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Boundary upset after surveyor

Hi all, not entirely sure this is the right place to post this but couldn't find anywhere else suitable! Hopefully you all might have some advice!

I'd like to give the bones of my situation and ask for advice of what to do next.

Bought our renovated house(est.1820)2 year ago.
Prev owner placed a fence in for us from corner patio to edge of summer house at bottom garden. Prev no fence although understand fencing may have been there over life of property.
We understood fence was tied into summer house to contain garden for pets but boundary was straight(the tying in bends the boundary our side)

Neighbour house is attached to ours and is a listed building.
Our house has large deck(3-4m x 8m+) from middle level which drops to a large patio.
Underneath deck is level on celler/ground level. This is paved leading to a drainage and rough ground area where prev owner had large storage containers (wood) and abutted pillars(not the same age or design of listed house) of neighbours deck(distance between decks at same level is approx 2m). There were old steps which came from this area up to the next garden level.

So, the situation is this:
Shortly after moving in the neighbour informed us that the summerhouse was approx 2m over on his property, but that he didn't mind.(we didn't think this right as we had plans to show otherwise, but let it go)

At about a year or so in, we came home to find out neighbour had pushed the two storage containers away from his pillars, he told us he was just renovating his pillars and redoing his deck. We were ok with this.

after completing his deck and pillars we came home to find that in a day he had erected a brieze block wall attached to the back wall(wood clad) area of our house and had attached the other side to our wood patio wall(the patio section stands about 1.6m higher than the cellar section and is wood surrounded) cutting us off from the area that had originally been home to the storage containers and also to the old steps.

I managed to catch him about a week later and said that he needed to, in the first instance, to remove the wall from our wood clad house. He asked what the problem was. I said well you will rot our house and I am concerned about the walls structure(built not very well and over the old drainage trough etc.)
He replied that it was on his property. I said at that time I was not sure about that but that his wall will rot our house and I would like him to remove it and that in the case it may be a boundary wall etc.
He then went on to tell me again the summerhouse was on his land. At this time I informed him that that was not true as the boundary went straight down. He insisted it bent and that the summerhouse was on his land. I assumed he was inferring some kind of you have a piece of my land I'll have a bit up here. I told him that from prev experience I do like to have all things done legally as you never know what will come in the future(sales,deaths etc etc)
He did not remove the wall, just the section onto our house and placed it on his pillar.

At this same time, he built an overhang to his door to his deck and placed the drainage on our wall with no down pipe to the ground so it now releases its water down our house wall. I had not dealt with this yet as I though as he was doing other work that he would fix this when finished but he has not.

Moving on after this he made a point of taking a lot of rubble and garbage from his other jobs and dumping it down the side of the summer house.
We back onto a river, the summerhouse sits on the edge with deck overhanging the river.

We thought at this point he was perhaps making a point since we had asked him to remove the wall and stated the summerhouse was not on his land.
A short while ago we saw him go to plant a tree in this area by the summerhouse and we thought we had now better say something again that the piece by the summerhouse was infact ours.
We politely said we had plans for that piece. This did not go down well at all and out neighbour was visibly upset.

I contacted a surveyor firm to come and accurately plot our boundary since either way we needed to know if indeed the summerhouse was on his property or not as we would then need to legally have something done.

The surveyor came and plotted. And the results have thrown us into a quandary.
Firstly, the fence tied to the summer house is over 2m out to our favour. Meaning an approx 2m diagonal slice(which the suveyor marked) of his garden belongs to our property. We feel moving our fencing to the point is simple and easily achievable.

However, what has shocked the most is the top area.of the boundary, by the patios. There is a 1.8mx10m approx piece from our patio which included the old steps and the two pillars of his deck+ belonging to this property :shock:

He has busied himself in this last year(before his property was runs down and overgrown)landscaping and taking over that whole section.

I have no idea what to do about this?!?
Personally, the deck is too close to ours and would be nice to have it shifted but I feel that would be really unneigbourly! However, I do not like the wall and I would like the steps back up that side to our patio.

The surveyor mentioned that in cases like this we could sell that section to him as a possibility.

Today when I tried to speak to them about it they both blanked me.

No idea what to do! Advice would be greatly appreciated 


  • Section62
    Section62 Forumite Posts: 6,820
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper

    No idea what to do! Advice would be greatly appreciated 

    Difficult to follow and visualise exactly what is going on without some kind of plan or diagram - can you post something like that to help people comment?

    Possibly good news for you is that carrying out work within the curtilage of a listed building often needs consent where in normal situations it would be permitted development.
    A 'brieze block wall' could attract the interest of the planning department.

    Potentially bad news for you, there are also additional restrictions on certain works on properties adjacent to or affecting the setting of a listed building. Some of what you describe sounds like things that planners would have concerns over the impact on a listed building. You'll need to tread carefully until you know you are all ok on the planning front.

  • teachfast
    teachfast Forumite Posts: 633
    500 Posts First Anniversary Name Dropper
    If it's your land and you can prove it, remove his wall and other bits and leave them in his land and put a fence up.
  • Tigertailor
    Tigertailor Forumite Posts: 43
    Third Anniversary 10 Posts
    hope this helps a little.. :)

  • RAS
    RAS Forumite Posts: 31,928
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I'm assuming you've downloaded the deeds for both houses?
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • Redwino222
    Redwino222 Forumite Posts: 490
    100 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    I would speak to a solicitor that specialises in this area before approaching the neighbour.  I don’t mean go in heavy handed with solicitors letters on day one, but know your rights and be clear on what you want and what your rights are.

