Boundary issues, next door selling - Estate agent(28 Posts)
Hi - I wonder if anyone can advise. My neighbouring property is empty as the man there died so it's going through probate but has recently sold.
The property has both a fence too far over on our property as well as their porch way encroaches on our land too (poles, not a built structure).
We've had serious issues with one of the children of the deceased (they're old too - in 60's) where they've been threatening us, screaming and shouting in front of our kids (all over their right of access over part of our land which we have no problem with, as long
As they don't park there - which they do so we tell them
To move and this causes problems)
Anyway it's involved the police a few times so stressful to say the least (I've always called them as they insist on banging in our door, swearing in front of my children, threatening to tear down our fence ... the list goes on!
Always I've sent numerous messages to the executor of the will (hand delivered through the front door) and via the estate agents, but they're not getting back to us. I'm
Worried the house will sell without them addressing the issues with boundary encroachment ... can anyone advise?
I've sent and kept copies of letters as well as emails to the estate agents and they don't respond
Any advice appreciated- no idea who the solicitors are either
I'd suggest your solicitor needs to write and letters must be sent by recorded delivery, never by hand. Also, they should know the police are involved inc. Ref numbers and the executor would surely have to declare this on their PIF during the sales process too. I think you need to get the boundary actually corrected urgently too. Sounds awful.
If they've been encroaching on your boundary for years they probably have right of access now?
How long has the fence and porch been on your land?
How do you know rather than just think that it is your land? Do the deeds shed any light?
Why didn't you stop them building on your land at the time?
Sorry, loads of questions.
Thanks you I've just emailed the estate agent but doubt they'll help!!
Sorry just seen these other messages - basically it's in the deeds that the land is ours. The porch piles are in our actual grasses garden area which is solely our land, the fence is over our land which they have a right of access, but boundary is clearly before this (back towards their own land - no access rights, solely their land)
Any chance you could take a picture of the deeds where your boundary is clearly identified?
And also a picture of the lay of the land as it is today? Just edit out any identifying features.
Or a diagram would be good.
And how long has the fence and porch been there? And why didn't you object when they put them up?
when did the fence and the poles go up?
Are you legally allowed to remove them if they are on your land (no idea on this)
If you are, then you need to remove then asap. If not then you need to put YOUR fence (if only a string of wire) along 1 inch inside your side or the legal boundary, in order that the boundary is marked. If they remove your fence, then send them bill and solicitors letter for removal.
Stop using email etc and use solicitors letter. Inform estate agents that they should inform buyers of the dispute by solicitors letter, as soon as they move in, and inform buyers that estate agents knew.
The sellers will have to disclose any disputes with neighbours. I'd get legal advice about removing their structure and putting up your fence. You house insurance may include a legal help element.
Check your home insurance policy for legal expenses cover. It is quite common to have it. Then call and get proper advice. You would normally get an 'advisor' on the phone at first, but if it is an issue that cannot easily be resolved (like this) you would then be referred to a solicitor on their panel.
I'm in England, we've lived here 10 years at this house and the poles were there before we moved in (didn't realise they were on our land til we moved I - we were very young and naive!)
We may actually just remove the fence and rebuild it to be honest as the boundary line is quite obvious as there's a pathway along it where the boundary line actually sits, plus it's dead straight on the deeds anyway so couldn't be disputed. We out the fence up when we had kids as the elderly person next door didn't want a fence
To spoil the view if our garden bet we felt our children were unsafe without a fence
So built it -
But their green house was in the way so it ended up dog legged. I guess there's nothing now stopping us from replacing the fence which is quite old and wobbly as they've removed the greenhouse now since
The death of the parent there.
We definitely know the porch is on our land as soon as the person in the house steps out the front door they're on our land (right of access only .... not shared)
I think perhaps the best thing is to contact a solicitor as yes we do have legal on our home insurance - mainly because the last neighbours were awful and we assumed they'd try to sue us - hence us being a bit prickly now we've noticed they've sold - we just want a nice and simple set up with next door lol
Ten years?? You need to see a Solicitor NOW. Using land for 10 or 12 years could give your neighbour adverse possession of the land, which means it might be theirs now, not yours. Get it sorted.
So the porch has been there more than 10 years? And it is totally fine for them to step out onto land over which they only have a right of access - that does not mean that the porch is on your land.
And the fence you are complaining about is the one that you put up? In the wrong place according to you? Is that right?
Deeds very often don't show much detail so I'm surprised that you are so sure the land is yours. Particularly since you didn't think the land was yours when you actually bought the place. It wasn't "obvious" when you bought the house but suddenly it is "obvious" now?
Yes to legal advice. If you grab some of the land now, the neighbour's sale will probably fall through and they are not going to be happy about it.
As you are in England you can get a copy of the official "deeds" for your house and the next door, including a plan, at low cost from the Land Registry. You can buy them for any registered property, you don't need to be the owner.
You can order and pay online
Be sure to use the official gov.uk website, not one of the crooks who charge extra.
It may be handy to have them to hand if anyone wants to argue.
The estate agent will merely inform the sellers of the letters it is up to the seller to declare any boundary issue. So the estate agent has no reason to come back to you about it. They work for the seller. Had you not got police reports they could declare they knew nothing about the issues because they are a 3rd party selling it.
Secondly, the whole thing is a mess. The situation has been like this for 10 years. How did you think this would resolve itself when you erected the fence in the wrong place? Why did you not get something in writing from the man who owned the property or move his green house before erecting the fence?
I can understand how you can now correct this and have the deeds to back it up (and if this was me I would be doing it now before the property changes ownership) however how on earth are you going to get a porch removed?
You bought that house with the porch in place. You cannot come crying about it 10 years later.
As you no doubt knew that the property was up for sale why did you not erect a sign that says the boundary is in dispute and the porch encroached on your land?
I think you need to wander over to GardenLaw for a bit of extra information. You may find that things like this can stretch on for years and cost you thousands and thousands.
so, the fence that is in the wrong place is yours, and is old and falling down?
I suggest an bonfire this weekend. Take it down, burn it. Get a copy of the deeds, double double check the boundary and put up a new fence in the right place. (which is not ON the boundary, but is on your side of the boundary)
There will be comeback, so have a letter ready, and a clear copy fo the deeds. Simple say - we have replced the old fence whihc was broken. The new fence is on our side of the boundary, please see deeds.
Then let them chase if they want to. If they seek solicitors advice, and the boundary is a clear as you say, and the deeds are there and are clear, the solicitor will tell them not to pursue it.
As t the porch. that is a mess, and needs expert advice.
Ok thanks guys - food for thought and I suspect the new people moving in may demolish anyway as it's old and decrepit
Deeds are very clear and we have both ours and theirs, as pathways are ours with a right of pedestrian access for neighbour - the grass lawn area is ours, no. access rights and that's where the posts are situated - I think we were too nice to the precious oldie as he was 103 when he died and we didn't want to cause upset - more fool us I guess!
You can put up a fence just on your side of the boundary up to 2m high. Why wait for someone else to do it? You seem to wait forever and nothing gets resolved! Get the deeds and get get a fencing contractor in now!
Deeds might be irrelevant though depending how long they've been using the land.
When you say you have the deeds, do you mean the land registry documents?
Did your old neighbour claim adverse possession of the land- what does the land registry document show?
You need to take action now! Can you find the solicitor who administering the estate. There may be an entry in the London Gazette about claims on the estate, or you may be able to get info from the probate registry.
As I understand it, your neighbour would have to have occupied a fenced-in (or in this case enclosed by a porch) for 11 years, and gone to the land registry to claim possession of it. Did he do this?
I don't know anything about wayleaves and easements - are any in place?
Don't wait for the new owners! They will replace fence with a new one in the same place!
You need to take action, take down the old fence so there is no physical line on the wrong boundary. Put up a new fence, of any description, even if wire netting, along the correct boundary, so that before they move in, the lone of the boundary is clear.
It doesn't matter that it is obvious to you where the path etc is, you need to make is phyisically clear too.
Ok I'll get my husband on the job! To be honest the fence is only wonky/over our side at the far end by perhaps 20-30cm but the garden would look better with a straight fence!!
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