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    • Meganb1986
    • By Meganb1986 8th May 18, 9:41 PM
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    Meganb1986
    Developer moving fence line
    • #1
    • 8th May 18, 9:41 PM
    Developer moving fence line 8th May 18 at 9:41 PM
    Hi all,
    Would just like some advice. Husband and I have purchased our first house and itís a new build. We have been living there for six weeks. About a week ago our neighbors moved in. While having a friendly chat they mentioned that the gardens were not correct size when compared to the plans. They were bringing it up to the developers to move the fence line. This would mean we would lose about 20 metres of garden space. The neighbour mentioned today to me that the plans were being reviewed by their solicitors and the building company. He was under the impression that they will definitely be moving our fence.
    When we first looked at the house, before we signed contracts, we saw the house and the garden as it was being built. We were under the impression that what we saw was what we were getting. One of the reasons we chose that house was because of the bigger garden. To be fair when we first saw the garden I did comment on how much bigger it looked when compared to the plans. To which the customer service person gushed how it was all ours and how wonderful it is. We have yet to hear anything from the building company or customer service but I have noticed that there have been workman out in our garden during the day looking around our fence.
    So I guess what I would like advice on if anyone has had to deal with this before. Is there any way to keep our garden the size it is now or is it a loosing battle? Is there any way to get some compensation? We have some work around the house that we were going to get done privately (bathroom floor tiling, wet room conversion) is this something we could ask for them to do instead?
    Any help on what we can do would be great!
Page 1
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 8th May 18, 9:59 PM
    • 635 Posts
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    HampshireH
    • #2
    • 8th May 18, 9:59 PM
    • #2
    • 8th May 18, 9:59 PM
    What does your deeds / title plan say and does your garden reflect it?
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 8th May 18, 10:03 PM
    • 15,590 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #3
    • 8th May 18, 10:03 PM
    • #3
    • 8th May 18, 10:03 PM
    You've "noticed that there have been workmen out in our garden"!!!

    - and you didn't go and throw them out on the spot for trespassing

    It does sound like, as far as you are concerned, you genuinely believed all of that garden is yours. Well - you've bought it that way now and it's up to the builder and neighbour to discuss between them whether their garden is or isn't the size it's due to be. If anyone gets compensated - it's the neighbour - because it's the neighbour that is in in this situation.

    Personally - I'd say to both of them "Nothing to do with me - sort it out between yourselves".
    Like Frankie said - I did it my way.
    It's MY life......
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 8th May 18, 10:03 PM
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    Doozergirl
    • #4
    • 8th May 18, 10:03 PM
    • #4
    • 8th May 18, 10:03 PM
    You buy what the title plan shows. You had to check it.

    If there was a discrepancy then you needed to highlight it to your solicitor as they cannot check what is actually on the ground. Asking the salesperson why your garden is bigger than the plan isn't the most reliable way to get a factual answer.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Ms Chocaholic
    • By Ms Chocaholic 8th May 18, 10:08 PM
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    Ms Chocaholic
    • #5
    • 8th May 18, 10:08 PM
    • #5
    • 8th May 18, 10:08 PM
    Do you have a side gate? If so, lock it so the builders can't get in and move anything while you're out. Then check the plan on your deeds.
    Thrifty Till 50 Then Spend Till The End

    You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time
    • Ms Chocaholic
    • By Ms Chocaholic 8th May 18, 10:09 PM
    • 9,320 Posts
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    Ms Chocaholic
    • #6
    • 8th May 18, 10:09 PM
    • #6
    • 8th May 18, 10:09 PM
    Are you sure you mean 20 metres? Over 65 feet?
    Thrifty Till 50 Then Spend Till The End

    You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 8th May 18, 10:12 PM
    • 15,590 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #7
    • 8th May 18, 10:12 PM
    • #7
    • 8th May 18, 10:12 PM
    Do you have a side gate? If so, lock it so the builders can't get in and move anything while you're out. Then check the plan on your deeds.
    Originally posted by Ms Chocaholic
    Agreed with making your garden secure against intruders.

