So the plans I have that outline my boundaries are useless if I want to reinstate the correct boundary line. All measurements have a datum point from the walls of my house and the house hasn't moved :D .
See my post in Animals (Dogs and fences)as to why I want to move it. I thought it would be a matter of informing the housing association and on from there. Will this not be the case then ?

THe saga has ended. I now have a boundary fence in the correct position and verified by the next door neighbours housing associations surveyor. The plans in his opinion were more than adequate.
The next thing is to convince him that he has no right to paint or attach anyhting to MY fence and in doing so he would be committing criminal damge, any advise on this one ? solicitors letter cost of ?

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Postby despair » Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:17 am

you do not need solicitors letters

If you check postings on this forum you will see i have repeated what is the law on fences many many times along with the advice to print it off , give it to the neighbour and tell them to check with Citizens Advice or any solicitor ..........egg on face for the NFH
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Postby paul66 » Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:51 pm

I've typed up a letter telling him what he can and can't do. He's off to Citizens Advise for them to look at it.

That should now keep him quiet.

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Postby catnamedpg » Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:40 pm

I am currently in a state of war with my NFH. Thanks to a lot of harrassment I am now looking for revenge, frankly. The NFH has caused lots of damage and upset. Too much to go into now.
Looking at their ground plan, I notice that the boundary fence between our properties is in the wrong place. However, reading the stuff on here (interesting, but depressing!) I would not really have a hope of getting the "proper" boundary fence reinstated. Would I?
I live in a council house, and the NFH has bought his.
The fence between us is straight, currently. Yet his ground plan shows the fence to dogleg into his property. This is not a case of opinion, but an actual wiggly line!
Using this as a lever, could I therefore argue that the whole issue of the fence position needs to be visited?
Also, as in another post, the ground plans show the boundary to be approximately equally between the 2 properties. Could this be part of the above argument?
I would dearly love to wipe the smug expression from these snobs faces if I could get the result!
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Postby jc_uk » Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:28 pm


1. If the fence is yours then you can take it down without their agreement and re-erect on the correct boundary line.

2. If it is a party fence then you will need the neighbours agreement to relocate the fence.

3. If it is your neighbours fence and it is now on your land I believe the fence now belongs to your land and you can then revert to 1 above.

4. If you don't know who's fence it is then revert to 2 above.

Unless you own the land and the fence then you need to start talking to your neighbour.

Disclaimer - get your own legal advice before assuming any of the above statements are correct.

If the council own the land your house is on then talk to them and let them know that part of the garden has been fenced off - I'm sure you'll get their attention with that one.

Good luck.
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Postby patdavies » Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:47 pm

catnamedpg wrote:I
I live in a council house, and the NFH has bought his.

Any dispute over the boundary is between the landowners. You do not own your land, the Council does; you will need to get them to act - good luck!
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Postby pumpkin » Tue Aug 08, 2006 11:06 pm

I say good luck too.

I'm a council tenant and my neighbour has bought theirs.

4 years the council have been on with my dispute, as my neighbour decided that measuring their deeds with a ruler then converting it to actual land measurement was the way to go. Then putting their fence up 2 feet over to my side. They even removed fence we put up when we first moved there, where NFH told us to put it! Even though the council have actual right to buy measurements NFH will not let them on land to clarify the situation. Talk of legal then someone leaves, new ideas with someone new and around we go again. 2 steps forward, 2 steps back!!!!!!

Have all photos and videos as evidence, no-one seems interested in using!!!

Once again they're having a meeting to put an end to it once and for all.
Seeing is believing.

Meanwhile still paying the rent!

catnamedpg Good Luck! I hope your council behave better than mine!
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Postby Conveyancer » Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:51 am

Council failing to act to protect the interest of oversubsidised council tenant against hard working overtaxed property owner? Surely not? :shock: :D :P :o
If you have benefited from advice on this site please consider contributing to a cancer charity.
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Postby catnamedpg » Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:32 pm

I nearly fell for that one!
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Postby Spike » Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:57 pm

Conveyencer - I'd be grateful if you could have a look at my post "Yet another boundary dispute??" and pass comment.

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Postby Sadgardener2 » Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:18 pm

I am quite glad I read this thread this morning. It is good to be reminded of the above facts about measuring your land. SO many of us fall out over a few feet myself included.

We have not settled our dispute but we have won enough of the battles to stop harassment and the situation is liveable. I would like to put a fence up along the boundary in question but that may not happen in the immediate future as I am a coward and do not want any more aggro.

We live in a divided up old property with a very long garden which is lacking in right angles and symmetry. Some features are ancient like, the walled garden immediately behind the house, the houseitself and the wall between us and the public lane. In the past we spent a long time trying to work out the dimensions of our share of the whole plot, to the point of headache. Our surveyor also found it tricky but in the end came up with the theory that everything was roughly right!

Our neighbours have no plans or deeds and wave photocopies of our old deed plans with their own measurements on them, plus the Ordnance survey and this has led them to some strange deeds such as digging up the bottom of our garden behind our hedge and placing mysterious markers there..... I can see how they got their sums wrong. And they had rulers and portractors and everything!

So I wondered about when they originally divided the house and garden ? What did they think? How would future surveyors interpret the original plan with no measurements? Then the penny dropped. You see, the plan indicates that their garden is not wider than their half of the main house and our garder too, is not wider than our house. Which makes sense and is replicable. Give or take the odd inch. Our garden is less than 34 feet and theirs is less than 25 feet. The fact that in some places they have more than 25 feet is dead becuase their is a fence there which has been there a while.

I also have bad conscience days when I think, oh, maybe we have got a foot or two at the far bottom of the garden which rightfully is theirs. But a boundary is where a boundary is. Since they removed the logs and some planting (strewn around our garden of course) which had marked the boundary for 12 years at least, the boundary is only where my mowed grass meets their 6 foot high brambles but that does for me.

What grates for me, is that when we last argued about it some three years since, they admitted that on the other side they have let their other neighbours take "a few feet" when erecting a fence but they are not bothered about that, no, not at all, they think that they will find the boundary between us and them by measuring our garden according to a hand drawn scale on a photocopied plan and then they will have what is left. No way is that going to happen. "We're not bothered about that bit, this is the bit we want" were their last words to me.

This is probably as clear as mud, but thanks anyway Conveyancer, what you say makes a lot of sense to me as a solution to our situation when measuring has caused a lot of grief to both parties especially our mad neighbours.
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