Boundry dispute on house we are trying to buy!

(23 Posts)
cosysocks Sat 29-Dec-12 17:42:57

Hi, we are currently trying to buy a house that has a boundry dispute, the neighbour has said the fence is about 20cm on his land.
Our solicitor brought this to our attention and has gotten the vendors side of events. He has however had to inform the mortgage company and reckons it could affect our chances of buying the house.
The survey came back all fine. We tried knocking on the door to the neighbour as we are happy to re-erect the fence further over but can't seem to catch them in.
I wanted to know if anyone ha had experience of this? I have googled but can only find info regarding selling.
Will this really mean we can't have the house?
And yes we have thought a lot about wether we want to live next door to them, one of reasons we are trying to speak to them is to try and gauge how awful they could be!!

GlaikitFizzogTheChristmasElf Sat 29-Dec-12 17:45:33

I'd run a mile tbh. It's probably why the vendors are moving! 20cm! What does he want to do with it!tightrope walk along it.

I think you might have just be give an get out of jail free card.

LadyMaryChristmas Sat 29-Dec-12 17:46:12

If they are being this petty over 20cm then I imagine them to be an absolute nightmare.

I think your solicitor is worried in case the mortgage company offer a lower mortgage as it's, technically, less land so worth less? Just a guess at this though.

bran Sat 29-Dec-12 17:51:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cosysocks Sat 29-Dec-12 17:56:28

Oh no. You're all telling me what I don't want to hear but deep down know. DH loves the house so it's him I need to persuade, I'm just desperate to move from our rented accommodation.
The guys a knob isn't he?!

LadyMaryChristmas Sat 29-Dec-12 17:59:01

Yup. You should ask the current owners what other problems they have had with the knob. They have to tell you (tis the law), but only if you ask.

AmandaCooper Sat 29-Dec-12 18:03:03

Run several miles. My parents lived for years next door to some thoroughly unpleasant people who brought one ridiculous claim after another, it cost my parents thousands and they couldn't move because noone would buy their house due to ongoing disputes. Eventually they sold up and left; the people who bought it soon got embroiled in similar and ended up moving out leaving the house empty for six years until they sold it at a loss. I've since dealt with similar issues at work and have formed the view that no house is worth it.

Littlefish Sat 29-Dec-12 18:12:37

Run, run, run and don't look back.

Even if you manage to come to an agreement with the neighbours over this piece of land, something else will come up in the future to cause disagreement.

cosysocks Sat 29-Dec-12 18:13:14

It's so frustrating, ideal house for our budget in an area we love. It was the kind of house we would never need to move from, however there just doesn't seem to be any houses around at the moment that compare, now I'm starting to think why it's a bargain!!

LadyMaryChristmas Sat 29-Dec-12 18:16:36

Do a little digging. You never know, he could be an absolute kitten. wink I really wouldn't give in over this though, he'll see that you're a push over even before you've moved in. He'll be telling you to chop your trees down next. Stand your ground, if it's on the title deeds then it's not his. You could offer to sell it to him though.

Busyoldfool Sat 29-Dec-12 23:03:50

I'd probably run too - not worth it. But intereting to know whether the neighbour is right. If the mistake was on your vendor's side and you put it right there might not be a problem. Agree with LadyMary - do a little digging just in case.

And if someone stole 20cm of my garden I'd make a fuss I'm afraid - espeicailly of they were arrogant about it - so he may be simply stating his rights.

GlaikitFizzogTheChristmasElf Sat 29-Dec-12 23:15:34

How old is he?? wink

cosysocks Sun 30-Dec-12 08:02:23

I don't know how old he is yet, we're hoping to pop around today to have a chat. Just want to get my attitude right, not over accommodating so we seem like push overs. We still need to see the deeds because as yet we don't have a clue over boundry lines, however on photos provided by solicitor it totally looks like he is in the right. But I still think a lot rides on his attitude when we speak to him.

SantasBigRedHat Sun 30-Dec-12 09:37:34

Run for the hills.

Boundary disputes are rarely the only thing the neighbour argues over. To scare yourself into walking away I recommend the GardenLaw website, I have linked you to all their forums from fences to boundaries but it will show you how crazy it can be. here

20cm is nothing, he wouldn't get it in a court of law in my humble opinion, but even if you moved the fence at considerable cost, you have to ask yourself what else he may start complaining over.

