Potential damage from spiky chain

Rosenberg
Posts: 291
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:08 pm

Incomplete Land Registry documents and boundary encroachment

Post by Rosenberg » Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:01 pm

Hello everyone. This is my first post here and I would be very grateful if anyone could give me some advice about a problem with my neighbour concerning the boundary between our front gardens.

Our neighbour has been living next door for about 35 years we think. We have been here for 18 years. When we moved in there was a very old fence marking the boundary. It was our fence and marked on our deeds as such.

There is a covenant in our deeds that says we have to maintain a good and sufficient fence on that boundary. However, we arranged with the vendors of our house not to supply this document to the Land Registry when the land was first registered (i.e. when we bought it) so the Land Registry's copy of our deeds only says:

"A conveyance dated ??? between ??? and ??? contains restrictive covenants but neither the original deed nor a certified copy or examined abstract thereof was produced on first registration."

Also it seems that one end of the fence had been wrongly positioned all those years ago so that it enclosed a thin wedge of our neighbour's land (about 6 - 8 inches at the end nearest the footpath). I have never mentioned this to the neighbour and he had never complained.

Anyway, about five years ago I took down the fence to give myself and my wife more room to get in and out of our cars on the driveway.

The neighbour, who has always been difficult (complaining about our son's rave music etc.), didn't say anything at the time, but a few weeks ago he put in new paving slabs on his drive. I think the edge of the slabs follows the correct boundary line according to the deeds, but it does (diagonally) cross the line where the fence once stood - i.e it "reclaims" the 6 - 8 inch wedge.

I have three questions:

1. Is there any way I can force the neighbour to respect the fence line (and thus give us back the 6 - 8 inch wedge that the fence had previously taken) given the fact that it has now been five years since we removed the fence?

2. Can he force us to erect a new fence on our side of the boundary. He is aware of the covenant in our deeds. Even though it's not explicit in the Land Registry's copy, he says he has acquired a copy of the original conveyance. (I think he might be telling the truth here because his family have lived in the street for about 80 years and have owned, at one time or another, various houses and parcels of land etc.)

3. His visitors and delivery people constantly take a shortcut over our drive (i.e. across the original fence line). The neighbour doesn't trespass himself, but he encourages his visitors to do so by parking his car right up to the boundary. There's room for his visitors to take another route up and down his driveway, but with his car there it's just easier for them to cut across our land. Is there any way of stopping this trespassing short of putting up a new fence? The reason I ask is that if we did put up a fence it could no longer be placed along the original fence line because his slabs are in the way. It would have to go along the correct boundary line instead.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

andrew54
Posts: 6994
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 7:25 pm
Location: north yorkshire

Post by andrew54 » Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:11 pm

1. almost certainly NO

2. almost certainly NO

3. almost certainly NO

Mandy
Posts: 363
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2007 1:04 pm

Post by Mandy » Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:40 pm

Sorry Rosenberg that you haven't got the answer you wanted.
If the crossing on your land really annoys you would it be possible to reinstate the fence where it should always have been (ie not nicking that very small strip of your neighbour's land) and doing something about the other side to increase the room for maneouvering your cars?

It's always best to try to get along reasonably with your neighbours if at all possible and legal action should always be the last resort as the ill-will it will generate will be permanent.

Rosenberg
Posts: 291
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:08 pm

Post by Rosenberg » Tue Sep 25, 2007 7:43 pm

Thank you both for your replies. I agree that it is best to try to get along with neighbours, but unfortunately Mandy, there is already plenty of ill-will with these neighbours. We could put a fence up along the boundary line, but then I would be giving in to him. And why should I incur the cost or lose the space.

The difficulty is that we have six cars to fit on our drive (some are used for business so please don't jump to the conclusion we are ostentatious or that we are not eco-friendly etc.). However, the problem neighbour only has one car so there's plenty of space on his drive. He just chooses to park right up to the boundary line so that we can't open our car doors that side. Unfortunately, we can't make room on the other side of our drive because that fence belongs to our other neighbour.

