by Daniel Muckle
As a Dispute Resolution Solicitor part of the work I do is to bring or defend, and ultimately resolve, boundary disputes. It may not be a surprise that many people have either been involved in a disputed boundary or know someone who has, but what surprises me is the difficulty that many people appear to have when trying to resolve them.
I wanted to share some key steps that, in my experience, will greatly improve the prospects of an earlier and cost effective resolution to a boundary dispute.
Firstly, invite the other side for a drink or three, possibly with a mutual acquaintance to help broker a solution. Even if that doesn’t work, keep the lines of communication open, keep exploring settlement, and keep it civil.
Failing resolution, gather and exchange as much evidence of the boundary as possible, including the plan to the conveyance that created the boundary, any other plans, photographs, and the testimony of witnesses with direct knowledge of the boundary.
If that doesn’t work, consider instructing a good boundary expert to prepare a plan showing the probable location of the boundary. Their opinion will often resolve the dispute and avoid further costs.
Ultimately, a solicitor with experience of boundary disputes may have to be instructed to advise on merits and options, and to finally resolve the dispute. This should always include exploring Alternative Dispute Resolution, such as a round table meeting or mediation.
Court proceedings involve significant costs, stress, delay, and uncertainty. It is a step of last resort, and should only ever become necessary if all other attempts to resolve the boundary dispute have failed.
Find out how Daniel can help you with this and more dispute resolution matters - visit profile.