Love thy neighbour …?

I’m delighted to live next-door to so-called “problem-free” neighbours but unfortunately my day-to-day work demonstrates that this may be the exception rather than the rule.  

Lockdown, of course, has been an unwelcome catalyst for neighbour disputes with individuals and families understandably being forced to adopt and adapt their gardens (and outbuildings) in an attempt to maintain that love affair with the great outdoors.  

What was once a passing observation of your neighbour’s overhanging Magnolia tree, protruding shed roof or encroaching trellis has now become a daily irritant at lunchtimes: “We really should do something about next door’s tree dear! Yes, but what?”     

With any issue that has the potential to result in a dispute, and in turn unwelcome consequences on the sale of a property, a resolution is imperative. Seeking out advice at the outset, before taking steps that could perhaps make matters worse, is always sensible and can come from many sources: friends, colleagues, legal professionals. From my experience in assisting numerous clients to navigate their way through boundary disputes, they are often both stressful and complex, and whilst HM Land Registry is the repository of important documentation, and may well be the first place to find out who is responsible for what, it will not offer professional legal advice on what to do about next door’s damned encroaching trellis.

What’s definitely good advice is to take early steps to head off a potential dispute as quickly as possible rather than things festering and resulting in a ‘garden war’!