Property Boundary Dispute - A Short Guide

What is a property boundary dispute?


A property boundary dispute can be a contentious issue that may result in significant financial implications, with costs potentially reaching tens of thousands of pounds.

Resolving a property boundary dispute often involves a careful examination of legal documents, including title deeds and the title plan registered with the Land Registry.

The title plan is a crucial document which outlines the property’s boundaries. This can play a key role in determining a boundary line. In cases of uncertainty or disagreement, property owners may engage chartered land surveyors to conduct professional surveys aimed at resolving a property boundary dispute.

Issues related to adverse possession may arise. This is where a person may claim ownership of a piece of land due to prolonged occupation without objection from the legal owner. This can further complicate boundary disputes. Understanding the historical use and actions of previous owners is crucial in such cases.

Neighbouring properties may share common features like party walls, adding complexity to property disputes. Clear communication and cooperation between property owners are essential to reaching an amicable resolution.


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 in the UK often involves the following steps:

  • Reviewing title 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.
  • Negotiation or alternative dispute resolution: Property owners may attempt to resolve the dispute through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution. Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms 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.
  • Legal action: If a resolution cannot be reached amicably, legal action may be necessary. This can involve taking the matter to court for a decision

How can a property dispute solicitor assist?


A solicitor can play a crucial role in assisting with a property boundary dispute in several ways:

Legal Advice:

A solicitor can provide legal advice on property ownership rights, responsibilities, and relevant laws, helping clients understand their position in the boundary dispute.

Document Review:

Solicitors can review important documents such as title deeds, title plans, and Land Registry records. This can help them to assess the legal boundaries of the properties involved. This also helps in understanding the historical context and legal basis for the dispute.

Mediation and Negotiation:

Solicitors are skilled in negotiation and can attempt to resolve the dispute through mediation or negotiation with the other party. This can be a more cost-effective and less adversarial approach than going to court.

Drafting Boundary Agreements:

If an amicable resolution is reached, a solicitor can draft a legally binding boundary agreement. This agreement should clearly define the rights and responsibilities of each party concerning the disputed area.

Court Proceedings:

If a resolution cannot be achieved through negotiation or mediation, a solicitor can guide the client through the court process. This includes preparing legal documents, representing the client in court, and presenting a compelling case based on relevant laws and evidence.

Expert Referrals:

  • Solicitors can recommend and work with chartered land surveyors or other experts who can provide professional assessments and reports regarding the property boundaries. This expert opinion can strengthen the client’s case.

Advising on Costs and Risks:

Solicitors can provide clients with a realistic assessment of the potential costs and risks associated with pursuing legal action. This helps clients make informed decisions about how to proceed.

Enforcement of Decisions:

If a court decision is obtained in favour of their client, a solicitor can assist in enforcing the judgment and ensuring that the terms of any settlement or court order are complied with.

It’s important for property owners involved in boundary disputes to seek legal advice early in the process to better understand their rights, options, and potential outcomes. Engaging a solicitor with expertise in property law can significantly contribute to a smoother resolution of the dispute.

Boundary dispute costs

Property owners should be aware of the costs involved and explore alternative dispute resolution methods before considering court proceedings.

Legal costs associated with resolving a boundary dispute can be substantial, especially if the matter progresses to court. It is advisable for property owners to seek legal advice early in the process to understand their rights and explore alternative dispute resolution methods, such as negotiation, mediation, or a boundary agreement.

If a costs order has been obtained in a property boundary dispute, parties should consult a costs draftsman or costs lawyer.

How can Expert Commercial Law assist?

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


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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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