What Does Dispute Resolution Mean?
You may currently get on well with your neighbour, but all this can change once a boundary dispute arises. Disagreeing on where the boundary line lies or who should maintain which part of the boundary has led to many neighbourly disputes. What makes it worse is that what is on the title deed may not always match what is on the ground.
However, the law makes some presumptions in boundary dispute cases if physical features such as rivers and roads help distinguish the boundary line.
The downside of boundary disputes is the bitterness it breeds between neighbours as well as the length of time it takes. If you decide to hire a solicitor, it can cause a huge financial strain because the fees soon mount up. It can be frustrating to spend thousands and yet no closer to tackling the practical cause of the dispute.
A chartered valuation surveyor can value your land as it stands, then revalue it assuming that you will reclaim the land in dispute. The value of the disputed property is the difference between the two valuations. Still, the surveyor will conduct the two assessments in your neighbour's land. The bottom line is that ownership of disputed land should neither affect your property value nor your neighbour's property value.
Therefore, trying to resolve amicably is the best option. But you have to consider the following:
What happens if neighbours cannot resolve amicably?
Of course, if you are at loggerheads with your neighbour already, then suggesting resolving boundary disputes amicably is not likely to happen. However, that does not mean you wait for your neighbour to calm down until you are in friendly terms. You have a variety of resolution methods from which you can choose to settle the dispute as soon as possible.
You and your neighbour must agree on the method chosen and also on the results it will bring. As much as you want to resolve the dispute quickly, you cannot be selfish and have your preferred method as the only one to consider. You must give your neighbour a chance to explore their options, no matter how bad you think this result may be.
Once you and your neighbour agree on a resolution method, you can evaluate the possibility of the outcomes and be ready to accept them.