Boundary disputes and adverse possession

Boundary disputes may occur when owners of adjoining properties cannot agree where the legal boundary between their properties lies.  Disputes of this kind can be notoriously acrimonious with parties in some instances arguing over very small pieces of land.   

In certain circumstances it may be possible to acquire ownership of land if you have been in occupation for a long time, this is termed adverse possession.

The following information provides a guide for property owners who may find themselves in dispute over the position of a boundary, or individuals who wish to acquire rights to a piece of land which they have occupied.


Why would someone need this service?

Land disputes occur in a number of situations. For example where a claim is made for adverse possession of an area of land, where neighbours are in dispute as to the exact boundary of the land they own, or where there is some dispute over the right of access to their land.

How does the process work?

Initially we would want to meet with you to obtain information relating to the dispute. We will also probably need to obtain certain documentation from the Land Registry, such as, title entries and plans.

Once we have the necessary information to hand we would normally seek to correspond with the opposing party to set out details of the claim being made against them or, alternatively to set out the basis of the defence of a claim, if required. Hopefully an open dialogue between the parties may lead to the dispute being settled amicably, without the need for Court proceedings to be issued.

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to resolve matters. Should this be the case, we would seek to protect your position by either issuing Court proceedings or defending any proceedings which have been issued against you.

In these types of disputes, it is often necessary to instruct a surveyor at an early stage in order to obtain specialist advice. This is especially the case in relation to boundary disputes.

Is it expensive? What are the likely costs?

Once we are informed of the dispute in question, we will provide you with an estimate of costs at the outset based on the type of work required.

What should people do before calling?

It would be helpful if as much relevant documentation as possible could be to hand prior to contacting us. Such documentation may typically include Land Registry records and building plans along with any correspondence that has passed between you and the opposing party. Furthermore, if you have any photographic evidence this would be useful.

Boundary disputes and adverse possession myth busting

What myths surround this area?

It is not advisable to try to physically remove someone occupying your land without first obtaining a Court Order permitting you to take such action. If the correct process is not followed you could unfortunately find yourself faced with civil or criminal proceedings being issued against you.

Meet the Boundary disputes and adverse possession team