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Boundary Disputes - Fence Boundaries
There are many reasons why neighbours can fall out with each other. Noise and litter are common complaints when it comes to neighbour disputes and personality clashes are never too far away in causing problems for people. However, one area of neighbourly dispute which comes up time and time again is boundary disputes including fence boundaries .
There are many areas where neighbours can have fall-outs or issues over the fence boundaries of their property and there is a need for these matters to be resolved as quickly as possible if the parties involved are looking to avoid huge legal fees.
This is where the guidance of Land Registry should be of benefit. The first port of call when it comes to boundary disputes should always be the Land Registry for the relevant properties. This is likely to dictate the true lay of the land between two properties and will hopefully provide the resolution to any dispute that arises.
Video Advice on Fence boundaries
Disagreements over what Land Registry states
This is not always the case though and sometimes referring to Land Registry plots will not resolve a matter and you may need to seek legal advice in order to do so. Many people will often cite disagreements with what is recorded on a Land Registry map.
While the contents of the Land Registry plot is generally accepted as being the lay of the land, there have been many occurrences where the Land Registry is incorrect and these errors have not been updated or corrected. This means that there can be disagreements over what is recorded in the Land Registry map, which does nothing to help resolve the problems or disagreements that some neighbours have over boundary fencing.
However, given that one of the main obligations and requirements of Land Registry is to "provide a reliable record of information about ownership of and interests affecting land", it would be fair to say that many people will put trust in what they state.
Land Registry - Boundary Disputes not their Concern
The Land Registry is quick to point out that they have no obligation or requirement to check that property owners are not encroaching on the property of their neighbours. This is something that is the responsibility for the property owners, who should seek legal advice. Land Registry also point out that they are not responsible for overlooking the access or use of the right of way that people have from their land or adjacent land. Again, this is a matter that is down to the people that are affected and who benefit from these rights.
In the matter of boundary disputes, it is important to ensure that the lawyer that is representing you has skill and understanding of boundary matters and land disputes. While a lawyer may be able to view a contract or Land Registry map and give their opinion, every area of law has specialities and precedence. Choosing a relevant lawyer with experience in the field that you are interested in is always going to be important.
Good Legal Representation a must in Boundary Disputes
With respect to boundary disputes, they should be considered a legal matter and it is often the finding of a judge or magistrate that is the deciding factor. Clearly, the word produced and provided by Land Registry should have an outcome in the findings but as many people know all too well, sometimes the legal finding doesn't sit well alongside the expected outcome of the case. This is where lawyers and solicitors can earn their money by presenting or interpreting the information provided by Land Registry in a way that suits their client.
There is no doubt that information provided by Land Registry plays a strong role in the outcome of boundary disputes but the organisation is not overly keen to get involved in these disputes. However, the Land Registry reports should always be the first port of call in a boundary dispute and hopefully an agreement can be reached over the land.
LLB, LLM, BVC, QLTT, Lawyer since 2010, 2 Years' experience in practising employment law.
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