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Think neighbour may be trying to annex some of my property

(5 Posts)
Saracen Thu 07-May-15 10:25:31

We recently bought a new house. It appears that one of the fences has been moved inwards toward our property (there are remnants of the old concrete posts further out), leaving the boundary crooked and not in line with the surveyor's post.

We already knew the neighbour pretty well, as we lived just up the road for many years before our recent move. We like him well enough, but he's a bit of a chancer. Dh remembers the neighbour doing work on this fence eight or ten years ago, and perhaps that's when it was moved. The previous owner of our property was a business which never used the garden and might not have noticed a fence being moved.

The neighbour is now discussing building a small extension which would bring the rest of the boundary in line with the (new) fence. If our suspicions are right, this would be further encroaching on our property and in a more permanent way, so we feel we'd better find out what the score is.

The Land Registry document we had when we bought the house isn't detailed enough to show the exact boundary. What's the simplest way to establish where it should be? Is there more info I can get from the Land Registry?

If it matters, our house was built in 1930. The neighbour's house is part of a development for which planning permission was granted in 1975. I've seen the plans for that, but can't find reference to the exact boundary of the development. It happens that we have an Ordinance Survey reference mark on our house, just a few metres from the boundary in question.

Thanks for any pointers on what to do next!

Collaborate Thu 07-May-15 12:56:47

Our house was built in the '30s. The original conveyance is with our papers, and that includes a very detailed plan, with measurements literally to the inch. Can you check your paperwork and see what you've got?

IIRC the neighbour may acquire rights to your land after 12 years of trespass, but certain conditions would have to be satisfied.

You could try posting this on the gardenlaw forum www.gardenlaw.co.uk.

newbieman1978 Thu 07-May-15 14:08:34

Firstly you will need to prove the original boundary... Which could be easier said than done.. Land registry may be able to offer advice.

Secondly you will need to find out when the boundary was moved. As said if it was longer than 12 years ago this could be a problem.

It could also be argued that by buying the property and making the relevant checks you agreed to the boundaries as they stand.

As for your neighbour altering more of the boundary then he will need to prove the land belongs to him before doing so.

I know it's easy to say after the fact but if this had of been pulled up before you bought the house it would have had to be sorted by the previous owner.
Is there a possibility your surveyor or solicitor didn't make the correct enquires? If so you may have some recourse with them.

DayLillie Thu 07-May-15 14:20:55

You need to agree together the line of the boundary using the land registry/deeds (land registry is only accurate to within a metre).

If this is not possible, then you need a land surveyor who can look at the boundary and make a guess using the evidence available. Ideally, you can do this together and agree with his findings.

You can do this with the help of a solicitor so that any agreement goes with the deeds. If you can't agree, you can go to court but this is very expensive and stressful and the courts don't like it.

Saracen Thu 07-May-15 16:39:30

Thanks, everyone! That's very helpful.

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