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property boundary dispute help required

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property boundary dispute help required

Old 14th Nov 2020, 16:33
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Question: Did the local council give building permission without consulting you or are the plans still in the process of getting permission? The first thing I would do is write (Registered mail) to the local council telling them the plans encroach on your land.

If it comes to a lack of agreement with your neighbour you might then point out that your objections could lead to years of delay and they might at least be better off building to the current building line and coming to a sensible (and cheaper) agreement with you over the exact boundary later.

For your immediate purposes it might not matter too much if say, you agreed to a boundary with a condition on title that maintained the land could not be built on.

I have absolute contempt for the planning of N American towns but we do have local zonings that are fairly clear about exactly where you can build and local councils mostly have plans that lay out the boundaries with dimensions on them, even though some of them look to be hand drawn by a five year old.
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Old 14th Nov 2020, 17:08
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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The problem here is that it's perfectly possible to get planning consent granted even if the building would actually be on someone else's land, according to the title. That's what happened to us, when we bought this plot, as the plans that had been approved showed the house being on part of the neighbours land, if the correct boundary positions were drawn on the map. What had happened was that the boundary map submitted with the planning application had a copy of the Land Registry Title Plan, and that was in error, as often seems to be the case. In all probability the neighbour of rans6andrew has done much the same, submitted plans based on a boundary map that is in error. If his council is anything like ours, then they don't check this at all, they just assume that any boundary map submitted has already been checked and found to be accurate, despite the fact that often this may not be the case.
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Old 14th Nov 2020, 17:14
  #23 (permalink)  

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I was told many years ago that the only people to gain satisfaction from a boundary dispute are in the legal profession.

As an aside, as someone in our village found out, you don’t even have to be the owner of the land or the buildings thereupon to apply for and gain planning permission on it!
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Old 14th Nov 2020, 17:46
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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When we paid off our mortgage I was sent quite a large file from when the land was sold by a farmer and divided into plots approx 1975.
On the 'plots' it showed our neighbour has 'stolen ' about 8 foot off our garden.
Went to Land Registry and they were very helpfull and 'made' the neighbours move their fence back.
Turned out when in 1990 our previous owner died and the property was empty for almost a year while probate was sorted they sneakily built a new fence and our surveyor was negligent not to have noticed
Result larger garden that we were happy with size wise anyhow, and costs awarded against our neighbours. Never liked them anyhow 😂
So we found Land Registry did what they should have done....
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Old 14th Nov 2020, 22:00
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Get a competent surveyor to verify your claim - around the £700 mark (Many surveyors will not touch boundary disputes)

If in your favour, present your findings to your neighbour.

If this fails to solve the problem, you will need further legal advice. Possibly leading to court action.

Prepare to say goodbye to your savings!
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Old 14th Nov 2020, 22:43
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Rans6. This is my area of work as an RICS Neighbour Dispute Specialist. Not surprised by what is happening but there are people who can help. Unless you live close to Manchester it's not for me but there are land surveyors and general practice surveyors who understand what to do. Before you start though, check your household insurance as if you have legal expenses cover to deal with the matter.

However I have seen people go bankrupt over a few inches of land....

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Old 15th Nov 2020, 00:26
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Not commenting on the original post but just making a general point. How often have you read newspaper reports of somebody who has finally lost a boundary dispute after many years of legal wrangling, and are having to sell their property to pay the legal fees? Often the amount of land involved is trivial, out of all proportion to the costs incurred

About the 30 years ago I sold a plot of my land with an agricultural building on it to a builder who converted said building to a house. When he put up a boundary fence I found he had "nicked" a couple of feet of land, along a roughly 150 foot boundary, over and above what we had initially agreed. I did think about disputing it at the time, but I thought "sod it,life's too short". I've never felt the loss of that three hundred or so square feet of land, I am really glad I just let the matter drop. I appreciate it wont be that simple for many people involved in boundary disputes, but I would always think twice before getting the lawyers in.
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 07:24
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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As an aside, I think things are easier in Scotland. We bought a brand new house there, one that was still being completed. I took dimensions for the base for a summerhouse from the plans, as I wanted the builder to lay the concrete for us. I gave the builder the amended drawing, he marked it out in what was to be the garden and asked me if I wanted a bigger base, as it looked a bit small to him. I went around to check, only to find that the real size of the garden was a couple of metres deeper than shown on the plan. It looked like the rear fence, that backed on to a field, had been placed further out. I called our solicitor, and he reassured me that it was fine, what he called a "wee encroachment", and that as long as the fences stayed in the same place when the purchase completed then the extra land was ours. IIRC, it was something to do with something in Scottish law about boundaries being defined by their actual position on the ground at the time of sale. We didn't encounter any problems, either whilst we lived there or when we sold the house.
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 07:38
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Except if the few inches is the difference between getting your car into your garage and not. I have rarely seen a boundary dispute other than where one side was being completely unreasonable and the other was very much the innocent party. Usually the unreasonable party is a new occupier trying to assert some control for which there is no legal basis.

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Old 15th Nov 2020, 15:02
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
As an aside, I think things are easier in Scotland. We bought a brand new house there, one that was still being completed. I took dimensions for the base for a summerhouse from the plans, as I wanted the builder to lay the concrete for us. I gave the builder the amended drawing, he marked it out in what was to be the garden and asked me if I wanted a bigger base, as it looked a bit small to him. I went around to check, only to find that the real size of the garden was a couple of metres deeper than shown on the plan. It looked like the rear fence, that backed on to a field, had been placed further out. I called our solicitor, and he reassured me that it was fine, what he called a "wee encroachment", and that as long as the fences stayed in the same place when the purchase completed then the extra land was ours. IIRC, it was something to do with something in Scottish law about boundaries being defined by their actual position on the ground at the time of sale. We didn't encounter any problems, either whilst we lived there or when we sold the house.
VP I think you were lucky. Boundary law in the UK is a mixture of legacy, muddle, sloppy past registrations and an unhealthy reliance on obscure case law to settle mostly needless dusputes. Most countries do far better, even so called ‘third world’ ones. Go to the USA and property corners are properly ‘monumented’, it’s in the hands of state approved licenced surveyors and it all, mostly, fits together like a jigsaw puzzle. A negligent surveyor can lose his or her reputation, profession and money. I don’t know if its peculiar to the UK but many solicitors just can’t see what’s on a title deed plan and relate it to reality. For years we’ve had 2 cm accurate GPS positioning in the UK (courtesy of the USA) and property corners can easily be recorded with co ordinates which can be recovered again in the future but officialdom prefers to stick with plotting titles on relatively small scale and often inaccurate OS mapping with no written boundary dimensions.

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Old 15th Nov 2020, 15:14
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Some solicitors can read maps. I was selling a small house in Chester many years ago, and the solicitor for the buyer pointed out that I did not own half my front garden. The builders had suggested a "lay-by" along 2 or 3 houses, the council had agreed, and the layby was drawn in my deeds.
The buyer's solicitor suggested a one-off insurance purchase, which I did. End of problem.
However, the buyer's solicitor had great fun in the pub one night pointing all this out to the solicitor , that I had used for buying and selling. ....................and all our friends in the pub had a good laugh about it.
In those days in Chester, all the "young professionals" tended to go in to one of 2 pubs.
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Old 15th Nov 2020, 22:09
  #32 (permalink)  

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We found out when we came to sell our first house that we didn’t actually own the land that it was built on. Very bad news, seeing that it was sold to us as freehold. However, shortly afterwards we discovered that we DID own the land under a different house built about ten miles away. This was caused by an admin error by a solicitor when the houses were first built, by the same building company. The other house owners and ourselves owned each other’s land because they had shared the same plot numbers, but on two totally different sites and the paperwork had been muddled up.

Thankfully, by chance our buyer had chosen the very same solicitor who had made the original mistake! Our solicitor dumped the problem squarely in the other’s lap. It didn’t cost us a penny in the end but it certainly caused a few sleepless nights!
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Old 16th Nov 2020, 07:55
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ShyTorque View Post
As an aside, as someone in our village found out, you don’t even have to be the owner of the land or the buildings thereupon to apply for and gain planning permission on it!
Indeed. You could apply to demolish Buckingham Palace and replace it with a multi-storey car park if you so desired.

