Property Boundary Dispute Resolution

A property boundary dispute can be a contentious issue that may result in significant financial implications.

Our panel of solicitors can assist in a number of property boundary dispute issues such as:

  • Party wall disputes
  • Boundary line
  • Claims for adverse possession
  • Encroachment disputes
  • Easement disputes
  • Access disputes

And many more.

Resolving a property boundary dispute

The resolution of property boundary disputes involves a comprehensive review of legal documents, and collaboration with professionals such as chartered land surveyors. it may also involve seeking legal advice from a property dispute solicitor to help parties through complex issues.

Resolving property boundary disputes often involves the following steps:

Reviewing title plan and deeds:

Property owners may refer to their title deeds, which should contain information about the property boundaries.

Land Registry:

The Land Registry in the UK maintains records of property ownership and boundaries. Land Registry documents can be used to clarify boundaries and resolve disputes.

Professional surveys:

Property owners may hire a licensed surveyor to conduct a professional survey to determine the accurate location of the boundaries.

Amicable resolution:

Before instructing a solicitor, parties may wish to have a discussion with neighbours about the boundary issue. Some parties are able to resolve boundary disputes without the need for legal intervention.

Negotiation or alternative dispute resolution:

If the disagreement between neighbours persists, parties may wish to instruct a solicitor to attempt to resolve the dispute. Property owners may attempt to resolve the dispute through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution. Alternative dispute resolution can be used to avoid lengthy and costly court battles. Mediation, in particular, provides a platform for parties to discuss their concerns and work towards a mutually agreeable solution.

Litigation:

If a resolution cannot be reached amicably, legal action may be necessary. This can involve taking the matter to court for a decision

Boundary disputes pre action protocol

The Boundary Disputes Protocol is a procedural guide designed to facilitate the resolution of boundary disputes quickly, before court proceedings are initiated. It aims to encourage the early exchange of information, promote settlement, and reduce the need for litigation.

The protocol aims to encourage parties to settle disputes early, avoiding the need for court intervention. It promotes the early exchange of relevant information between the parties to clarify the issues in dispute.

Moreover, it aims to reduce costs by resolving disputes without the need for formal court action.

Key Steps in the Protocol

Initial Steps:

Preliminary Investigation:

Each party should carry out a preliminary investigation to gather relevant documents, such as deeds, plans, and previous surveys.

Surveyor Engagement:

It is advisable to engage a professional surveyor to provide an expert opinion on the boundary in question.

Letter of Claim:

The claimant should send a detailed letter of claim to the defendant, outlining the nature of the dispute, the claimant’s position, and any supporting evidence.

The letter should also propose a way to resolve the dispute, such as an agreed boundary line or a suggested method for resolution.

Letter of Response:

The defendant should acknowledge receipt of the letter of claim within 14 days. A full written response should be provided within a further 14 days, detailing the defendant’s position, any counter-evidence, and their proposed solution.

Joint Inspection:

Both parties should consider arranging a joint inspection of the site, possibly with their respective surveyors, to discuss the boundary issues on the ground.

Expert Evidence:

Parties should consider appointing a single joint expert (SJE) to provide an impartial opinion on the boundary. If separate experts are used, their reports should be exchanged and a meeting between experts should be held to narrow down the issues.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR):

  • Mediation: Mediation is highly encouraged as a means to resolve disputes amicably. Other forms of ADR, such as arbitration, can also be considered.

Final Steps Before Litigation:

Each party should consider making a formal settlement offer before proceeding to litigation.

Parties should be aware that the court may penalize them in costs if they unreasonably refuse to engage in the protocol steps or ADR.

Benefits of the Protocol

  • Efficient Resolution: By promoting early settlement and ADR, the protocol helps to resolve disputes more efficiently.
  • Cost Savings: Reduces legal costs by avoiding lengthy court proceedings.
  • Clarity and Cooperation: Encourages clarity and cooperation between parties, leading to more amicable resolutions.

Non-Compliance Consequences

The court can impose cost penalties on parties who fail to comply with the protocol without good reason, emphasising the importance of following the prescribed steps.

How can Expert Commercial Law assist?

If you have a boundary dispute with a neighbour, contact us today.

Our panel of boundary dispute solicitors possess extensive experience and can assist parties in neighbour disputes, boundary dispute cases and any queries surrounding the land registry. Whether you have a boundary dispute regarding a residential property or commercial property, our solicitors can assist you.

Our panel firms provide guidance throughout the process and can help protect their client’s rights and interests. They can also help evaluate the strength of the case and advise on the best course of action. 

Our solicitors can also help with a number of other commercial claims, such as partnership disputesbreach of contract and CCJ removal.

Please note we are not a firm of solicitors. However, we maintain a panel of trusted and regulated legal experts. If you contact us in relation to a commercial law case, we will pass your case on to a panel firm in return for a fee from our panel firms. We will never charge you for passing on your case to a panel firm. 

Please contact us today using our enquiry form below, and a member of our team will be in touch with you

Schedule Your Free Consultation

Please note, we are not a firm of solicitors; however, we maintain a panel of trusted and regulated legal experts. If you contact us in relation to a commercial law case, we will pass your case onto a panel firm in return for a fee from our panel firms. We will never charge you for passing on your case to a panel firm. 

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