Disputes Over Land Boundaries In Kent
Land boundary disputes have been the cause of many disagreements among even family members.
However, it is not always essential to involve legal litigation.
Before involving any authority in an attempt to resolve your dispute, it's not a bad idea to communicate with your neighbours and reach an agreement.
After all, you do have to live with your neighbours.
Avoiding Boundary Disputes
Avoiding boundary disputes is a challenge and may require specialist experience from chartered surveyors to help with dispute resolution. The surveyors will examine the land registry plans and street maps to help establish your rights.
It is recommended that you note down the results of discussions to avoid the same issue arising at a later date.
You can request the land registry to record on register upon agreement between you and your neighbour.
Though you should make it clear to the Land Registry that you are not transferring the land from one party to another, merely clarifying boundary description.
Where is the boundary line to my land?
One of the most common disputes between neighbours can come from a disagreement over a boundary line. Defining a boundary line is not always an easy task, however.
A boundary line is often a physical feature such as a wall, fence, ditch or hedge. When a dispute arises over the exact boundary, sometimes it can be over just a few inches off the ground.
The common problem is that a legal boundary is often not defined exactly by looking at the title plans. The information within the plans only show general boundaries which are based on ordnance survey mapping.
For this reason, the boundary line is not as precise as they should be to resolve a disagreement. Many general boundary lines miss small areas where the land encroaches or bay windows. A visit to the property by an expert will usually help confirm the land registry plans.
Which side of the Boundary Line am I responsible for?
Boundary disputes are common between neighbouring properties in Kent. Dispute resolution requires agreement on the rights and responsibilities of the land owners.
It is a commonly held belief that they are responsible for the right or left-hand side of a boundary. This idea has no legal basis. There are occasions where this information is mentioned in the deeds lodged with the Land Registry, but in many cases, there is no such detail.
When you are deciding to alter a boundary, it is always best to consult the neighbour beforehand. You can use the registered titles to agree on the requested boundary which may not have the information required. Agreement between neighbours is the best practice for avoiding a dispute.
What Do the Title Deeds show?
The title deed registered with the Land Registry shows the current position of the boundary line. You may be confident that your boundary should follow a historical line, but these previous deeds become redundant once a new one is registered to replace it.
Once a title is registered at the Land Registry, the previous deeds become known as 'pre-registration deeds'.
Even with documentation to prove that a boundary was in a particular position, a newly registered boundary can be made legally the correct one. The courts, however, will try to settle a dispute by trying to reduce an innocent party being exploited.
In many situations, a judgement is made from the physical examination of the boundary to check if it is legitimate. If the boundary looks fair to both parties, then a judge can overrule precise measurements on a deed.
Who can help with a land boundary dispute?
Before choosing to litigate against a boundary line dispute, it is often preferable to seek a mediated agreement between the parties involved.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) offers help with agreeing to a disputed boundary. However, they are not able to solve the dispute on your behalf. Advice from an experienced chartered surveyor offers the best way to resolve a dispute between neighbours through mediation.
Reaching an agreement through mediation can be a lot less stressful and save you money compared to resolving it through the courts.
If you are seeking to resolve a boundary dispute in Tonbridge or Kent, our RICS surveyor can provide evidence to guide all parties involved towards resolution.
We will help your boundary dispute get resolved before the need to employ costly solicitors.
Get in touch with our chartered surveyor today to discuss land boundary dispute resolution. Our chartered surveyor can offer a range of services including expert witness surveying.