    Also, if you haven't got round to installing an outside tap and long hosepipe from it - do so! Then you can water your garden whenever you like - including any time trespassers are in it (that wouldnt be the "voice of experience" obviously and nor would I have nfh that used to trespass in my garden regularly - and have stopped doing for some strange reason ).
    Like Frankie said - I did it my way.
    It's MY life......
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 8th May 18, 11:03 PM
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    davidmcn
    • #8
    • 8th May 18, 11:03 PM
    • #8
    • 8th May 18, 11:03 PM
    Are you sure you mean 20 metres? Over 65 feet?
    Originally posted by Ms Chocaholic
    Possibly 20 square metres.
    • ThePants999
    • By ThePants999 8th May 18, 11:23 PM
    • 1,111 Posts
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    ThePants999
    • #9
    • 8th May 18, 11:23 PM
    • #9
    • 8th May 18, 11:23 PM
    It does sound like, as far as you are concerned, you genuinely believed all of that garden is yours. Well - you've bought it that way now and it's up to the builder and neighbour to discuss between them whether their garden is or isn't the size it's due to be. If anyone gets compensated - it's the neighbour - because it's the neighbour that is in in this situation.

    Personally - I'd say to both of them "Nothing to do with me - sort it out between yourselves".
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Errrrrrr. I could genuinely believe that this garden is mine, wouldn't make it so! And neither does the fence. For land that's been registered at the Land Registry, the title plan is everything. If the title plan shows this bit of garden not being the OP's, then it's not the OP's, and this is the OP's problem. The fact that there's a fence in the middle of what's actually the neighbour's garden, rather than at the boundary, is irrelevant, unless the OP can hypnotise the neighbour into forgetting the whole thing for a decade plus and then claiming adverse possession! Right now, the neighbour, or their designated agents (e.g. the workmen), are absolutely entitled to waltz all over this bit of land, and the OP is not at all entitled to stop them. As for spraying a hosepipe at someone, because they're on land that's technically theirs but the OP is wishfully thinking is theirs... well! I can only hope they don't take that particular nugget of advice.

    Compensation? Well. If the registered title matches the developer's original plans, then I'd say it's pretty unlikely. If you could prove that you'd queried an apparent divergence between the plans and the actual development, and been assured that the actual development was indeed correct, then you might have a case against the developer, but I bet you can't prove that. If the registered title doesn't match the developer's plans, though, I'd be complaining to the solicitor, who really should have caught that.

    Of course, if the title plan at the Land Registry does show you as owning this land, forget everything I've said. If that's the case, then the difference between that and what the developer actually intended is indeed nothing to do with you and is an issue for the developer and the neighbour - unless the developer fancies making you a really good offer to buy the land off you and give to the neighbour!
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 8th May 18, 11:29 PM
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    ScorpiondeRooftrouser

    Of course, if the title plan at the Land Registry does show you as owning this land, forget everything I've said. If that's the case, then the difference between that and what the developer actually intended is indeed nothing to do with you and is an issue for the developer and the neighbour - unless the developer fancies making you a really good offer to buy the land off you and give to the neighbour!
    Originally posted by ThePants999
    If it does show that it belongs to them, then presumably it can't show that it belongs to the neighbours - so the developer wouldn't have to do anything.
    • bris
    • By bris 9th May 18, 12:47 AM
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    bris
    A mistake doesn't make it yours, you get what you bough according to plans.


    A fence doesn't mean anything, it's just a separator between you and neighbours, it's not part of the bricks and mortar, if it was erected wrong it's easily fixed.


    From your post you even know the garden was to big for your plans so surely tour not going to play dumb on this.


    As for compensation you can ask, but don't expect to much.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 9th May 18, 6:20 AM
    • 25,016 Posts
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    Davesnave

    It does sound like, as far as you are concerned, you genuinely believed all of that garden is yours. Well - you've bought it that way now and it's up to the builder and neighbour to discuss between them whether their garden is or isn't the size it's due to be. If anyone gets compensated - it's the neighbour - because it's the neighbour that is in in this situation.

    Personally - I'd say to both of them "Nothing to do with me - sort it out between yourselves".
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    I don't follow your reasoning.

    If the OP had complained that they'd been sold too small a garden, you'd have told them to check they'd received what was shown on the title plan.

    So surely the converse applies.

    What the OP genuinely believes is relevant here if they've reviewed the evidence correctly. They appear to have done that to some extent, questioned what they saw, but then reported the discrepancy to the wrong people; the sales staff.

    A discrepancy the size of a reasonably large living room wouldn't tend to go unnoticed on most new builds.

    Our message on this board is usually to check what's on the ground against the legal plan and report any thing that doesn't seem right to the conveyancer, who doesn't view the plot at all. It's the same here.

