When boundary wall disputes escalate, it’s important to find a solution which is satisfactory to both parties and prevents bad tension from souring relations permanently.

Your property is a long-term investment and becoming embroiled in elongated issues with your neighbours is not ideal. Boundary wall disputes are the most common neighbour disputes recorded and there are a number of ways you can resolve them with the help of a boundary dispute solicitor.

Ownership of Boundaries

Typically, ownership is the contentious issue at the heart of boundary wall disputes. Usually, there is clear evidence of ownership contained in the legal documents that dictate the land. The evidence in these documents is usually conclusive and resolves boundary wall disputes.

However, boundaries can differ from title document descriptions in some cases. This is normally as a result of new agreements being made or encroachment, where there has been occupation without permission. In this case, any boundary wall disputes changed by agreement or encroachment will require further legal advice from your boundary dispute solicitors. These cases will require further evidence and mediation.

Required to Erect Barrier

One question that comes as a result of boundary wall disputes, or indeed the cause of it, is whether or not the owner of the boundary is required to erect a barrier.

The resulting barrier owner – once established – subsequently is not required to erect a barrier if they do not wish to. However, exceptions to this include:

  • A clause dictates responsibility in title documents or your lease.
  • The property is adjacent to a road and could cause danger without a wall or fence.
  • Dangerous chemicals or equipment are stored on your property.
  • If you rear non-domestic animals then a boundary fence is required to prevent straying.

Responsibility of Repair

If repair is at the heart of neighbour disputes over fences, then ownership will first need to be established in order to decide on who carries out the repairs. However, there may be additional evidence that the other party owns the fence such as documentation of bought materials, etc.

The owner of the boundary can use the wall or fence as they wish, without their neighbour’s input, providing that the structure is safe. A neighbour that does not own the boundary has no rights regarding the fence. For example, the cannot use the fence to support plants or the like without the fence owner’s explicit permission.

Repair is necessary should the fence or wall cause damage or injury, as your neighbour can take you to court for compensation. A repair issue in boundary wall disputes can also be brought forward if you are next to a street, as you must keep repairs reasonable enough to avoid nuisance or danger to those using the street.

An issue akin to repair is that of maintenance of hedges, particularly in relation to boundary hedges. The owner of the boundary is responsible for the upkeep and trimming of hedges, so you must maintain these as your neighbour can make a complaint to the council if:

  • There are two or more evergreen trees or shrubs.
  • The hedge is over two metres tall.
  • It has a negative effect on your neighbour’s enjoyment of their home or garden.

Dealing with Fence or Boundary Wall Disputes

Your particular dispute may be over the erection of a boundary wall or fence. More specifically, who has the right to make changes to the garden fence or wall that separates your property from your neighbours. Our team of property boundary wall dispute solicitors can help to negotiate these issues and resolve your fencing or boundary wall disputes, preventing further escalation of the situation. Click here to find out how we can help with boundary wall disputes.

How Can We Help?

Neighbour disputes over fences and boundary walls can create high tensions and fraught relations, where a boundary dispute solicitor may be indispensable to re-establish peace.

If you are having issues regarding boundary wall disputes, then contact our team today on 0161 930 5151 or e-mail disputeresolutionteam@gorvins.com or fill out our contact form. We can provide you with a free, no-obligation and confidential discussion regarding your situation.

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