How to Resolve Boundary Disputes With Your Neighbour
Don't worry if you are not aware to handle your problems with neighbors. This guide discusses and offers suggestions to resolve disputes with your neighbors.
In the 2017 and 2018 financial years, thousands of people took assistance from the legal services commission of South Australia enquiry line. They opted for advice on fencing and retaining wall place issues or disputes among neighbours. Many advice sessions were held on this topic only in Australia, and it was the top publication distributed by the legal services commission. People in Australia often have disputes with neighbours over the boundary. Most people are not aware of How to deal with Common Neighbour Disputes. In this guide, you will learn more about boundary disputes with neighbours and some important tips that can help resolve them.
What Causes Boundary and Encroachment Disputes in the First Place?
It doesn't matter whether you are retaining a wall or building a fence, placing a new driveway or removing a tree; you must properly outline the boundary of your property. Boundaries that are not measured properly or misunderstood often lead to encroachment disputes with neighbours.
With the help of a licensed surveyor, you can help prevent misunderstandings and disputes via proper boundary measurements. A surveyor can give you advice on ways to resolve a dispute by having proper information at hand.
Knowing Your Boundaries
If you are willing to construct a new wall or fence on your property or want to check if you are encroaching on your neighbour's property, a properly marked boundary is the best help you can get. If you do not want neighbour disputes over boundaries, you must get an exact boundary line of your property or land drawn by a licensed surveyor as early as possible.
The surveyor usually looks to use the latest equipment and technology to ensure the physical boundary on your property matches the information from the LTO or Lands Titles Office. When you search for records from the LTO, you will find information about the current boundaries or changes made by any previous owner.
After the boundaries have been identified, a proper and comprehensive plan will be developed. If any unnatural or conflicting information is found, a comprehensive survey plan must be lodged with the Lands Titles Office to protect your interests.
Ways to Settle a Boundary Dispute
There are multiple ways for you to settle a boundary dispute, and they are as follows:
1. With the help of an informal agreement between you and your neighbour
2. By taking the advice of an expert instructor in Boundary Demarcation and Disputes.
Alternative Disputes Resolution (ADR)
Alternative Dispute Resolution, or ADR, is a specific term used for describing various formal ways of resolving disputes where the matter is not taken to court. If you follow the ADR process and any party refuses to accept the outcome and wants to take the matter to a county court, the party must be advised that a court of law will be predisposed towards the result of the ADR process.
3. Expert determination
4. RICS Neighborhood Disputes Service
l Legal action (Litigation)
1. County court
2. Land Registration Division of the Property Chamber
3. High court
The methods that are higher in the lists provided above will cost you more than those lower in the list. This may make you think about which method is more cost-effective to resolve the dispute.
Your Neighbour is Encroaching on Your Land
The placement of a fence might not be a proper representation of the boundary line and can lead to disputes with neighbours over the boundary. Though it might not change the actual boundary of the ownership of the land, you can dispute the placement of an object or structure that might be encroaching onto your land.
If you believe that your neighbor has incorrectly placed their fence, structure or driveway into your property, there are some things you can do before you contact a reputed neighbour disputes lawyers in your area.
Things to Do Before You Contact a Lawyer to Settle the Dispute
Some of the things you can do before contacting a reputed lawyer to settle the dispute are as follows:
l You must first understand what the dispute is all about and where your property boundary is. You can get a licensed surveyor to evaluate the property and physically and properly mark out the properties. This will include measuring the location of all the improvements on the site and mapping the relationship to the boundary.
l The best team of licensed surveyors will acquire existing land title office records and also undertake a full site survey to decide and mark the property boundary. They also help prepare a plan to display the results of the survey. They can also provide advice on options going forward to solve issues.
l You can opt to talk through any boundary problems with your neighbor as they might be unaware of placing things on your land. You can try to make them understand your perspective and show them what you are worried about.
l If you need assistance, you can take the help of Community Mediation Services available via your local council. A mediator is an unbiased and independent third party that can help prevent neighbor disputes over boundaries. They can help solve any kind of dispute, and if chatting with your neighbor or mediation services does not solve the problem, you can contact a reputable lawyer to acquire legal advice.
You Are Accused of Encroaching on Your Neighbour's Land
If your neighbor has any boundary dispute or land encroachment dispute with you, there are a few things that you must be aware of that can help avoid or resolve the issue. You can speak with your neighbor and understand their concerns about any possible encroachment into their property or boundary issues.
Having a skilled surveyor to mark out the boundaries of every of your property and map them properly can be of great help. These simple steps can help clear a lot of confusion and help you and your neighbors understand where your land ends and where the neighbor's land starts.
Who Pays for Any Retaining Fence or Wall?
If you are looking to repair or build a fence between your and your neighbor's properties, you must give your neighbor proper notice about the work before it starts. They must be aware of and provide consent to the work, as you may have to enter their property to complete it.
Though you and your neighbors legally and jointly own fences, your neighbor doesn't need to contribute funds to install or repair the fence. A reputed licensed surveyor can help you mark your land boundaries for better fence placement and help you avoid disputes with neighbors over the boundary.
Getting an Accurate Boundary Survey Completed
The ideal thing to do to reduce the chances of boundary disputes is to identify the proper placement of your property boundary. You must contact a licensed surveyor to identify and mark the boundary of your property. This can help you not only to stop your neighbor from encroaching into your land but helps you not to encroach into your neighbour's land.