top of page
Boundary disputes

Boundary disputes

SKU: 5.71
  • Advice

    If you disagree with your neighbour about the boundary between your properties then there are a few things you can do to resolve the issue. If you are renting the property, you should ask your landlord if they will deal with it. Don’t make changes to walls or fences without your landlord’s permission. A good starting point is to contact the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors for advice on solving boundary disputes ( or call on 0247 686 8555)


    Disputes about the boundary between properties can be addressed by finding out who owns the disputed land. To do this, you should contact HM Land Registry and obtain the property’s title deeds. This will show who owns the land and where the boundary for the property is. If the boundary lines are not evident, you may need to seek advice from an expert surveyor.


    Upon resolution, you can then record the boundaries more accurately in two ways:

    • Boundary agreement

    A Boundary agreement records the boundary between two properties and who's responsible for maintaining the land.

    • Determined boundary

    You can only apply for a determined boundary to the HM Land Registry if your property has been registered. You will need to send a plan made by the expert surveyor indicating the determined boundary, evidence supporting your application and a completed exact line of boundary (DB) form.


    Some Myths about boundaries

    There are a few myths that you might have heard about property boundaries. Things like ‘you own the fence on the left or ‘a t-mark on a plan show that you own the fence’. Many of these commonly held beliefs have no basis in law. You can look at the Land Registry to get an idea of the property boundaries. Be aware that many Land Registry title plans do not establish the legal boundaries of the property. These only show general boundaries. These plans also have a degree of inaccuracy, and the thickness of the lines on the plan means they cannot show enough detail to be used as proof of boundaries. T-marks on plans might help to understand the ownership of boundary features, but they do not usually provide conclusive proof.


    Agree with your neighbour

    Often it is possible to resolve a boundary dispute through an informal discussion with your neighbour. If you are unable to talk to your neighbour or do not feel comfortable doing so, you can write to them or ask someone else to talk to them on your behalf. Keep a written note of what you have agreed with them.

    Your boundary agreement must include:

    • your name and address;
    • your neighbour’s name and address;
    • the date the agreement begins; and
    • the boundary you’ve agreed.

    You are also recommended to include a written description and a copy of an Ordnance Survey map - you can draw or write on it to show the boundary or simply a map you’ve drawn yourself. The agreement can be recorded by filling in an application to change the register (AP1)


    Apply to record the exact boundary

    If your property is registered. You can apply for a ‘determined boundary’. Check your property's title plan and register on the Land Registry to see if it already has a determined boundary. When applying for a determined boundary, you will need a plan showing the boundary. You should ask a chartered land surveyor to provide this. Contact the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors for assistance. You will also need to include other evidence that supports your application, which may include certified copies of the deeds to your property, an expert’s report, or a written statement signed in the presence of a solicitor.


    Doing work on a boundary wall or fence

    If you want to do some work on a wall, structure or fence between properties, the steps you should take depend on the type of work you want to do. Walls between the two properties are known as ‘party walls’, which means you will need to take some steps, including informing your neighbour before carrying out any work on them.


    If you want to build on the boundary, work on an existing party wall or structure, or dig below and near the foundation level of the neighbouring property, you must inform your neighbour. This includes if you are building a new wall, cutting into a party wall, increasing or decreasing the height of a wall, or knocking down and rebuilding it.


    You must give your neighbour written notice between two months and one year before you begin the work. Include details in the written notice of what you plan to do. Your neighbour can either give written consent to the work or service a counter-notice asking for additional works to be done at the same time. If they benefit from these new works, they must pay for them.

    If you and your neighbour do not agree about the work to be done, you must appoint a surveyor (either jointly or each appointing your own). The surveyor(s) will create a ‘party wall award which says what work should happen, as well as how and when it should be carried out. If you do not agree with the award, you should appeal to the county court within 14 days of the award.


    In 2014 a couple ended up with a court fine of £330,000 (which was more than the value of their house) over a dispute over a single foot of land from a neighbour (


    How we can help

    Lestons can intervene and discuss options with you to resolve the matter, we can, if instructed appoint one of our excellent third-party independent surveyors who can look at the situation for you. Please note we make no commission from these referrals but do need clients to open a case so that we can prepare a brief for them. To gain our assistance you need to open a case, this is done by taking advantage of our free consultation service, activated by the link at the top of the page, should you wish to start a case the caseworker will send you the suitable payment link.


    Please note your caseworker can only give generic advice, their role is to prepare your details for handling by our legal team and to act as your point of contact, they will also issue you with your Password and PIN, these will be needed to log onto your client dashboard. From your dashboard you will be able to manage and view every aspect of your case, upload documents, images, files etc.

Click hear to book your

free initial consultation:

bottom of page