Clough & Willis Solicitors, Commercial and private legal services UK

Boundary Disputes

Boundary disputes invariably involve disputes with your neighbour.  These can therefore quite easily become very heated.  They are extremely stressful for you as you will feel you can never get away from the problem!  After a hard day at work the last thing you need when you go home is to be confronted by a neighbour possibly becoming abusive or aggressive as the dispute escalates.

Disputes can occur for a number of reasons and are often caused following the sale of a property to a new owner. New residents may have a different concept of what is acceptable in terms of property boundaries, causing disputes over issues the previous occupier had no objection to.

Disputes regarding the boundaries of a property can be extremely varied.  

A simple example might be your neighbour wishing to put up a new fence.  You may be worried about:

  • Responsibility to pay for and maintain it;
  • Where exactly should the fence go (particularly significant if a fence is replacing a hedge)
  • Does the boundary run through the middle of a hedge or to the side?
  • If so which side?

The converse scenario is the removal of a fence / hedge by a neighbour because they have several cars they wish to fit on their driveway. For someone this may seem a minor point but for those with small children, or pets, it may be very important a secure and complete boundary is maintained.

No one wants to feel that they are giving up land which belongs to them even if it is only a few inches!  Usually with my help any potential dispute and risk of ill feeling between your neighbour and yourself can be avoided. However, that is not true in all cases.

An increasing number of boundary disputes concern the building and extending of homes.  For instance:

  • There may be an issue as to where exactly where the boundary lies
  • Whether the building can go right up to the boundary
  • Does the proposed or completed work interfere with an existing boundary structure, such as a wall?
  • Does the proposed or completed work result in a back garden which is, for example inaccessible to a lawn mower or wheelie bin, therefore effectively 'land-locked'.

My involvement as your solicitor is important as most often the starting point will be to look at your Title Deeds. These may well contain copies of old Conveyances or Leases with plans drawn to scale, which may contain measurements and can be vital in establishing where boundaries lie.

Such plans are likely to be much more reliable than the file plan which is held at the Land Registry.  I have settled a dispute where the plan held at the Land Registry bore little relation to the actual site.  It was capable of resolution because plans in the old Title Deeds showed the boundaries of the properties from the time they were built in the 1920s. 

Disputes with neighbours, particularly as to boundaries and rights of way, are matters a vendor is required to disclose to a prospective purchaser of their property.  It is therefore very important such situations are resolved as quickly and amicably as possible.

I am extremely experienced in advising and resolving a whole range of boundary disputes.  If you are unfortunate enough to become involved in such a problem, contact me straight away.  My experience has been that prompt intervention and advice often resolve matters before they become too deeply entrenched.  To arrange an initial meeting to discuss your individual needs and how I can help you, contact me, Fiona Gaskell on freephone 0800 083 0815 or email

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I was very impressed with your firm at the outset when I first called in November 2009 after my uncles death. All staff from the receptionist and secretary through to the Partners were professional, friendly and helpful and provided the best response out of the 3 Bury firms I called.

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Clough & Willis are very understanding and made me feel valued, they showed me respect knowing I was albeit apprehensive of dealings within the legal profession and their workings

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Besides being professional Clough & Willis are also friendly and kind, making one feel relaxed able to communicate easily about the business in hand which they see to efficiently keeping in contact continually. Thank you for all you did.

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I have dealt with Clough & Willis for years since we moved to the area from Manchester and both my husband and I always appreciated your helpfulness and professionalism. Thank you

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Lorraine, I would just like to say "thank you very much" for all your hard work and assistance in the letting of the above property. The negotiations were somewhat protracted, due to a breakdown on my client's side, and I feel that your persistence and hard work led to the eventual lease completion. I look forward to working with you in the near future. Kind regards, Neil Higson, for and on behalf of Nolan Redshaw Ltd

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