Boundary disputes

The firm’s ‘very committed’ team demonstrates ‘strong commercial acumen’.

The Legal 500
Real Estate

Boundary disputes remain the most perennial of all forms of litigation. They can be costly, complex and time-consuming with minor differences of opinion often escalating into full scale disagreements. Our real estate litigation solicitors have considerable experience in this area, advising numerous clients on the full spectrum of issues arising from boundary disputes.

With no regulatory authority to deal with boundaries, many cases are not clear-cut. The legal perspective on boundary disputes may be best summarised in Cameron v Boggiano when the judge warned: “The only certainty in this kind of litigation is that the financial outlay is almost always more than the disputed property is worth. Financial factors do not seem to count for much when the parties are protecting what they believe belongs to them.”

In the absence of measured plans, the Land Registry does not guarantee the position of boundaries and title plans may only be accurate to 1 metre. It often helps at the outset to obtain an independent land surveyor’s report based on the evidence available and for a plan to be prepared showing the extent of any encroachment. This may then provide a framework for discussions between the parties to try to reach agreement without taking proceedings.

Inevitably pre-action attempts to settle may place one party in a stronger position to claim their costs from the other side later if they have behaved unreasonably and do not engage in sensible settlement discussions. On many occasions landowners act emotionally rather than pragmatically evaluating the situation.

Our solicitors recognise that there is no single blueprint for success when dealing with many of the issues our clients face. We examine cases individually and aim to achieve a workable solution that minimises conflict and costs. Where amicable negotiations or mediation are not feasible, we are regularly engaged to assist our clients at Land Registry Tribunals or in bringing claims before the courts. Through effective representation, we work to achieve the most satisfactory outcome possible.

We offer expert advice on:

  • issues affecting residential, commercial and agricultural landowners
  • adverse possession / trespass
  • development agreement and joint venture disputes
  • rights to light and party walls
  • restrictive covenants and overage disputes

Recent work highlights

A snapshot of history

Turning aside an injunction issued against a client by his neighbour in relation to land that provided access to his drive and impacted on sight lines. By using historic aerial photographs, we were able to prove that the area in question had been incorporated into our client’s land for over 50 years.

Long-running fence feud

Representing clients before the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) in a dispute over a boundary fence which involved challenging a development near their property. We were able to conclude a settlement restricting the nature and extent of a legal easement over the clients’ land.

Related expertise

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 419867.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP