Boundary Dispute

QuickDraw

Senior Member
Location
Glasgow
Is there anyone out there who can help me with a boundary dispute?

Experience under Scottish law would be excellent but all advice greatfully received.

The story:
When we first moved into our house we erected a fence between our garden's and next door's. It goes all the way from the wall of the house to the bottom of the garden. Unfortunately it was put in the wrong place (mostly our fault). It's been there for 6 years and we're finally getting around to moving it to the correct place.

We mentioned it to our neighbour who's taken a major strop and is going to see the council (she's a tenant) spouting rubbish about cultivating the land for 14 years (she claims the broken fence we got with the house was in the wrong place as well). She even had the cheek to claim she's done us a favour by looking after it for us.

Does she have any right to claim our land? If so would her claim be successful?

How do we go about formally giving her a notice of eviction?

Does she have any claim to compensation for the plants she's cultivated on our land?

Would I be within my rights to just move the fence and keep any plants that are there?

It's not a huge problem but it's really annoying that she thinks she's got some claim over our garden so any advice will be greatfully received and being polite to preserve some sort of peace bewteen neighbours is no longer part of the equation. Indeed anything which would help the situation and get right up her nose would (and is also within the law) would be the ideal solution.

Thanks in advance.
 

gary r

Guru
Location
Camberley
i had a fence/boundary dispute with my neighbour,we got a copy off the deeds & sorted it out our selves,The boundary should be marked clearly on the deeds
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
I have no idea about legal stuff, but how much land are we talking about? And why move it now after all this time? I think, for the quiet life and the sake of a foot or so, I'd leave it where is was, although I guess it might be a spanner in the works if you were selling the house and the discrepancy showed up..

Failing that, could you offer to buy her a few plants to calm her down? She may be being stroppy and you may be in the right, but if I had been gardening a plot for 6 years, and then suddenly the neighbours were going to take some of it away, them having made a mistake in the first place, I might feel a bit miffed.
 
OP
Q

QuickDraw

Senior Member
Location
Glasgow
We're moving the fence about 4 feet. We're talking about a strip of land 4 feet wide by 30 feet long.

The size of it isn't the real issue. The reason for doing it now is that we're going to paint the house and 4 feet of our wall is the wrong side of the fence.

The reason it's in the wrong place in the first place is because when it was being erected the neighbour made a big fuss about her plants being damaged and refused the offer of the guy putting up the fence to move them for her. I was out at work and my wife was looking after a 2 month old baby and a 3 year old and we had just moved in so for a quiet life she told them just to put it where it is now. She also refuesed to contribute to the cost of the fence claiming it was nothing to do with her. The mistake we made in the first place was letting her away with it in the frst place.

I realise she'd be annoyed and we had agreed to give her 6 months notice to take out any plants she's planted there and do whatever other preparation she wanted. I thought that seemed reasonable but she's run out of goodwill now.
 

Canrider

Guru
IANAL, but it would seem to me that the council would be the ones to contact directly. If she's living in a council property, then your boundary 'dispute' (such as it is) is with the council and they're the ones to get at about moving the fence. I presume :smile: they'll be fairly happy to allow that once the wheels start to turn...
 
OP
Q

QuickDraw

Senior Member
Location
Glasgow
Canrider said:
IANAL, but it would seem to me that the council would be the ones to contact directly. If she's living in a council property, then your boundary 'dispute' (such as it is) is with the council and they're the ones to get at about moving the fence. I presume :smile: they'll be fairly happy to allow that once the wheels start to turn...
Yes you'd think wouldn't you. The council can't even give us the name of the department who might be responsible for this sort of thing. They've told us we should contact the Land Registry and get a lawyer. For the sake of moving a fence a few feet I was hoping to avoid that expense although I'd rather not move it and then her make some claim and end up having to move it again or pay her some sort of compensation.
 

Canrider

Guru
Methinks should be in the Glasgow Housing Association, no?

Here's a discussion grounp on fence and property line issues..

