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Boundary Dispute - Never ever feed the cat!

(11 Posts)
Mikey61 Sat 17-Oct-15 12:13:04

I thought I was the perfect neighbour to my NFH (neighbours from hell) for 20 years. Fed the cats, took in parcels, kept a spare key until this year when they built a, very tiny, side extension. I objected to a large window looking into my garden/conservatory and it all kicked off from there.Party Wall Surveyor was employed and now they seem hell bent on seeking revenge. They wrote twice to me in May threatening to take down the fence and realign it to their advantage. They say I had moved it several years ago! I did not move my fence which forms the boundary. From then followed a stream of accusations none of which is true, they even insisted the title deeds showed the space between both properties to be equal when its patently obvious my side is wider than theirs. My side forms the entrance to the front door of my house, theres is rear access. I must mention that my neighbour worked in the Planning Dept of our local council and now works in a similar capacity in a neighbouring borough. I felt very intimidated by these threats so I rang the police for advice (they logged the call) and from there I got a solicitor through my insurance company (I paid extra for Family Legal Protection) but they will only cover me for Trespass and Nuisance NOT a boundary dispute. All my evidence proves they are wrong and if they tried to claim they are doomed to fail as my solicitor constantly keeps reminding them. That doesnt deter them as they know I intend to sell my house and the whole point of this is to cause a dispute which they have now done and apart from the stress I am now unable to confidently sell my house with this dispute hanging over it- I of course would declare the dispute they have created but this puts the possibility of a sale under threat. Two weeks ago the neighbour followed my partner to his car accusing him of Criminal Damage where he supposedly cut down his climbing plants from the fence - the shrub was mine! My partner has not been well lately and was very shaken by this harrassment - luckily he kept his cool. I spoke to the police about this and again they logged the call. Anyway, sorry to go on but as I stand they refuse to end the dispute. Latest thing is I received a letter telling me they need to repair a chimney and want to put scaffolding on my property for 3 weeks and will move the fence if needed. My solicitor has told me to refuse ........which I know could end in a court request for access. Would appreciate any advice-of course the usual reaction is I am told 'they cant do that' but believe me they can!

wowfudge Sat 17-Oct-15 13:06:25

At least you have a solicitor on the case. Any chance you could have a mediation meeting and sort things out? If things are this bad, perhaps they will be prepared to resolve matters in order to enable you to leave and them to get new neighbours and start afresh?

How about agreeing to the scaffolding in exchange for something that benefits you, i.e. putting an end to the dispute?

What is the point of arguing with a neighbour to this extent if it hinders either of you from moving - and I mean on their part. What is in their very small extension though and how big is it actually? It's one thing having a window in a room you use constantly, quite another if it's letting light into, say, a utility room.

GiddyOnZackHunt Sat 17-Oct-15 13:13:31

You may have right on your side but a determined NFH can create a boundary dispute out of nothing. And maintain it in the face of any reasonable evidence. There is no route to a ruling as to who is correct.

Mikey61 Sat 17-Oct-15 17:47:37

I tried speaking to them last year but to no avail. They also tried to make out it was THEIR fence when the title deeds clearly state its my fence. They have hung a gate from a gate post, used a plastic shed to push a fence panel out of line and hung trellis all along the fence which they deny is criminal damage.I had to let that one go. The extension is 1.2cm deep x 4.5cm long and on the plans it says, Study, Kitchen Extension and WC with a window 1m x 70cm and 2 large velux roof windows. I objected to the window so permission was refused twice. The third time accepted on Appeal by the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol.There is very little space between the properties. 30 years ago I had paving laid from front to back up to the boundary. There are two inspection chambers close to the boundary at the front and rear. The evidence on the ground shows nothing has moved in 30 years. I would dearly love to have more space to give in to their demands and get them out of my hair but to allow this even for a few inches would mean the main drain pipes and water pipes for myself and my other neighbour (not the NFH) would be on their side of the fence! My solicitor has told them twice that if they agree to end the dispute I would be more than happy to allow scaffolding to take place. All has gone very quiet.

Mikey61 Sat 17-Oct-15 17:53:33

Yes I think you are right. I suppose claiming Adverse Possession is the only way to try and resolve this through Land Registry as I believe I have a very strong case but selling would be out of the question as I think it takes months. But, I do take umbrage that I am being forced to appear that I have 'mistakenly' moved the fence in order to resolve the case. But I will if necessary do anything to end this other than realign the fence to their advantage. Something in law needs to be changed to stop this which, if forums are to go by, happens all the time. It is after all, theft.

Collaborate Sat 17-Oct-15 20:17:14

The fence is yours so they have no right to remove it.

They have no right to erect scaffolding on your land without a court order, which they'd have to obtain under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act.

Your rights under the Act can be found here.

Are you sure that the chimney needs repair? It is possible that the scaffolding could be used for other wrk not covered by the Act.

The Act gives them no right to enter your land so as to build something new, like an extension. Are you aware of the provisions of the Party Wall Act, and your rights under that if they attempt to build close to the boundary?

wowfudge Sat 17-Oct-15 23:36:35

Are those extension dimensions correct?

Anyway, that's by the by. Such a shame you can't resolve things.

Mikey61 Sun 18-Oct-15 05:34:31

Thanks for your reassurance re Access to Land Act and I agree that its doubtful that the chimney does need repair - a builder worked on it last year so i share your doubts as to motive for scaffolding - just another attempt, albeit successful, to liven up the dispute. I obtained a Party Wall Award which has just been signed off.

Mikey61 Sun 18-Oct-15 05:42:45

Yes dimensions are correct - it is basically an infill single storey to an L shaped area on the side of the house (cupboard size). And yes thats by the by now (though not at the time). I do still question how he managed to get permission for the window when the council refused it twice - I did complain to the council officially but was told that the Planning Inspectorate said there was no way in law they could refuse it! Not what you know but who you know? But its done now.

wallywobbles Sun 18-Oct-15 06:08:45

Surely the extension is 1.5m not cm?

Mikey61 Sun 18-Oct-15 06:23:11

Yes, sorry, of course its 1.2metres!

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