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Garden Dispute (among Other Things)

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  • Garden Dispute (among Other Things)

    Hi all

    I'm actually in the position where my neighbours are great but my problem is with my girlfriends.

    She's living at her parents house and her neighbours are

    a, offensive (swearing at her and her parents is a regular occurance)

    b, threatening (comments such as I'll 'set the dog on her' and generally revving of the car when my girlfriend or her parents are about has happened)

    c, noisey, (it's the attached house and they've recently [especially when drunk] started turning the stereo on for 5 minutes late at night to wake up my girlfriends parents.

    Now the above problems can be ignored but things have recently come to head regarding the age old fence problem. The NFH want to build an extension / conservatory and have planned to put it over 1 foot into my (I'll say my from now on although it's not my garden it just makes typing easier!) garden. They claim that the fence has been put in the wrong postion and that the 1' garden is actually theirs.

    The deeds for the house don't have proper land plots on them but i'm under the impression this doesn't matter if you can prove that you've had the land for 20 years (or so). ANyway the NFH havent been around 20 years and have paid the old neightbour to say that the fence was replaced incorrectly during their time (which it wasn't). Photo evdience from down the ages shows that the fence has not changed position.

    Now I'm going to have a look at the boards and see what other people have said about disputes like this but I'd like to see my girlfriends and her parents let the NFH build their property then make them pull it down and repair any damage they cause. But I've a feeling that once something has been built it will stay built.

    Anyway I'll have a nosy round the rest of boards. Suggestions regarding anything relevent much appriciated. (unless it's a dig at my spelling where i know I'm pretty poor already!)


    P.S. All parties in this matter are above 18

  • #2
    Hi Naski and welcome to the board

    Sorry to hear about your girlfriend's parent's problem. You should tell them to log every incident, even if they think it is trivial.

    As to the fence. Well, I'm totally sure about this, but if the fence has been in the same position for 20 years without any dispute then I think you are entitled to any land that is within it's boundaries. However, don't take my word for this. It's possible that you have to make a claim before any dispute arises.

    Some of the other members may be more informed on this issue than I am.

    Personally, it sounds to me like 'your' NFH is trying to pull a fast one.

    Good luck, I'm sure other members will have some sound advice to give you

    "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi


    • #3
      Hi Naski and welcome to you all

      Sorry to hear that your partner's parents are having a difficult time with their nfh (neighbour from hell).

      They need to start recording everything on paper - there are some blank sheets in the resources section of the main webiste for you to print off. With noise complaints, they need to consider making a complaint to the Environmental Health department (EH) - although be aware that this can damage relationships beyond repair.

      In terms of the fence/ land issue, I thought there was some kind of rule around owning the land for 12 years? I'm sure if you contacted the Land Registry department they would be able to advise you properly on this query. Their Head Office is on: 0207 917 8888. Or I'm sure you could contact your own planning department at your own local authority.

      Hope this helps you as a starting point? Welcome again.


      • #4
        Cheers so far, I'll print off some forms for her.

        12 years could be the one I'd thought it was either 12 or 20 and as you've said 12 without my promting I'll guess that to be correct. Anyway it's a start.

        P.s. Hollygolightly, loved you in the new White Stripes album



        • #5
          Yes, I heard the minimum period had to be 12 years also, didn't make that clear in my earlier post, sorry.

          Hope things get better soon

          "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi


          • #6
            You could of course ask your local authority planning dept. for some advice on this matter.

            I would have thought that any building the size of a conservatory would require planning permission and therefore you can object on the grounds that there is a dispute regarding the ownership of the ground it will be built on.

            Re. the noise and aggravation issue.

            Two ways to tackle this

            A; ignore them and hope that they will get bored as they are not receiving any response.

            B; take the issue by the horns and challenge them to justify there actions. Not really recommended if you wish to retrieve any amicable relations after this.

            Take a note of everything( as said) and start getting the EHO involved. Dont take this nonsense lying down

            speak to you soon


            "Take off and nuke the site from orbit- it's the only way to be sure!"

            apologies if you are an "Aliens" fan

            Posh Noodle - NOT for the likes of YOU!!


            • #7
              It would now appear that the NFH are digging up their garden for foundations and th like. The digging os so close to the fence that it's causing 'my' fence to start to deteriorate.

              Whats the deal now please?




              • #8
                Hi Naski, I knew a couple that had something very similar happen to them - only the outbuilding got built - and is here to this day. It was for an artists studio, and part of the reason for it still being there is that 'it isn't a nuisance to anyone'.

                This was in Somerset. The couple were working long hours and didn't have that much time to devote to it all. They thought it was so obviously bully boy tactics and empty threats and such an obvious intrusion on to their land it would never happen - but it did, most of it when they went away for two weeks!!!!! As I remember, the solicitor who dealt with it told them they didn't put in a 'formal complaint' about it early enough. I saw it, it's a handsome building and did look fantastic and in keeping with their house and the surroundings - however, it is partly on the other couples land! But there it stays.

                A member called 'Rockbank' is going through something similar too - maybe he'll be on the boards in the next few days.

                My advice is to make your objections early - formally. But there are people here who are far more well informed than I!!!!!

                Best of luck with it all



                • #9
                  Hi there! You have my sympathies as my problem with NFH started in a similar way where part of our drive (which we have title to but the council 'suddenly' informed us that they owned the top layer). We bought the house 22 years ago and we didn't know this council connection then by the way. Now we can't do a thing about it and the NFH have gone from bad to worse with us - it nearly cost me my life three years ago.

                  Sorry, I rambled on a bit - with your fence boundary being damaged through their foundation building don't forget that you could get them under the Party Wall Act.

                  Good luck to you and all power to your elbow!



                  • #10
                    Sorry to hear you're having similar problems to us. If there is an existing wall/fence between the two properties and the buttresses/posts are on your side of them then there is no doubt that the land in question is yours. If it's joint ownership of the boundary, but it's been in that position for the time you state, then there can be no dispute. 'Squatters Rights' apply after 12 years and you own the land right up to that boundary.

                    Just keep your chin (and your sense of humour) up

                    Good Luck