And the Land Registry appear to charge only £8 to send a copy of your land details..probably worth it if you don't have a copy of your deed handy.
 

Mortiroloboy

New Member
QuickDraw said:
We're moving the fence about 4 feet. We're talking about a strip of land 4 feet wide by 30 feet long.

The size of it isn't the real issue. The reason for doing it now is that we're going to paint the house and 4 feet of our wall is the wrong side of the fence.The reason it's in the wrong place in the first place is because when it was being erected the neighbour made a big fuss about her plants being damaged and refused the offer of the guy putting up the fence to move them for her. I was out at work and my wife was looking after a 2 month old baby and a 3 year old and we had just moved in so for a quiet life she told them just to put it where it is now. She also refuesed to contribute to the cost of the fence claiming it was nothing to do with her. The mistake we made in the first place was letting her away with it in the frst place.

I realise she'd be annoyed and we had agreed to give her 6 months notice to take out any plants she's planted there and do whatever other preparation she wanted. I thought that seemed reasonable but she's run out of goodwill now.
I'm no expert either on civil law, but I think the answer lays here, your boundary will follow a natural line of the internal (party) wall. I can see no reason in law or otherwise, why your garden boundary should deviate by 4 feet from the physical boundary created by the building (your house). Possibly if you occupy a corner plot the boundary could come away from the house and 'curve', but if your garden and your neighbours gardens are layed out square to the house(s), then I cannot see any real issue. A quick search at the land registry will surely give you the definative answer you seek. In England as you stand with your back to your property, you have responsibility for the boundary on your left, which side is the 'problem' neighbour on? Could be that all you need to do is re-align the fence and let the 'pain in the arse neighbour' blow off steam, if she/he has planted on your land, just give them the opportunity to remove any plants they consider to be theirs, then you cannot be accused of theft. If you do then you'll have to come to some agreement timescale wise to enable them to do this.
 

ChrisKH

Veteran
Location
Essex
As she is already vexated but has no claim over the property personally, I would move the fence and be damned. If the fence is then correctly set on the boundary what can the council argue?

My own position is supposedly clear; all of the boundary fences are the responsibility of those living to the left, right and back of me and there may well be a covenant to support this. However the fences are in dire condition on one side and on the other, the boundary is a supporting wall which is four feet high and in danger of toppling over because of subsidence (I live on a hill below the aforementioned property). I need to do something about it, but don't want to unleash a solicitor unless I really have to. Where do I start? I have a copy of my deeds which mark the boundaries as being the responsibility of four other parties, but only two of the parties are at 'fault' (ie it's only their part of the boundary, fence or retaining wall which is in disrepair).
 

Canrider

Guru
I doubt this fence qualifies as a 'party wall'.

This might be more what you're needing.

In England as you stand with your back to your property, you have responsibility for the boundary on your left
I've heard that this is an urban myth on my previously linked site.
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
OK, it sounds like she's just always been an unreasonable pain in the neck. Bulldoze her side of the fence (but only to the correct line of course)and lay mines, and get Papercorn in with one of his special negotiating techniques.
 

Canrider

Guru
Section 3a: "A wall is a "party fence wall" if it is not part of a building, and stands astride the
boundary line between lands of different owners and is used to separate those lands
(for example a garden wall). This does not include such things as wooden fences.".
 

domtyler

Über Member
Can't really see the problem here. First get the deeds then move the fence. Now stop fannying around and get on with it. :smile:
 

ChrisKH

Veteran
Location
Essex
oK, so on one side I have a concrete post and wooden fence panel divide which may not be covered by the legislation (although could be under covenant) and on the other side a retaining wall that definitely is (and there may also be a covenant). There is no disputing the boundary. It's getting remedial work done that's the problem. Do I have to speak to these people? Can I not unleash the tanks and mortars? :smile:

I have made a point of not maintaining either boundary since it is not my responsibility to maintain. But neither have either of the other two parties. Perhaps a snotty 64 page letter to each will suffice.:angry:
 
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