Andrew54, the answers you gave to questions 1 and 3 are much as I expected, although I am surprised and relieved to read your answer number 2. Do you mean that our neighbour probably wouldn't be able to legally enforce the covenant, or just that court action might be too costly for him? I don't think cost would be an issue for the neighbour.

One other question if I may: What if we accidentally drive over the corner of his new slabs and dislodge them. He hasn't put in any edgings or concrete to protect the corner of the slabs. Would we be liable even though there is some debate over whether the slabs are entirely on "his" side. Unfortunately, my son has to drive over the corner of the neighbour's slabs in order to swing into our drive.

KMARK
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 8:27 am
Location: sunny lancashire

Post by KMARK » Tue Oct 02, 2007 7:53 am

Dear Rosenburg,- dont even consider seeing a solicitor over 6"strips of land as it will cost you up to £7,000 before you go to court,and i am reliably informed that a judge will always "lean"towards the person holding title.
There is no case for adverse posession either.

Regards,
Mark.
"I`m not young enough to know everything"

Uriah Heap
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:21 pm

Post by Uriah Heap » Fri Oct 05, 2007 4:28 pm

lets get this straight rosenberg. your neghbours are difficult because of:

(a) your sons rave music

(b) you took the fence down so you can trespas over their land when you get in / out of your SIX COMMERCAL VEHICLES

(c) you drive over their slabs

(d) you conspired to withold / hide a restrictive covenant from the Land Registry docs to the detriment of your neigbours

(e) you want to claim a 6 to 8 inches strip of their land

they sound REALLY petty dont they. as your neighbours hav space to spare why dont you just park on their drive while your at it?

no wonder you are worried about court action over the fence

Rosenberg
Posts: 291
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:08 pm

Post by Rosenberg » Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:12 pm

Thanks for the advice KMARK. Sorry I haven't been on line for a while. I think youre right, although I wasn't intending to take legal action myself. I just wondered whether the neighbour might.

Uriah Heap. You are being unfair to judge me on thiose points:

a) My son enjoys loud music just like any other teenager. The neighbour complains about it because he likes to be difficult. You know the sort of person: keeps himself to himself and doesn't socialise. He's lived in the street for years and half the other residents don't even know who he is! Everyone Iv'e spoken to hates him. He expects to be able to just sit there and have everything quiet. Why should his wishes supersede mine?

b) + c) They aren't commercial vehicles. They are normal cars and 4x4s etc. that belong to my company. We don't actually park on his drive. It's simply that, having so little space, we have to drive over the corner of his land to get in and out of our drive. He's got plenty of space so I don't think it's unreasonable to ask him to park on the other side of his drive. He just parks up to the boundary to stop us opening our car doors.

d) We didn't conspire to withold anything. The opportunity arose to choose which documents to present to the Land Registry. As this was potentially to our advantage, we took the opportunity. Grasping opportunities when they arise is what life is all about. We didn't do anything illegal.

e) It's debatable whether it is their land. I believe it's mine. I just can't prove it. That's what my first post was about.

despair
Posts: 16483
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:07 am

Post by despair » Fri Oct 26, 2007 12:43 am

Not all teenagers like loud music and quite why it should be inflicted on a neighbour is beyond me

Seems to me you think its OK for you to drive over the neighbours land and its OK for you to park 6 cars your side but that your neighbour should park his car in a different place because it does not suit you

I suggest you step back and think how you would feel if things were the other way round

It would be better if you bought a house in the middle of a large field then neither your cars or your sons music could upset a neighbour who lives a peaceful life

Rosenberg
Posts: 291
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:08 pm

Post by Rosenberg » Sat Oct 27, 2007 1:24 am

Come on despair. You know as well as I do that all NORMAL teenagers like to listen to loud music. The only ones that don't are the nerdy little wimps (like our neighbour) that have their head stuck in a book all the time. Normal kids do normal things - everythuing the neighbour complains about. :roll:

It's not like my son plays his mixer every night. But my neighbour expects silence EVERY night. It's a question of give and take.

