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SKU: 5.7
  • Advice

    Land is extremely high in demand and as a result, is strictly regulated and expensive. Many owners will seek to protect their land from a variety of issues, such as encroachment, boundary disputes and issues surrounding plants, hedges and anything which may affect their enjoyment of the land. Boundary disputes may fall under the Party Wall Act when it comes to permanent structures such as walls and fences, whereas issues with unkempt or encroaching hedges may be dealt with by your local council. Similarly, issues affecting encroachment or squatting may fall amongst other various laws.


    Land disputes are further made complicated by the fact that they are usually with your neighbours. It is always recommended that boundary issues or the creation of an easement (an agreed pathway on or through your property) are dealt with informally and amicably, as costs to pursue an extended legal battle can be cripplingly expensive.


    Boundary disputes.

    Boundary disputes occur between neighbours when they disagree as to the line where their properties are separated, this is examined in the following section of this website.



    Easements are legal agreements with another party where you allow them to pass through a part of your property to reach a road or other property. They exist to provide permission for people to pass through your property without you giving consent first. Generally, they will involve situations where someone has built a property behind their land and allows the owners to drive down their driveway to access it. Most agreements may be verbal, but some homeowners may want written agreements to ensure that the property they own is protected in case damage is done as a result of allowing the passage.



    Squatting is where people illegally stay on land that belongs to someone else. This is done without the property owners’ permission. If squatters have occupied a property for 10 years (or 12 years for property not registered with Land Registry), then under current law they can write to the land registry and claim the land. The Land Registry will contact the registered owner who will have 65 days to object. It is prudent for landowners to remove squatters from their land as soon as possible, as allowing them to stay will result in a legal right of adverse possession, which may result in them gaining a legal right to the land.



    Encroachment is when neighbours build structures that are partway or fully on your property. This is serious, as it could mean that the neighbour is unaware of the property line or are purposefully building on your land - this leads to a variety of legal issues, such as adverse possession claims, devaluation of your property and difficulties when trying to sell the home in the future. These issues should be brought to your neighbour's attention before they build any property. If they have already done so, you will need to take action to ensure that your property and house value is protected.


    Quite often these intrusions into neighbouring land are minimal, for instance: -

    • If putting up a concrete post to use in a garden fence, some of the concrete footings for the fence will technically be under your neighbour’s garden;
    • The footings for garden walls – same situation as above; or
    • If both properties have paved driveways an exposed drainage grid could run down the property line, so technically some of it is on both sides – so who clears it if it gets clogged?

    These may seem inconsequential if you have a good relationship with your neighbour, however they do happen, indeed I (the founder of Lestons) had to deal with an apoplectic neighbour who screamed at me that my contractor accidentally trod on his rose bush when he lost his footing while putting up a garden fence, the solution was to buy and plant a much nicer bush that the one damaged. It is when there is a clash of egos, where neighbours simply do not get on and taking the other to court creates a stand-off, each waiting for the other to back down, however, it may soon become an issue that neither side can afford to back down and are looking to rely on the other paying their legal bills. In this situation, the only winners are their respective lawyers.


    What can Lestons do for you?

    Lestons can take steps to give you sound guidance on what you should do when these issues arise. We would always try and mitigate between both sides and explain the futility of a prolonged legal battle. Sadly, not every situation can be resolved but we feel it is important to try. If the matter did end up in court and one side has appointed us to mediate then they will have demonstrated to the court that they have tried to come to a fair settlement. This infers (and we would independently confirm) that the other side has not been receptive to such mediation. Needless to say, the court would not be impressed with this stance. To initiate our help simply create a case using the link at the top of this page, 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.

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