    On the matter of compensation, I think the builder might do something by way of good will, because one or more of their employees/agents made a mistake. However, the OP should bear in mind they also made an error in the way they handled the discovery of the discrepancy.
    Last edited by Davesnave; 09-05-2018 at 8:16 AM. Reason: repetition, deviation, err repetition, Mornington Crescent!
    'It's a terrible thing to wait until you're readyÖ..Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.' Hugh Lawrie.
    • BeckyAP
    • By BeckyAP 9th May 18, 8:19 AM
    • 24 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    BeckyAP
    I had something similar with a fence around my front garden and the neighbours.
    About 3 months in we both got letters through the door saying the fence had been put in the wrong place and would have to be moved in order to comply with the Land Registry plans.
    I'm really pleased they picked that up now and not when I come to sell and the buyer or their solictor notices the plot doesn't match the plan!!
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 9th May 18, 8:37 AM
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    silvercar
    So much for "possession is nine tenths of the law".
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 9th May 18, 8:45 AM
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    Aylesbury Duck
    So much for "possession is nine tenths of the law".
    Originally posted by silvercar
    But they might not possess it.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 9th May 18, 10:09 AM
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    silvercar
    But they might not possess it.
    Originally posted by Aylesbury Duck
    Generally you possess your garden if you surround it by a fence.

    Their claim may be easier to make if they quickly put some sheds on it.

    OP, do you have legal cover with your household insurance? May be worth a quick phone call.

    Employees of the vendor have given false information, which has led to the purchaser making a decision to buy that particular house. there must be some liability.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 9th May 18, 10:18 AM
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    davidmcn
    Employees of the vendor have given false information, which has led to the purchaser making a decision to buy that particular house. there must be some liability.
    Originally posted by silvercar
    Purchaser has seen title plan (presumably before exchanging contracts). Purchaser has had benefit of independent legal advice. Purchaser has admitted that they thought there was a discrepancy between the plans and the layout on the ground. Purchaser's valuation (and/or their lender's) was probably on the basis of the plans rather than the actual layout of the fencing. 20 square metres of garden probably makes little difference to valuation anyway.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 9th May 18, 1:03 PM
    • 20,113 Posts
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    agrinnall
    Generally you possess your garden if you surround it by a fence.

    Their claim may be easier to make if they quickly put some sheds on it.
    Originally posted by silvercar
    The OP would have to occupy the land for 10 years with no claim from the rightful owners before they could make a claim for adverse possession, and then occupy it for a further 2 years before being permitted to register as owner. Doesn't sound like it's going to happen in this case.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/adverse-possession-of-registered-land/practice-guide-4-adverse-possession-of-registered-land
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 9th May 18, 3:45 PM
    • 37,214 Posts
    • 156,769 Thanks
    silvercar
    Purchaser has seen title plan (presumably before exchanging contracts). Purchaser has had benefit of independent legal advice. Purchaser has admitted that they thought there was a discrepancy between the plans and the layout on the ground. Purchaser's valuation (and/or their lender's) was probably on the basis of the plans rather than the actual layout of the fencing. 20 square metres of garden probably makes little difference to valuation anyway.
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    The OP would have to occupy the land for 10 years with no claim from the rightful owners before they could make a claim for adverse possession, and then occupy it for a further 2 years before being permitted to register as owner. Doesn't sound like it's going to happen in this case.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/adverse-possession-of-registered-land/practice-guide-4-adverse-possession-of-registered-land
    Originally posted by agrinnall
    I was think of an ex gratia payment from the builder, rather than keeping the land.

    I would be annoyed if I walked round a development and chose the plot with the best garden size, then only found out much later after querying with an employee of the seller, that the garden wasn't what I had been led to believe.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 9th May 18, 4:02 PM
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    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    I was think of an ex gratia payment from the builder, rather than keeping the land.

    I would be annoyed if I walked round a development and chose the plot with the best garden size, then only found out much later after querying with an employee of the seller, that the garden wasn't what I had been led to believe.
    Originally posted by silvercar
    Well you are not buying a car or a television, you are buying a house. In a house purchase you cannot place any value on anything anyone tells you that isn't written into the contract. People really need to understand this instead of complaining after the event about what estate agents or developers may have said.

    From a customer service point of view the developer might want to do something, but the legal contract for the house purchase is a different thing.
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