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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 10623
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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My neighbour insists that the fences and wall between us are

Customer Question

My neighbour insists that the fences and wall between us are his. He bases this on measurements found on his TITLE PLAN, which to my understanding represent the general boundary only, and on the fact that the structures are in line with his garage. I have the 'T' marks and reference in the my conveyance to 'keep and maintain'. Also, a predecessor of mine did SUBSTANTIAL works to the boundary wall, probative of covenant, in 1986. At any rate I believe this constitute an estoppel on my neighbour anyway.
The houses are part of a development of six. My neighbours title plan shows 'T' marks on all northern boundaries. I have an 'Enquiries Before Contract' for one of the houses (sadly not my own) which clearly states ONE SIDE SHALL BELONG. The Title Plan with its six T marks to the north and this document make my case even more I believe.
His behaviour to us has been vile. Harrassing emails. Used a single expert when offered a joint one. Reneged on mediation. Now taking us to court
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
1. Here, the starting point for any boundary is that it is a common boundary owned jointly by both of the parties. The midpoint line of the boundary is considered the boundary in law. Nothing you have said or what your neighbour has said would change this position. In general, courts do not like finely measured boundaries. The original title deeds which transferred the lands will include words like "thereabouts" indicating ,the boundaries were only measured as best as they could. Accurate measurement was not possible when the boundaries were created, so they are not appropriate today. So I would suggest to you that yourself and your neighbour will burn up a lot of legal costs to reach this result of equal ownership and division of the boundary. A no score draw with the only winners being the lawyers and the surveyors who will earn high fees.
2. I know you don't want to hear this, but I would suggest that you move elsewhere if you want to avoid this heartache. Your neighbour must have some mental issues because his own lawyers and surveyors will already have told him this simple truth.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We have already spent 30K, and him the same I expect, and he wants to recover this from us. He is out to destroy us. You have assessed his mentality correctly. Wikipedia 'Narcism' describes him very accurately. We see no way of getting out of this other than fighting, we cannot sell as things are.
At mediation I was going to propose that it is joint owned, with neither able to build on it, but that is what he wants to do, we will be faced with his house in our garden basically. He has sent us over 30 threatening emails, for damages for holding up his building works, and even defamed us to our solicitor.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What about it being in line with his garage? How much weight does that carry?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
3. Being in line with the garage makes no difference.
4. There is an air of unreality to your neighbour and his actions. The bot***** *****ne is he is never going to get planning permission to build a large structure on the boundary if you object. So not only is his attitude towards the boundary unrealistic but his attitude to development is askew as well. These facts will have been pointed out to him by the professionals he has hired. So you need to realise you are dealing with a nutter.
5. Again, I would suggest for your own health's sake to rent out this house and move somewhere else whilst this is going on. It will take a few years to play out. If you stay where you are, it will adversely affect your health living there. So I would suggest you adopt a pragmatic attitude and live elsewhere whilst this is going on. Rent this house out to some punk with large dogs and an aggressive attitude. Treat your neighbour with the contempt he deserves.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He does have planning permission, but it shows him behind the existing fence and wall which he now intends to pull down and build his house on! I have raised this matter with the council, but they don't care at all. They have basically told me, 'he can do what he likes'. The other issue he has with building right up to the boundary is with foundations, he insists that he has the right to come onto our land, and LIFT our paving to lay his foundations in accordance with building regs (he must build his wall on a concrete base twice as wide as the wall he is to build, and in the MIDDLE of that concrete base, hence his need to place foundations UNDER our property. We have considered letting out. This man is making our life a misery. He also objected to our CCTV (which we had put in because he said he was going to pull down our wall anyway). He claims that it must look into his property because his cameras at work have a wider field of view than the stills we sent to him, and also that I could NOT have possibly seen a mechanical digger and 7 foot orange chemical toilet delivered to his house without seeing it on my cctV.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can he come onto my property to build HIS house?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The case is really about who owns the boundary structures. The conveyance, in text and 'T' marks say they are mine. The measurement, and the inline-ness of them with his garage suggest they are his. BUT he does not have 'T' marks on that side, only on the other side, he does not have 'T' marks on both sides, if the intention of the builders was that he should own both sides he would have 'T' marks on both sides. My predecessor did substantial works, of which I have statements and aerial photos. It is my understanding that the Title Transfer (words) with its signatures (Builder, owner) takes precedence over the Title Plan (measurement) because that is the general boundary and for 'information purposes only'. So who wins?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.

4. It will be held that you both own the boundary line jointly up to the midpoint line. So I have tried to suggest to you that this dispute will rumble on until you agree some solution. Fighting it out will lead to even more costs than the 30k you have already spent. In the case of contrdiction, the court will hold that you own it jointly.