Moving into a new property is an exciting time. You may have been anticipating the move for many months and can’t wait to start making the place your own.
Generally, neighbors tend to be welcoming to new arrivals, or at least not hostile. You may go on to say “hi” to your neighbors every day and even form lasting friendships. Unfortunately, the dream home that you had envisaged does not always come to fruition. Your neighbors may not be as welcoming as you had hoped, and you could end up in a boundary dispute.
Essentially, a boundary dispute is a disagreement over where legal ownership of a property begins and ends. This type of dispute can take on several forms, with some of the more common types outlined below.
Disagreements over fencing
A fence is one way to maintain privacy and also outline the border of your property. The trouble is, neighbors don’t always appreciate them. Front or rear gardens may previously have been left unfenced, and the neighbor may argue that your new fence intrudes on their property.
You might be able to resolve this by showing them any legal paperwork you have close to hand. Unfortunately, this is often not enough, and your word or the expert opinion of your surveyor may not be trusted. Your neighbor might need to seek an opinion from their own surveyor before they are satisfied with your claims.
Extensions to property
Much like fencing disputes, if you extend a property and your neighbor believes it encroaches on their land, problems can arise. You are perfectly entitled to carry out home improvements, but make sure you check the legal boundaries before construction commences. If your neighbor is building an extension and you suspect that it crosses boundary lines, be sure to take action early. Due to the permanent nature of extension buildings, it is not always practical to have them removed once construction is complete.
Boundary disputes can be complex, but the courts do resolve them every day. If you are in the middle of a disagreement involving real estate, make sure you are aware of your legal rights.