Anyone who has been reading my blog from the start will know the reason The Parents and me will be moving in next door to each other is because of an on-going boundary dispute that is preventing them from selling their house.
It’s been over a year on since the dispute raised its ugly head and in that time, aside from a lot of stress and solicitors bills, we’ve learnt far more than we’d ever have thought about boundaries and the issues arising from them:
- Boundary disputes are a highly emotive subject because it feels like what you believe is yours, you own, and you’ve worked hard for all your life to afford, is being taken away just because someone else fancies taking ownership of it.
- They really drag on. 12 months in and the dispute hasn’t progressed beyond letters (and mounting bills) between solicitors. This might because of poor decision-making on our part when it came to choosing a solicitor (see my next point).
- You need a specialist solicitor, not a general one who has dealt with one or two disputes in the past but one who specialises in property law or disputes. We’ve learnt this the hard way (oh what a wonderful thing hindsight is…).
- Common sense goes out the window – just because a ditch has been dug out doesn’t mean that’s the boundary edge. Nor does an established hedge, a stock fence dating back to the 60’s, historic maps, a series of ariel photos or title deeds. Not even a combination of all of these things can stop someone claiming your land if they’ve decided to register their right to the title with the Land Registry. If you don’t believe me have a look at this link.
- It’s really expensive. You need very deep pockets to fight back, which unfortunately the contester has but The Parents don’t. A David and Goliath situation sums it up nicely, but as yet The Parents have yet to produce that one killer stone that stops him in his tracks. This week the contester turned nasty and it’s beginning to look like The Parents have two options:
- Give in to the contester’s bullyboy tactics (that’s the only way to describe how he is going about this).
- Find a spare £100,000 and take it to court. If the judge decides in favour of the contester then The Parents would have to foot the whole bill…if they win all their costs are paid. Anyone got a spare £100K they’d be willing to wager? Or maybe even offer up a few quid via crowd funding (all monies returned if we win)?
It’s a nightmare situation, I wouldn’t wish a boundary dispute on anyone…oh actually, thinking about it, there is just one person who I’d quite enjoy seeing on the receiving end of one…
Note: For anyone who knows The Parents house, the difficult neighbour in question is the one who is the landlord of the adjoining garden centre and other retail/ leisure units. The neighbours on the other side are supportive having all had problems with this tedious man in the past.