Property line dispute, any advice?

Mandofred

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And now they are building an extension.....

I'd heard that these can be nasty here. Our neighbour hasn't talked to us in several years since we wouldn't let him take some of our property/driveway. He has an extension going in, sometime Spring/Summer we think....the notice just got posted on the pole a few days ago. At this time the plans online look ok to us, but we don't trust him at all.....I actually don't think he's quite right in the head. They are building as close to our fence as possible. If he is outside and we say "good morning" to him he turns his head away from us....or runs back inside the house....I'm not kidding. If I meet him on the street he will literally turn around as soon as he sees me and goes the other way.

Every time we have tried to do something nice for this guy, we have always regretted it.

1. The property lines have been where they are (we assume) since the houses were built in the mid 80's. The photo's below show the line since at least 3 years before we moved in. Google street view from then https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.0...4!1s2WxpK1ops8j2H1wgNbD0wQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
Neighbour on the other side says nothing has changed....and he's been here since the houses were put in.
2. First mistake, taking out the brick wall extension that was between the properties as shown in the above google maps pic. We did it mostly because it made it easier for him to park. It brick square was a mess, so we either had to replace it or just remove it. We should have replaced it. As soon as we took it out....he started driving on our side....a lot.
3. First pic below shows after we took the brick extension out and replaced the dirt/bushes in-between with gravel. At some point we were going to fix up the drive.....just a matter of when.
4. Repeated requests to stop driving on our side was met with "part of that side is mine anyway"....and kept driving on it.
5. I have the plans for the fronts for all the properties in the area....ours is 11m, his is 7.5m. After measuring as well as I can, I figure he has about 4 inches more than he should. So he is a little over 7.5, and we are about the same under 11m, so it looks like he has a little of ours. We don't care. We were fine with where the boundaries were when we moved in. I asked him at least twice to measure his property....he never does.
6. After a couple of years of this we decide to put in a new drive. I notify him twice that we are doing so. He's fine with that....as long as I give him at least another 6 inches of our drive....I disagree. He says this could cost money in legal fees....I say "go ahead, I've got the money".
7. We put in the drive right up to the property line with nice big kerb blocks on the sides. He runs into them while they guy is putting them in....gets yelled at. Next 3 days or so he hits the bottom couple every day and looks like he's going to completely wreck the bottom of the drive.
8. We bring back driveway guy and he puts up a quickie fence for us....doesn't look very good. But we had hoped the bigger drive edge would keep him on his side.....nope. The fence does the job and keeps him on his side.
9. He spends the next year repeatedly running into the fence with his van as he backs in. Granted....not overly hard and mostly with his door handles so no real damage. I was tempted to line the fence with screws.....I resisted.

Now he is putting in an extension in-between the houses and around his back. It looks ok with the online plans. The only thing I can see is wanted him to put gutters on the part that is between our properties so the rain water doesn't fall on us.

No way we are removing our fence for the work. Luckily, one of us is almost always home. Nothing like good neighbours.

On the bright side.....he is fairly quite. Other than being a complete dick, it could be worse.

Any advice is appreciated.
 

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GreiginFife

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Read this, and re-read it. Not sure what the "dispute" is. He is entitled to build up to a certain distance from a boundary line, just as you have put a fence right up against yours.

If you are concerned about where he can and can't build to/on then the only way to be certain is to get a copy of your land registered plan from HMLR.

Do NOT rely on google or any internet mapping to get an "idea" of where a boundary is.
 
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Once he has finished his extension the local council planning guy should come back to check it over. Get a copy of his plans before the work starts, make sure you are 'happy' with what he is planning then ask the council to check after the work is complete. If he does not stick to the plans the council can make him amend as necessary.
 

Mandofred

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Read this, and re-read it. Not sure what the "dispute" is. He is entitled to build up to a certain distance from a boundary line, just as you have put a fence right up against yours.

If you are concerned about where he can and can't build to/on then the only way to be certain is to get a copy of your land registered plan from HMLR.

Do NOT rely on google or any internet mapping to get an "idea" of where a boundary is.
How can you get an exact copy of the property line dimensions? Land registry from what I've seen does not have dimensions of your property. This is a copy from the source of all knowledge....Google.....
You can get an idea of where the boundaries for your property are by looking at its title plan. Most title plans don't show exact boundaries - you usually don't need to have the exact boundaries recorded anywhere. The rules are different in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
 

Smiffy

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I have just had a similar dispute with our next door neighbour. We have been here for 20 years, she has been there for 15. She's an old dear who lives on her own and has had nothing to do with us since she first moved in. She set her stall out early doors by warning our two boys that if a ball went over her garden they wouldn't be getting it back, so we've just left her to her own devices. We've just carried a lot of work out in our rear garden, installing new retaining walls etc. At all times we were very careful to stick within our boundary lines and not encroach into her space. This has resulted in her Son coming down and running laser lines down the fence and claiming we have "nicked" three inches of her boundary!! You couldn't make it up.... ????
 

Mandofred

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When we moved back to the US for 4 years after retirement.....we had a little over an acre and we wanted to put a 6 foot chain link fence in around 3/4 of it so the dogs could just go out and not get in trouble (there already was a nice wood fence between one neighbour and us)(and the deer ate everything you planted unless you had a high fence....and occasional moose). We hired a surveyor to come for half a day to check our property lines out....ouch....expensive. The US has pins in the ground all over to make this quite easy.....and I was helping him by holding the spotter pole (whatever it's called). Turns out....we lost a bunch of property that we thought was ours....almost 10 feet on one side. He just looked at me and said "Hey, the numbers are what they are". I was crying....but I believed him. Here in the UK......"this is how it's always been....deal with it".
 

GB72

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I will simply say that if there is any way to settle this amicably, do it. Even the most simple dispute, to get settled correctly, could end up at the Land Tribunal, take months and cost thousands and that is no exaggeration. Also bear in mind that Land Registry plans, on which any initial claim would be based, are not that accurate due to scale. The red line delineating a property is about a meter on the ground.
 

Mandofred

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If he's putting in footings s you want to look into a party line agreement in case any thing gets damaged during building works.

We had one drawn up when out neighbour did it, he was a dick too.

https://www.gov.uk/party-walls-building-works
I don't think our fence is a party wall. We put it in.....and the bigger fence in the back as well. He wouldn't do anything to help.

I need to respond to the Harrogate council site within a couple of weeks, just wondering what I should include in my message. I can't say I object to the extension (I don't....don't care really if he stays on his side), but I can't object because he's a dick. I don't think that's in their rules anywhere.
 

Mandofred

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I will simply say that if there is any way to settle this amicably, do it. Even the most simple dispute, to get settled correctly, could end up at the Land Tribunal, take months and cost thousands and that is no exaggeration. Also bear in mind that Land Registry plans, on which any initial claim would be based, are not that accurate due to scale. The red line delineating a property is about a meter on the ground.
It's beyond being amicably. We keep talking to him.....he is nuts. He just won't talk to us. I haven't helped things much by saying things like "have you measured your property yet?"....but.....I'll say it again...." has he measured his property yet"? I think it's a good question.

He is in a semi with the usual small small small side drive. It has NO room for his van ...I understand this. I'm just not going to give him part of our property so he does have room. He parks his cars on the road (2 others than the van). The neighbours ask us why he is doing this and blocking the road at times...all we can do is say " he's mad at us". We are about to put in a bit of extra on our drive so when my wifes kids come to visit they have a place to park.
 

spongebob59

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What happened with our was he wanted to build right up to the boundary line so we agreed he could take the fence out , build his extension and then reinstate the fence after ( think we made him have it rendered too). Because we'd just had a patio layed down our side of the house we had a surveyor take pictures before so we could have evidence if there was any damage. We also had picture taken inside so that we could see if any of our walls got damaged.when they were digging out.
We had a friend who was a property surveyor so we hired him to do it all.and he has to pay for it.
 

JollyRedDevil

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Be very very careful what you get into. Party wall disputes can/will be very expensive and stressful.
The law is a minefield.
A friend of mine got into a dispute with his elderly neighbour (he was in the right) and it turned really nasty.
It took 5/6 years of law suits, over £100,000.00 in legal fees, heart attacks for both his wife and the neighbour (both are ok thankfully) and all for a few inches of land.
He swears that with hindsight he would have happily backed off. All you need is an unreasonable neighbour and all hell can be let loose.
One of our members, who is also a friend, is one of the country's leading QCs in this area of the law. He has literally written the law books on this matter.
He ended up representing my friend on a no win no fee and eventually got him out of it. H e didn't charge him anything which was very good of him. What I didn't realise that even in a no win no fee case you could still end up paying thousands even if you win.
I once asked him about my neighbour making noises regarding the garden fence between our houses and his advice was, "just back off, bear the cost of the fences or you'll end up paying someone like me thousands of pound for very little outcome".
 

Mandofred

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Any way I can just a nuke dropped on my neighbour? I'm not asking for much. Very small explosion.....done in early November....it would fit right in....
 

Tashyboy

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Me i would speak to the council and tell them of your concerns, your historical disputes. I would mention what has gone on in the past and he is unwilling to talk to you. Mention you have no problems with the extension itself but his historical taking of a bit here and there is causing undue stress.
I have had a couple of extensions one was seen over by the council and one by a private company called Turtons, they were both very good. The builders for both extensions told me that if you upset the council rebards veering away from the plans they will make life hard for you.

As I see it if he extending the house over the drive towards your house, there’s no grounds for objecting as you say. But I would insist with the council that it is measured to the inch. Half a brick “ extra” is a lot.
Throughout the whole of the planned extension, it will be examined at different phases to make sure it is built to standard and building regs. If needs be, again I would be talking to the council and asking them to make sure measurements are exact.

Make a list of concerns and speak to the Council.
 

Bunkermagnet

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Where is the boundary line, the edge of his tarmac or the outside edge of the edging stone.?
If the later, it looks like your fence is over the boundary line. Also fences adjacent ot the highway (in this case a public footpath) cannot be higher than 1m without planning permission.
 

Lord Tyrion

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Very hard when you are dealing with someone like that. One point I would make. If you come to sell your house you have to state if you have had a dispute with a neighbour. Try your best, really hard i appreciate, to avoid this becoming an official dispute. You don't want to have to put this on the form.

I checked by the way. Apparently even small nukes are not acceptable in these circumstances. Sorry.
 

Mandofred

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OK....possible stupid question....how do you "talk to the council"? I can put my requests into the online form with the plans....but that's not "talk to the council". Quite simply.....will the "council" even care? Planning dept?
 
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