Boundaries and Disputes

In some countries of the world boundaries are precisely defined, recorded and identified by accurate survey using hi-tech IT and satellite instrumentation. Did you know..... This is not the case in England and Wales. There was an attempt in the late 1800’s to impose a “precise” boundary system in the United Kingdom, but after about twenty years the attempt was abandoned because the proposals had led to so many disputes. The fact is, our Title Deeds have not contained any system of plans at a controlled level of accuracy: some Deeds Plans are so vague that they may have been drawn in five minutes at the desk of a Solicitor’s clerk. Even where measurements are given on these old plans, many of them must have been pure guesswork or measured with a cloth tape which can stretch an extra metre by pulling it tight over its whole length!

To investigate and confirm the position of boundaries a Statutory Instrument focussing upon General Boundary Rules is followed. These Rules consider and cover all sorts of practical and “common sense” aspects including deference to such matters as Possessory Title by prescription and other very significant issues in Property Law.

Importantly, the identification of boundary lines must be made using both the documentary evidence in Title Deeds as well as the physical features or marks which exist to separate neighbouring holdings. Interpretation of these evidences can be complex, sometimes bewildering. However, Tombleson Associates offer years of experience and can help you. Our surveyors cover Dorset, Hampshire, East Sussex, West Sussex and the Isle of Wight. The New Forest, Southampton and Portsmouth are within a 35 miles radius of our office: we make no charge for travelling.

If you think you may need our help, remember we make no charge for the initial consultation so that you may decide whether or not you wish to engage our services. Please
give us a call and we will be happy to discuss matters entirely without obligation.
Remember, precise land survey plans do have an important place in boundary identification,
but they are not the whole story!

One word of advice: if a disagreement between neighbours over a boundary location seems to be emerging, never use the word “dispute”. Always strive to keep matters low key, within the ambit of a good neighbourly discussion if you can. If you concede that there is a real dispute, then this must be disclosed in your answers to “Searches and Enquiries Before Contract “ if you sell the property before agreement has been reached on your boundary question.


High Hedges

The height of hedges between neighbouring homes can sometimes be the source of dispute or discord.

The Law governing complaints about high hedges is contained in the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003. This Act gives Local Authorities the power to deal with complaints about hedges which are having an adverse effect upon a neighbour’s enjoyment of residential property.

The Local Authority can investigate relevant complaints and where appropriate, issue a Remedial Notice. Failure to comply with the Notice can result in prosecution and fines. The powers of the Notice are limited: a reduction in height to a level which will remedy the problem can be ordered, but cannot require either the complete removal of a hedge or even a reduction in height below the level of 2m.

As a rule, the questions of loss of light, intrusion and nuisance will be the main topics to consider. We can help you.... give us a call without obligation. We make no charge for the initial consultation and will be happy to talk to you on matters of this type (including Boundary Disputes) so that you can decide whether you need to engage our services or not. Sometimes you can settle these matters on your own, but sometimes it is better to engage a surveyor who will not be emotionally involved and will endeavour to achieve a resolution, mediating between the neighbours in a friendly and approachable manner throughout.

We work across the Southern Counties from Dorset through Hampshire, East Sussex, West Sussex and the Isle of Wight. The New Forest, Southampton and Portsmouth districts are within a 35 mile radius of our main office. We make no charges for travelling; our surveyors will be in your vicinity on a regular basis. You may wish to follow this link: