Boundary Disputes Among Top Causes Of Neighbourly Strife

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There are many reasons for neighbours to fall out, but research has shown disputes over boundaries are among the most common.

A survey by civil law solicitors CEL found that it was one of the three biggest causes of arguments, along with noise and inconsiderate parking.

Mark Montado from the firm commented:”Some of the most common disputes include parking spaces, excessive noise, unkempt gardens and arguments over just where your land ends and theirs begins.”

While these can sometimes be sorted out “over a friendly cup of tea,” on other occasions they can escalate and end up requiring a legal resolution, Mr Montado added.

There are some very effective ways of preventing a land dispute getting to that point. One of them is to have a boundary determination survey which can sort out once and for all exactly where one property ends and another stops, so that the correct location of the fence, garden or hedge can be clearly defined.

Sometimes the problem can arise in the first place because there is no record to hand to begin with showing exactly where one property starts and the other ends.

Not having a survey and taking the matter to court can end up being a very expensive affair, as the losers of one very expensive recent case in London found to their (very considerable) cost.

Wendy Mszyca and Amanda Uziell-Hamilton ended up the losers in a row over a 3ft strip of land they had paved over that belonged to their neighbours Jay and Hannah Stirrett, whose garden backs onto theirs.

The couple had grabbed the land in 2018 when remodelling their garden, claiming that the extra section of land had actually been their flower bed before being temporarily walled off by builders in 2013. The Stirrets said there had been a fence 3ft beyond the wall marking the true boundary, a claim that was upheld in court.

While the losing party are millionaires and thus able to cope with the big legal bill, though doubtless unhappy with this and the land loss, the dispute may show just why people should try to avoid expensive legal battles.

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