Boundary dispute Boundary dispute
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  1. #1

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    jds 1981 is a permanent contractor


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    Default Boundary dispute

    or not..

    So we are in an end terrace house. We've finally got permission from the council to put in a drive. The space we have to work with is very tight though.

    Basically, the side of our house is 2.4 metres wide towards the rear, but gets a bit tighter towards the front because the boundary with our neighbour curves towards our house.

    Looking at maps and housing plan though, the boundary looks like it should be a straight line. On the ground though by the time it reaches the street it is about 1.5 metres across from the straight line point.

    Here's a drawing, the green line is approximately the line his driveway follows (we have a hedge against it)


    I suspect that when he laid his driveway he had a chat with the previous occupant of this house and 'adjusted' the boundary to make it more convenient for him (otherwise it would have been very tight for his car).
    Is it worth bringing this up with him? As we're getting a drive laid for ££ it'd be good to make sure it is in the correct place, but obviously this could be a sensitive issue to bring up.

  2. #2

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    SueEllen is a fount of knowledge

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    Is there away of going across his drive even with his car there to get into your space?

    Point is see if there are other alternatives you think you could both work with rather than argue about strips of land.

    You will have to live next to him for years.
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    It would be a good idea to discuss it with you neighbour - not accuse them, or anything like that, but have a neighbourly discussion. If the neighbour's drive was there before you were, then you're making assumptions about why it is the way it is, so it's best to discuss it politely rather than go in all guns blazing with your accusation "when he laid his driveway he had a chat with the previous occupant of this house and 'adjusted' the boundary to make it more convenient for him"

    The other thing is that if you have room for a hedge, then if you took that hedge out, how much more space would it give you?
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    Helpful, friendly answers in the General?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AtW View Post
    Helpful, friendly answers in the General?
    I know

    Yeah, I wouldn't go in blazing, more along the lines of "Hey Peter, do you know if the boundary always been curved like it is now?" problem is, even that could come across as a bit accusatory. Any better ways of approaching it?
    We do get along with him reasonably well so wouldn't want to sour that.

    We're going to get rid of the hedge at the front which would give a bit more room, and we should be able to fit just about, but my wifes main concern is if we're spending money to put a drive in, it would be good (if the boundary should be straight) to put the drive in straight rather than cementing the status quo.

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    Any suggestion that you will rip up his drive because it is on your property has the potential to lead to a horrible dispute. My advice is just build the drive so you can get your car in and out. Starting a war with the neighbour just to make sure you "get it right" isn't worth it. I would therefore approach it as if the drive does belong to your neighbour, after all you accepted this when you bought the house and try and come up with a solution where you have a common drive. Depending on how it goes you can choose to play this card further down the line, i.e. if he proves to be unreasonable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jds 1981 View Post

    We're going to get rid of the hedge at the front which would give a bit more room, and we should be able to fit just about, but my wifes main concern is if we're spending money to put a drive in, it would be good (if the boundary should be straight) to put the drive in straight rather than cementing the status quo.
    You should see if you can find programs like Neighbours At War online and make your wife watch an episode or two.

    She may then use different tactics.
    "You’re just a bad memory who doesn’t know when to go away" JR

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    Bear in mind that disputes like this need to be disclosed when selling. In other words, any advantage you get from sorting out a slither of land will easily be forgotten by people not wanting a problem.

    I do get the desire to be right about this stuff and it is a bit cheeky if it's the case, but tread so very carefully.

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    It’s very hard to dispute boundaries based on title plans alone. Title plans do not indicate a legal boundary. They are based on what OS would have found on the ground at the time of their last survey.

    Of course if the boundary is clearly a straight line and now it curves then it seems likely that the neighbours driveway is in the wrong place. Thing is, it’s very hard to resolve this if the neighbour is not amicable without a formal boundary dispute and legal action.

    Even if you went down the legal route, if the boundary feature has been there for long enough then the neighbour could claim adverse possession. AFAIK they cannot do this if at any point they admit that they disputed land used to belong to you so make notes of anything they say in that regard!

    How much disruption would it cause the neighbour to put the boundary back to how it should be? Would they still be able to use their driveway? What if you offered to pay for any necessary modifications to their driveway including replacing any soft landscaping? It may not be down to them that the boundary is the way it is now.

  10. #10

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    Document and collect evidence that the neighbour asked for permission to do this as it proves ownership is yours and not disputed. The fact he asked for permission is important for things like prescriptive rights of way. Even if the land is yours he can acquire rights to it if it's been used as a right of way for 20 years +, but asking for permission could prevent this. Check out gardenlaw.co.uk, a great forum for things like this.

    Sort it out amicably if possible. Personally I would reestablish the boundary with the new drive but still allow him to continue the same access as being neighbourly.

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