  • Tigertailor
    Tigertailor Forumite Posts: 43
    Third Anniversary 10 Posts
    RAS said:
    I'm assuming you've downloaded the deeds for both houses?
    Yes I have, there are several titles I have aquired.

    The original neighbours title showing his house and it's plot(which is the same as his title now) and a section of land which straddles both properties which now doesn't exist as it has been divided into two sections as part of two new/separate titles which the old title refers to.
    One section that is now included in our title and another title of the remainder which is in his sons name. This occured in the last 10 years.
    The reason (the neighbour told me)was to avoid an enforcement on a garage he had built within his curtelage which had and still has an enforcement to remove on it. by chopping off the land he hoped to avoid the enforcement. He hasn't it is still there.

    How the partial section became part of this title I only have that the prev owner said he had wanted to build a house on the land and I think possibly there was sale with either the neighbour or his son for the piece that is now part of this property, although I am only really guessing at this. Our title shows the partially the chopped off piece as marking within our red boundary (I presume historic markings like other pieces within our boundary)
    I also have the title for a small section showing where my access rights are.

    The surveyor said that the maps and data for here were very good and so acuracy of this boundary he was surveying would be very good.
  • ciderboy2009
    ciderboy2009 Forumite Posts: 1,125
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Car Insurance Carver!
    You might be better off posting on the Gardenlaw forums about this - they've got experts there on boundary disputes.

    However, one thing worth bearing in mind is that a boudary dispute can be extremely expensive and stressful to resolve.  Is this extra bit of land really worth it to you?

    Also, how did the surveyor work out where the actual boundary should be?  Are there measurements from fixed points on your deeds that he used or was it just a finger in the air type of guess from him?

    If you don't have measurements (and specific points to measure them from) then you're likely to struggle to identify the true position of the boundary.
  • FreeBear
    FreeBear Forumite Posts: 12,856
    Eighth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Tigertailor said: Neighbour house is attached to ours and is a listed building.

    after completing his deck and pillars we came home to find that in a day he had erected a brieze block wall
    The Conservation Officer at your local council would be the one to contact over the breeze block wall - If it has been erected without the appropriate consent, your neighbour could find himself in a lot of trouble should the council take enforcement action. Unauthorised works could attract a criminal prosecution for both the owner and also any builders undertaking the work.
    Her courage will change the world.

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  • Tigertailor
    Tigertailor Forumite Posts: 43
    Third Anniversary 10 Posts

    Also, how did the surveyor work out where the actual boundary should be?  Are there measurements from fixed points on your deeds that he used or was it just a finger in the air type of guess from him?

    If you don't have measurements (and specific points to measure them from) then you're likely to struggle to identify the true position of the boundary.
    I am not sure really, I am not a surveyor :)

    However since we have been here we have had an ordinance survey man and a separate land surveyor out to map a piece of land that was acquired by adverse possession as part of the sale to us. They were sent via Land registry etc.
    The house has been here since 1830ish I think? We also back onto a river with rock faces, ravine and drainage. There is also sewage pipes that run under section of the land from the one riverside. There is road and old bridge. I suppose any of that might have something  to do with ti?

    As far as the pieces of land shown now where the boundary is, they are not small. The one piece in particular right by the summerhouse is quite a large piece now.

    In all honestly, I would not of thought of a dispute, but the neighbour seemed adamant that the summer house was on his land, and I would have no doubt would happily hold that over my head possibly in the future. It concerned me greatly in any case, the fact that it was possibly on his land and legally really which is why the surveyor to plot the boundary was necessary for me. Finding out what we have had surprised us. But is some ways made sense too.
  • princeofpounds
    princeofpounds Forumite Posts: 10,396
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    You should have addressed this the moment he started attaching structures to your property. Nuts that you have allowed that. He shouldn't damage your property, he shouldn't be draining into your property, and he certainly shouldn't be stealing your land. He clearly thinks you are a walkover, and to be frank you seem a little bit, I don't know... hazy?... in your attitude to all this for reasons I can't work out.

    Basically, because he has only been doing this in the last two years, then the current boundary features have no relevance. In theory, you can move them and replace them with your own, correct feature. In practice you may choose legal rather than physical confrontation to solve the problem.

    What is correct? Well, the surveyor has probably got it right, if they are a boundary specialist. But in very general terms your title plan will define the features on the ground that in turn define the physical boundary. But if the boundary has 'accidentally' been in a different position for 12 years or more then that different situation is adopted instead, so the long-term situation on the ground is also a relevant consideration.

    However, if you decide to open up a dispute, then you should get solicitors involved right away. Probably with the objective of reaching a settlement on the basis of an independent survey, but it may necessitate a trip to court.

    Please tell me you have legal protection on your house insurance?

    I agree with the others that often it is not worth a dispute over mere inches of land - especially if you are thinking of selling any time soon - but he is encroaching on your property in so many ways that for me, this is time to deal with it. Get his wall off your land (and the listed building consent is another approach here). Get his drain off your land. Get a proper boundary fixed - ideally a determined boundary where the surveyor's exact measurements are registered with the land registry.
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