Love Thy Neighbour – the contentious nature of boundary disputes

John Todd a Solicitor at AMD Solicitors considers the contentious nature of boundary disputes

One of the banes of a solicitor’s life is the neighbour dispute.   They are always difficult matters to deal with because, short of an assault or a physical trespass to land, there is not a huge amount in law that the property owner can do.

I am very often asked to write to a difficult neighbour who is either making too much noise at anti-social hours or who, for example, is throwing cans into the clients’ garden. I am always happy to write a robust letter ‘ for a fee of course’ !  However I do have to advise the client that my letter may in fact do more harm than good.  Very often the difficult neighbour is being difficult because wittingly or otherwise he/she is trying to wind their neighbour up and enjoy getting a reaction.  Accordingly you can imagine the difficult neighbour’s delight in receiving a solicitor’s letter (that he/she is probably going to ignore) in that he has well and truly wound his neighbour up.

One of the problems with a neighbour dispute is that whether the matter goes to Court or not the neighbours still remain living side by side. Unlike a divorce where, once the finances are sorted, the parties can go their own way, neighbours cannot.

The moral is that whilst solicitors will do what they can to resolve a difficult situation more often than not it is better to try and come to some understanding or compromise with your neighbour on the basis that he or she is still going to be there tomorrow or next month or next year.

In those more difficult cases where a neighbour has encroached on land and simply will not listen to reason then there is no alternative but to involve a Solicitor.   At AMD we have solicitors who can help in those difficult situations;  you can contact Chris Brown at our office at 2, Station Road, Shirehampton, Bristol BS11 9TT (telephone 0117 9235562) or John Todd at our office at 100 Henleaze Road,  Henleaze, Bristol BS9 4JZ (telephone 0117 9621205).

This article is provided for general information purposes only and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at the date of uploading. This article should not be relied upon as legal advice pertaining to any specific factual situation. Legal decisions should be made only after proper consultation with a legal professional of your choosing.

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