Butcher Andrews Solicitors deal with a variety of property disputes. We deal with boundary disputes including disagreements over the locations of fences and hedges, the maintenance of boundary structures or features, damage caused to property along a disputed boundary and associated issues, including rights of way, boundary-related easements, unusual boundary covenants and adverse possession.
Adverse possession itself can lead to further issues that we can help with, not necessarily involving a boundary, for both registered and unregistered land.
We also deal with other property disputes, including those relating to structural support, shooting rights, fishing rights, property finance arrangements (either of a personal nature or with a financial institution) and property issues that arise from the administration of an estate or the operation of a trust.
If the boundary is fixed, either at the Land Registry or in the Deeds, that will be definitive. However, plans are often described as “for illustrative purposes only” or are so broad as to be impossible to measure from. The words used in a conveyance can assist, but again are often described in very broad terms (e.g. “the house and the garden”).
Where the Land Registry entry or the Deeds are not definitive, a vast range of circumstances and accompanying evidence needs to be taken into account, including past and current usage, boundary agreements (even very informal agreements), features of the land (trees, hedges, etc), historic (e.g. OS) maps. Expert evidence from a surveyor is usually required.
There are additionally certain presumptions developed by the court to take into account, particularly in rural/agricultural land, such as the “hedge and ditch” presumption and those relating to foreshores, canals and rural fences, plus riparian presumptions (i.e. those relating to rivers).