Solicitors in Essex & London
With the value of land increasing and landowners making full use of their plots, such as extending properties to the edge of their land, the number of boundary disputes are on the rise.
A boundary is a theoretical line dividing two properties. It may be a wall, hedge, fence or there may actually be no physical divider. These can normally be found on title deeds or other conveyancing documents. The first thing to do in any dispute is determine the boundary.
There are huge emotional and financial costs in litigating over a boundary between neighbours and it is rarely cost-effective.
Pinney Talfourd’s property litigation team offer a firm approach but will always encourage sensible negotiation and the use of mediation or other form of alternative dispute resolution rather than going to Court.
A voluntary protocol for disputes between neighbours about the location of a boundary has been prepared by senior members of the legal and surveying professions. Compliance with it is voluntary but it is instructive to consider the process which has been agreed as an effective method of resolving boundary disputes and controlling costs. In brief, it recommends:
Mediation is also an effective alternative to going to Court. A neutral third party is employed by both parties in dispute to seek to resolve the conflict through good communication and negotiation. The Courts have universally backed mediation as being something that should be attempted in nearly all cases.
Halsey v Milton Keynes General NHS Trust, in which the decision endorses mediation and provides authority that a party refusing to mediate may well be ordered to pay the costs of the other party, whatever the outcome of the litigation. The Courts cannot compel a party to mediate but it can strongly encourage the parties to do so.
This is reflected in the rules of the Court system (the CPR) which imposes a duty on legal representatives to ensure that their clients are fully aware of the benefits of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution of which mediation is a part).
To summarise, reasons why the parties should consider mediation are:
Applications to HM Land Registry and/or Court Proceedings
It is possible to make an application to HM Land Registry for a Determined Boundary and this is frequently used as an alternative to applying to the County Court for a declaration as to where the boundary is. HM Land Registry may agree to deal with the application however if there are complicating factors, it may direct that one or other of the parties issues a Court application.
Pinney Talfourd LLP have a wealth of expertise in resolving residential and commercial boundary issues between parties. We work with specialist land surveyors, barristers and mediators to assist as experts and representatives in each dispute We will always keep under consideration the costs of these disputes to enable our clients to make informed choices as to how best to resolve.
If you require further legal advice relating to a boundary dispute please contact any of our residential property litigation solicitors to discuss your legal issues in more detail.
Our specialist team offer consultations at any of our offices in Brentwood, Hornchurch and Upminster, and also at our office facilities based in Leigh-On-Sea and Canary Wharf, London. Alternatively, if more convenient for you, we are happy to meet you at your own premises.
Simply make an online enquiry or call your local office.