Actually following through on a granted planning consent and building on land you don't own could be tricky, let alone occupying it afterwards. Mind you, I'm sure whoever owns the land would be grateful for your efforts, you having added considerable value to their land holding.
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Old 16th Nov 2020, 08:06
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Tankertrashnav View Post
About the 30 years ago I sold a plot of my land with an agricultural building on it to a builder who converted said building to a house. When he put up a boundary fence I found he had "nicked" a couple of feet of land, along a roughly 150 foot boundary, over and above what we had initially agreed. I did think about disputing it at the time, but I thought "sod it,life's too short". I've never felt the loss of that three hundred or so square feet of land, I am really glad I just let the matter drop. I appreciate it wont be that simple for many people involved in boundary disputes, but I would always think twice before getting the lawyers in.
And of course you'll need to declare any on-going boundary disputes in the PIF if you decide to sell up, which will deter many if not all prospective buyers.

We have a large paddock and have just had a new neighbour move in so we've taken photos to confirm the location of the boundary, just in case. If there's any funny business I'll be quite happy to plant a row of leylandii - will be cheaper than getting solicitors involved....
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Old 16th Nov 2020, 10:32
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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.....and you will get a lot more sense from the leylandii.

They will give you years of pleasure, and do not answer back.
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Old 17th Nov 2020, 18:57
  #36 (permalink)  
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I called the aforementioned survey company and had a good discussion with them. The outcome is that they have suggested another surveyor who is more up to speed on boundary issues specifically and who is coming tomorrow.

In the meantime the neighbour has demolished the garage, completely, including the wall we always believed to be part of the common boundary, in order to get proper earth moving equipment through to his garden. Not the mini digger sort of toys but the man sized ones, he is part of a family that operates a civil engineering outfit near to here. We have been blessed with the sound of a big tracked digger, a big 4 wheel drive dumper truck and a good sized road roller. A coarse gravel road has been put down all the way down the garden of number 1, hopefully to allow the construct of a yoga studio for the lady of the house to run her business from. ALL of the stuff growing in the garden has been cut down to ground level, trees, shrubs, bushes etc and he is now looking to reduce some of our trees! He has also demolished a shed and moved another about. The top foot of the surface of much of the garden has been scraped away and many lorry loads of coarse black gravel brought in. And he is still not listening to me.

I am hoping that there is enough sign of where the walls were to allow a proper survey to be done. I have done a sketch with some dimensions on to help the surveyor tomorrow.

I am not sure what else I can do at the moment.

Rans6...........

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Old 17th Nov 2020, 19:02
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by rans6andrew View Post

I am hoping that there is enough sign of where the walls were to allow a proper survey to be done. I have done a sketch with some dimensions on to help the surveyor tomorrow.

I am not sure what else I can do at the moment.

Rans6...........
Don't dismiss google earth pics. And you can go back in time to show how long the fence line was in the same place.

CG
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Old 17th Nov 2020, 19:19
  #38 (permalink)  
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I lived in a rental house adjacent to a historical neighborhood when I awoke to the sound of a bulldozer plowing down an old oak(?) tree in the backyard, whose roots went under the house. They demolished the tree and an old outbuilding around 6 AM, long before the local historical society could put a stop to it.

Fait accompli, regardless of (de)construction permits.

The Historical Society and my landlord were at odds, to put it mildly.
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Old 17th Nov 2020, 19:33
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Yup chop the protected tree down and take the resulting fine, always much more profitable than leaving it standing
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Old 17th Nov 2020, 20:23
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by WB627 View Post
Yup chop the protected tree down and take the resulting fine, always much more profitable than leaving it standing
I regret to say we did the same. There were two horse chestnut trees right where our drive had* to be, and we're in a conservation area, so the trees automatically had some protection. I had one taken down as an urgent safety issue, as it had a bough that had grown around an overhead power cable, and the other one was "accidentally" damaged in the process, so had to come down. I'd prepared a replacement tree planting plan, and just submitted that as mitigation. Luckily, the tree warden considered that the trees were at the end of their life anyway, and weren't of significant value, so after getting my knuckles rapped (deservedly so) we were granted PP. We've now planted 9 trees since finishing the build, and some are already around 5m high (the silver birch seems to love it here).


* Had as in the Highways Officer was adamant that the only safe place for our drive to join the single track lane was right where the trees, and overhead cables, used to be. We put the new cables underground, earning another plus point from the conservation officer.
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