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Over 6m Britons embroiled in property boundary disputes

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Around 6.6million Britons have been caught up in a spat with neighbours over property boundaries, a report by Churchill Home Insurance claims.

The location of fences, partitions and hedges are probably the most commonly contested areas with regards to boundary arguments, followed by things like overhanging trees and access problems.

The common space neighbours argue over typically equates to only over 2 per cent, or 27.5 square foot, of a median garden. A few fifth of boundary disputes centre on lower than 10 square foot of land, the findings add.

Boundary spat: Over 6m Britons have been embroiled in a boundary dispute up to now 12 months

Collectively, an estimated 150million feet of land is the topic of a dispute, which is, in accordance with the findings, the equivalent of two,000 football pitches or nearly six square miles.   

Sarah Khan, head of Churchill Home Insurance, said: ‘Unfortunately, many individuals find yourself falling out with their neighbour over boundaries, whether that’s over trespass attributable to a tree, a fence, or an extension.

‘While we might at all times advise that folks attempt to speak to their neighbours to search out a resolution to those problems, saving time, money and relationships, this shouldn’t be at all times possible.’ 

The research claims that folks in bungalows or flats are the more than likely to be embroiled in some type of property boundary dispute, followed by homeowners living in detached, semi-detached or terraced homes.

Cases where lower than 10 square foot of land is in dispute are most steadily seen in semi-detached houses, which account for 1 / 4 of such arguments.

The findings add: ‘Smaller disputes are also quite common in flats, with disputes between 10 square foot and 20 square foot most typical in ground floor flats (22 per cent) and disputes over a rather larger space, between 30 square foot and 40 square foot, most typical in basement flats (22 per cent). 

‘Larger disputes over an area of 100 square foot are commonly seen in detached (five per cent) and semi-detached houses (five per cent).’

Saga: A table showing the most frequent reasons for boundary disputes over the past year

Saga: A table showing probably the most frequent reasons for boundary disputes over the past 12 months

Outrageous: Fences form the most common source of property boundary disputes in Britain

Outrageous: Fences form probably the most common source of property boundary disputes in Britain

Homeowners getting ready to a boundary dispute should, as a preliminary measure, check the legal documents for the property via the Land Registry. 

Residents Advice also suggests that homeowners will probably want to consider buying the documents for his or her neighbour’s home at the identical time, because they could provide different information.  

In response to the research, around 45 per cent of householders with property boundary disputes resolve the problem by talking to their neighbours face-to-face. 

But, up to now 12 months, around 3million Britons have sought advice from a chartered surveyor, with 29 per cent of affected homeowners hiring one in a bid to assist their case. 

Nonetheless, the prospect of success when hiring a chartered surveyor for this purpose stays finely balanced, the research suggests.

Consequently, around one in 11 property boundary disputes find yourself going to court, Churchill Home Insurance suggests.

Except for talking to a neighbour concerning the problem or heading to the courtroom for a showdown, homeowners could consider making a boundary agreement. 

A boundary agreement can set out the boundary between two homes and who, among the many owners of the 2 properties, is accountable for maintaining a hedge, wall, tree or fence. 

A boundary agreement cannot, nonetheless, be utilized by a house owner to sell or give away a part of their land to a neighbour.

The Government suggests on its website: ‘Get legal advice if you wish to ensure the boundary agreement remains to be valid after you or your neighbour sell your property.’

In response to Churchill Home Insurance, around 2,000 boundary agreements were created between 2019 and 2021. 

But, lots of these, it says, might not be valid and supply sufficient evidence to support a case, indicating the importance of getting adequate skilled advice before creating one.

Not a sight for sore eyes: Outbuildings and sheds are a common source of disputes

Not a sight for sore eyes: Outbuildings and sheds are a standard source of disputes

Get off my land: Property extensions can sometimes lead to heated spats over boundaries

Get off my land: Property extensions can sometimes result in heated spats over boundaries 

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