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In a boundary dispute, is the only option a fast property sale? Thu, 27 Mar 2014 18:55

There is a wide range of issues that can give rise to a boundary dispute between neighbours, from the ownership of a fence or the thickness of a hedge to driveways, party walls and shared drainage. If you are in disagreement with your neighbour about your property boundaries, is there an alternative to the fast sale of the property?  


Land in England and Wales is generally registered with general, rather than exact boundaries, as the latter can be expensive and complicated to work out. On the registration of a property with Land Registry, a drawing called a 'title plan' is created, and unless exact boundary information was supplied by the previous owners, this will probably only show the general boundaries of a property.


If you disagree with a neighbour about the exact boundary, it is better to first seek legal advice rather than immediately attempt a fast sale of the property. After all, it isn't always obvious who is right or wrong. A wooden fence that has moved slightly every time it is replaced or a diverted water course can cause changes in a property's boundary over time. If possible, you should always try to solve a boundary dispute amicably, to avoid legal costs that would only further strain relations. Alternatively you could appoint a chartered surveyor whom will be able to inspect the property and boundaries to commission a measured survey. 


You can better work out the exact boundary of your property by gathering information from a wide range of documentation, including the title plan and registry documents. It's a good idea to agree on any unclear areas with your neighbour, and if you can, sign an agreement with them. A surveyor can then draw up a detailed plan that can be sent to Land Registry, along with the fee, 'Form DB - Application to determine the exact line of a boundary' and any agreement that you have reached with your neighbour.


If Land Registry receives the forms without a signed agreement, they will check your neighbours' happiness with the plan. If exact agreement on the boundaries still isn't forthcoming at this stage, you ultimately have the following options: resolution of the dispute by the independent Adjudicator to HM Land Registry or in court, or the fast sale of the property. The latter can be done by Dream House Buyer, which guarantees a cash offer for your property, regardless of what caused the dispute.s

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