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Boundary disputes are a complex area of law.

Boundaries between properties can be described in different ways. Sometimes boundaries can change from their original position by agreement between neighbours or by one of the neighbours occupying ground on the “wrong” side of a boundary, but the neighbouring proprietor not doing anything about it. Disputes in relation to boundaries between flats can give rise to unusual problems.

Land Register of Scotland plans are drawn with thick lines separating the properties and therefore the boundary cannot be ascertained correctly. A width of a line on a plan can equate to several metres on the ground. Expert help is often required to decide exactly where a boundary lies.

How to solve disputes

Most boundary disputes can be resolved by the instruction of a solicitor experienced in dealing with boundary problems who will consider the following:

  • The title deeds to the properties
  • The relevant legislation
  • Visit the property
  • Consider other information which might assist, such as old photographs or witness evidence to determine where they believe the boundary is

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After investigation, if your neighbour doesn’t accept your solicitor’s finding, it is possible that the case will have to be determined by a judge making a decision in court, but this is very much a last resort. Many boundary disputes can be resolved through correspondence or by mediation or a ‘meeting on site’ of solicitors.

Your starting point

If your neighbour has moved your boundary or indeed you are thinking of doing the same thing, specialist advice from a solicitor should be sought first. A lot of disputes arise over a wall or fence being erected in the wrong place which can lead to an intolerable situation with your neighbour.

Boundary disputes are extremely stressful and can last a number of years. Therefore, it is always wise to check the position with regards to your boundary before making any changes.

Our property solicitors at Gibson Kerr are able to provide advice in relation to your boundary as they have a specialist team who deal with all areas of land and neighbour disputes.

Gibson Kerr can assist you by considering your title deeds and providing advice or assisting you to reach a negotiated settlement with your neighbour or ultimately bring a claim through the courts should settlement not be reached.

Scott Rasmusen
Partner, Head of Property Law
If you need legal advice on a residential property, commercial property or business law matter, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me.
Edinburgh: 0131 208 2260
Glasgow: 0141 628 0656
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