A Guide to Different Types of Boundary Disputes
All properties have rough boundary lines that can be referenced on the property’s title plan. However, disputes often arise between homeowners, as there are not official boundary records for most UK properties. This can subsequently snowball into bigger legal issues.
Understanding the different types of boundary disputes can help homeowners who are seeking clarification and possible resolutions to these matters.
What Are the Different Types of Boundary Disputes?
Fence & Wall Disputes
These types of disputes are among the most common and often arise when a homeowner believes that a fence or wall that marks the boundary is incorrectly placed. Issues can include disagreements over location, maintenance or responsibility for repair.
In some cases, historical documentation can clarify the rightful boundary lines. However, these disputes often necessitate legal intervention.
Easements grant specific rights to others, such as the right of way or access across a property. Disputes in this instance emerge when there’s a disagreement over the land access.
Resolving easement disputes typically involve, again, examining property documents and historical use to determine the validity of the easement.
Adverse Possession Claims
These claims occur when someone occupies someone else’s property continuously and openly for a period of time – typically years – without the owner’s objection. Disputes arise when the occupier claims legal ownership based on their extended possession.
However, this can be a very intricate issue. It requires meeting specific legal requirements, such as continuous and exclusive use, to prove adverse possession.
Encroachment occurs when a structure such as a building, or part of it, extends onto another individual’s property line. These arguments can commonly arise due to misunderstandings during construction or property alterations.
Resolving encroachment issues may involve negotiations, surveys, and, in some cases, legal action to rectify the encroaching structure or seek compensation.
Resolving Boundary Disputes
When faced with these neighbourly disputes, homeowners should prioritise amicable resolution through communication and negotiation where possible.
Seeking legal advice early in the process is advised. Legal professionals specialise in this area and are equipped to assess the situation, review relevant documents, and guide homeowners through dispute resolution mechanisms if necessary.