If A Boundary Dispute Goes To Court
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- boundary dispute protocol
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Boundary disputes have been common over the years, and even after they’ve been settled, the parties involved develop animosity. Some of the reasons for animosity include the feelings they invoke and misuse of money, especially on small parcels of land.
At the end of a boundary dispute, the parties involved face judicial criticism besides spending a lot of money on the case. Therefore, even if one of the parties involved won the case, it is not easy to recover the money spent.
Nowadays, due to the limited supply of building land, smaller and smaller parcels of land are created. However, as these parcels are created, it is important to get the maximum plot size.
In most cases, this does not happen, especially in urban settings, because most property owners do not agree to offer even a small piece of their land. To solve this problem, two approaches can be used:
i. Re-introduction into parliament of the Property Boundaries Bill
This bill proposes that the involved parties should appoint the first surveyor, then the second and finally a third surveyor to help mediate their dispute.
After careful considerations, the surveyor/surveyors will make the final decision which can be enforced in the County Court.
In case either of the parties is not satisfied, he/she can appeal within 28 days. If either of the party fails to appeal, the final decision is conclusive.
This bill has been used to solve boundary disputes since 1996 in London and other parts of the United Kingdom.
ii. The boundary dispute protocol
To start a boundary dispute, both parties should understand the legal and factual issues of the case to solve the dispute early. The first step is to appoint an experienced surveyor who can come up with a suitable plan. This first stage may also include the disclosure of photographs etc. in an attempt to bring everyone to speed.
In the early stages of the dispute, the protocol encourages the resolution of the dispute with less friction between the parties involved. Therefore, the first thing to address is how the boundary dispute arose.
The lawyers and surveyors will gather vital information which can help solve the dispute depending on the facts available. The protocol aims at solving these disputes as fast as possible to avoid having numerous boundary dispute cases on their hands. It is important to understand that the cost of hiring a specialist party wall surveyor, especially in London is quite costly to both parties.
Therefore, looking for alternative methods of solving boundary dispute is highly advisable. However, most people do not understand or know the 1996 Act.
As a result, the Act is rarely used because most developers either misapply or ignore it.
One of the main reasons why this Act is rarely used is the fear that when the new bill becomes law, numerous parties will tend to resolve disputes using informal methods.
Some of these informal methods include self-help which reduces the degree of certainty, especially when selling real estate property.
If you are worried about a boundary dispute with your neighbour, you will benefit from consulting a property surveyor who is trained to mediate in boundary dispute resolution. Follow the link below to find out more.