Boundaries can be a source of friction between neighbours and often lead to boundary disputes. Especially when a new fence or hedge needs to altered. In the UK we can be very protective with a couple of inches of land, and rightly so with house price souring, every inch of land is valuable.
The problem can be escalated with the fact that title plans only show general boundaries, often with no scale at all. Newer properties can be easier to distinguish boundries compared to older homes, as they often have more detail in the Title plan and deeds.
You can request a copy of the title pland and deed from .gov, and you’re your neighbors property.
A common myth is that you are responsible for the left hand of the boundary, this simply is not true.
If this is not stated on your deeds and just “word of mouth” then it is not a fact of who owns the boundary and cannot be used to reinforce boundry ownership. Again, on more modern builds there may be a T marker shown, and information about maintenance but on many properties in the UK this is absent, leaving owners and solicitors scratching their heads to who owns the boundary.
If you have obtained, the Title plans and deeds and still unsure who owns the boundary the best advice is to act in a civil partnership with your neighbour and to get a shared agreement and a compromise to who should maintain the fence, hedge, and general boundary.
Boundary disputes can on the rare occasion turn into civil cases. It is less stress and cheaper to avoid this if possible. But if you feel you are not getting anywhere and there is no compromise to be had we suggest seeking legal advice.
The Royal Institute of Chartered surveyors offer a (Paid for) mediation service to help neighbours resolve disputes about boundary lines and related issues. It provides a quicker, cheaper and more informal approach than litigation, while helping neighbours to deal with issues that are at the heart of their dispute in a positive and proactive way.