Most properties have defined boundaries. They might be fences, walls, hedges, edging stones, sides of buildings or even roads and rivers. It is important to maintain these boundaries and ensure they do not fall into disrepair. If some or all your boundaries are not clearly defined, it is important to ensure that you and your neighbour understand and agree where the boundary is and avoid boundary disputes. It may well save problems in the future if you take steps to erect an appropriate boundary feature.
You should discuss with your neighbour before starting any work. Never erect a boundary without your neighbours’ knowledge or while they are away.
Changes to your boundaries
This is particularly common where a hedge is replaced with a fence. Always remember that a hedge is a general boundary and the only way to decide where a replacement fence should be positioned is by agreement between the neighbouring homeowners.
Never make any changes to your boundary structures without talking to your neighbour.
Many boundary disputes arise from a homeowner trying to build right up to a boundary. Consult your neighbour before you apply for Planning Permission. Even if they cannot agree to your proposals, do try to ensure that you both agree where the boundary is and ensure that your works stay on your own land.
What happens if boundary disputes arise?
A minor disagreement can quickly become a full-scale dispute involving Solicitors’ letters and threats of court action. Ultimately, the cost of protecting your right to land in court could be prohibitive so it pays to think hard before rushing into legal action.
The key to resolving a dispute speedily and successfully is to seek expert advice as soon as possible. In the first instance, this advice can be from either a Chartered Land Surveyor or a Chartered Surveyor specialising in boundary disputes. Before you ask an expert to work on your behalf, check the following:
- do they specialise in boundary work?
- do they have experience of mapping and land surveys?
- are they skilled at interpreting aerial photographs?
- are they familiar with the latest civil procedure rules and experienced in preparing reports for court?
- do they have experience as an expert witness in court and, if so, how many court appearances have they made in the last year?
Don’t just take our word for it, here’s what our clients are saying...
I have worked with Emma at Housemartins for over 11 years on and off, and in that time Emma has been a pleasure to work with. She has a rare blend of expertise, proactivity, transparency and value which makes her an exceptional partner for our development.
Emma’s knowledge is unparalleled, consistently demonstrating a deep understanding of the property management regulations and is always keen to offer a high value service. We have followed Emma to Housemartins from our incumbent agent because Emma is so proactive and genuinely cares about her portfolio and clients.
Whereas previous agents were always slow to reply and provide solutions, Emma is on top of everything and is a real doer – yet she still makes time to check in with our board with updates and guidance. There is full transparency, financials are easy to understand and the team are always keen to provide a real value for money service, saving us money on third party suppliers, building great trust and developing a very positive working relationship.
If you are considering Housemartins and the team then I would highly recommend their services, under Emma’s stewardship. They manage our development is if it was their own and this sets them apart from any other agent I have worked with.
We made real headway with our dispute within a couple of days of Housemartins becoming involved.
Bill, East Sussex Flat Owner
Many thanks for your help and advice which I have found very helpful. I look forward in due course to working with you again.
Ms R, Bexhill
Thank you for your support, for all the work you have done, you were great!
Daphne, Company Director
Housemartins helped find the best solution and gave us honest and invaluable advice.
Just a short note to thank you for all the support during the last 2+ years, especially in the early days. Being the professional company that you are you stuck with it. Your response to requests with answers expected ‘yesterday’ was all taken in your stride. I wish you all the best.
Once again we can’t thank enough for your beyond the call efforts.
Paul and Marilyn
Paying you that £500 was the best £500 I have spent in a very very long time. I would not have recommended you and your company if I had thought any different. You are worth every single penny. Your level of professionalism was outstanding and has helped me with my freeholder struggles tremendously.
I have been resident here for over three years and a director for one. Housemartins have proved particularly resourceful and sure-footed in their responses to contingencies such as the need for an emergency lift repair last year. The quote called for a lengthy ‘Section 20’ consultation but, some residents being disabled, the work could not be delayed. Finding myself the only responsible person on site, I was grateful for Housemartins’ hourly advice and close assistance to obtain the approval of all other leaseholders, and thereby to arrange an early repair.
This reminded me of their decisive response to my lesser contingency, when I had just moved in. My satellite television provider arrived to find a gap in the installation. Their solution required the temporary disconnection of aerial distribution to all flats, one by one. Housemartins gave permission for the work to proceed immediately, and undertook to absorb any queries from residents who would have received no warning of interrupted service.
I am writing this as an individual, but can add that my fellow directors had no hesitation in recommending the re-appointment of Housemartins Property Management for the current year. This was unanimously agreed by leaseholders present at our recent AGM.
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