As for your comment about things being "the other way round", that makes no sense at all. He couldn't drive over the corner of our drive (even if he wanted to) because theres always a car parked there. Things are just the way they are. That's the way of the world. It's no good wishing otherwise.

The point I was making is that it wouldn't do the neighbour any harm at all to leave us more space. If he had a good reason to park up to the boundary I could understand it. But its just as easy for him to park a few feet over to the left. But he doesn't, just to be awkard.

Everyone has to put up with minor inconveniences occasionally. The neighbour should give it a try aswell. It's called being neighbourly. :roll:

If he can't put up with a little inconvenience, maybe its him that should go and live in the middle of a large field.

despair
Posts: 16483
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:07 am

Post by despair » Sat Oct 27, 2007 9:56 am

I am very sure that all the teenagers I know that do not play loud music are "nerdy little wimps"

It seems to me you consider the neighbour must allow you to do exactly what you like but he must move over to accomodate you inc give up his 6 inches of land

Rosenberg
Posts: 291
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:08 pm

Post by Rosenberg » Sat Oct 27, 2007 3:32 pm

I am very sure that all the teenagers I know that do not play loud music are "nerdy little wimps"
Isnt that what I said?
It seems to me you consider the neighbour must allow you to do exactly what you like but he must move over to accomodate you inc give up his 6 inches of land
I'm not saying he must do these things. I'm saying it wouldn't inconvenience him if he did. The only reason he doesn't is to be awkward.

despair
Posts: 16483
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:07 am

Post by despair » Sat Oct 27, 2007 4:03 pm

What i meant to write was "not all nerdy wimps"

As you have fields behind you i suspect you live in a rural area and that your neighbour lives there precisely for peace and quiet

Given your attitude i am not surprised your neighbour sees no reason to co-operate

Since loud music is destroying the hearing of so many young people i sure hope people have no time or patience for your son when he is deaf at an early age

tryingnottobeafool
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:51 am

Post by tryingnottobeafool » Sun Oct 28, 2007 11:12 am

if i was a neighbour I would build a wall so you couldnt run over my ground

Rosenberg
Posts: 291
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:08 pm

Post by Rosenberg » Sun Oct 28, 2007 6:18 pm

Despair:
As you have fields behind you i suspect you live in a rural area and that your neighbour lives there precisely for peace and quiet
Its irrelevant whether we live in a rural area or not. The fact is he owns his land and I own mine. Why should my son be told what to do in his own garden? As I said he doesn't play his music every night. We are not doing anything illegal.
Given your attitude i am not surprised your neighbour sees no reason to co-operate
I really dont have an "attitude" despair. I'm just trying to be reasonable in the face of a difficult neighbour.
i sure hope people have no time or patience for your son when he is deaf at an early age
Thats very charitable of you Despair. Almost as charitable as our neighbour who suggested Pmy son should wear headphones. Those things are WELL KNOWN to cause premature deafness, so you tell me who's being unreasonable?

Tryingnottobeafool: as I said before I believe that some the ground you are referring to belongs to me. I just can't prove it, and it's impractical for me to reclaim it throught the courts. The edge of the neighbours slabs now overlap this ground so we now have no choice but to drive over the corner of his slabs.

My original question, that nobody has yet bothered to address is: given the fact that the edge of his slabs lies on disputed ground, and we have to drive over this ground, would we be held liable if we disturbed or broke the slabs in doing so. The neighbour has not concreted them in very well so they are not really fit for purpose. Surely he would have to accept some liability?

andrew54
Posts: 6994
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 7:25 pm
Location: north yorkshire

Post by andrew54 » Sun Oct 28, 2007 6:36 pm

I will try to answer your question. If the 'slabs' are laid with the intention of being driven on, and all you do is drive on them, then I don't think you would be liable at all.

Paving flags often get disturbed and often break. These neighbouring ones might survive better if your drive is laid right up to them and at the same height.

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