And I speak from personal experience of someone who endured a boundary dispute that turned incredibly nasty on the neighbour's part. Name calling, deliberately trying to get a rise out of us with weird and wonderful behaviour.

We were lucky to be able to get out we sold to someone who didn't care there was a dispute on a property but it is rare. My eldest child remembers his Mummy being called some amazing swear words, you have to ask yourself if it is worth it.

If your sellers wanted to they could have moved the fence and the issue would be over and then they could declare it as a resolved dispute. Maybe you should be asking them why they haven't done this. This alone should tell you to walk away.

If it is hell living next to this person, imagine trying to sell this house on again.

sammydavis Sun 30-Dec-12 09:50:19

I wish I lived next to all the people who think 20cms is nothing wink - 8 inches!

Seriously, if you'd be happy for me to take up a boundary fence and move it 8 inches further into your garden then would you be willing to let me move it 30cms or maybe park my car so that I can open the doors and step out on your driveway all the time.

Of course it sounds petty if the neighbour has just come up with this out of the blue but what if the vendor is the original antagonist trying to nick a strip of land off the neighbour?

I wouldn't touch it until the dispute is resolved - why buy yourself problems - they'll come along for free soon enough.

cosysocks Tue 01-Jan-13 12:41:14

Well spoke to them today, seemed okay. They are not bothered by fence being where it is and are happy to write it in a letter to give to solicitor, saying they don't mind fence being there until it becomes damaged and needs replacing.
Feel a lot better about the situation now.

LadyMaryChristmas Tue 01-Jan-13 17:18:24

Sounds promising. I hope your move goes well. smile

sammydavis Tue 01-Jan-13 18:38:14

I'd be concerned that they're just saying that because they really want rid of their neighbour/your vendor - which is fair enough.

But if you can get it in writing - good luck.

ElsieMc Wed 02-Jan-13 17:02:14

Red flags are all over this. We have a neighbour - it's his second home - and he wants to look across our private garden to the church and wishes us to chop our hedge right down to accommodate this for the two or three weeks a year he spends at his property. We complied, but now he is moaning about a tree which does not affect him at all and to be honest, if you give in now you are going to get a list of complaints.

I had my festive list of complaints from our self appointed village policeman at the beginning of December after spending £600 last year. Bear this in mind.

Pendeen Thu 03-Jan-13 14:33:50

The vendor has a dispute: "...the neighbour has said the fence is about 20cm on his land..."

but, in person the neighbour then said:

"They are not bothered by fence being where it is and are happy to write it in a letter to give to solicitor, saying they don't mind fence being there until it becomes damaged and needs replacing"

Doesn't seem to add up?

AmandaCooper Thu 03-Jan-13 17:29:56

"^If your sellers wanted to they could have moved the fence and the issue would be over and then they could declare it as a resolved dispute. Maybe you should be asking them why they haven't done this. This alone should tell you to walk away^."

^^ this.

Fizzylemonade Thu 03-Jan-13 18:27:51

cosysocks the very worrying part of this whole thing is when someone says this

"don't mind fence being there until it becomes damaged and needs replacing"

it means, that the vendors aren't push overs and won't relinquish the land, you on the other hand may just well not only give them the 20cm but more (they could be planning an extension and need that space) or they could dictate what type of fence they want and that could cost more.

Clearly the neighbour wanted the 20cm and you have to ask yourself why they don't want the vendors to move the fence. Why are they willing to wait? They hold all the cards, ie move the fence or we prevent your move.

Surely the pending sale of the house is the push the vendors need to satisfy the neighbours and then there is no dispute.

You are buying a house in a current boundary dispute. Please don't think that you can just go to court and have this all neatly resolved. Sadly it doesn't work that way. It also costs thousands and thousands of pounds.

Please have a look at the GardenLaw website, where people detail living in hell for years on end gardenlaw

Imagine the senario, you come home from work one day to discover a new fence has been erected not just the 20cm originally claimed but 60cm. How would you feel? Angry? You demand the fence is taken down. They say no, and if you touch it you would be guilty of criminal damage. You call the police, they tell you it is a civil matter to be dealt with by solicitors. Or you take matters into your own hands, remove the fence and wait for the backlash. How brazen are you?

I will point you in the direction of this very similar situation on gardenlaw neighbour moves fence

Pendeen Fri 04-Jan-13 16:10:47

Just for informatin OP, the experts are here: RICS

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