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Boundary Disputes

Resolution by mediation recommended by judiciary

Resolving boundary disputes through mediation has been recommended time and time again by the judiciary due to the advantages of speed of settlement, low cost and high likelihood of success.

Frequently Judges will 'stay' any proceedings until mediation has been attempted to achieve a Settlement Agreement; the general view being that boundary disputes are far better settled through mediation, expert determination or a similar alternative dispute resolution (ADR) service.

Impact on you and your business

Boundary disputes between neighbours can be very harmful to those involved and indeed the community as a whole. They tend to build over time and positions often become entrenched making settlement more difficult as time goes on.

The very nature of going to Court tends to develop 'righteous' behaviour which itself breeds 'fixed' positions which results in little likelihood of settlement. This contrasts significantly from alternative dispute resolution settlement procedures such as mediation.

The impact on you and your businesses is often not realised. Litigants frequently underestimate the impact on their private lives that a Court based approach brings. The extensive time that disputes take to go to Court manifests itself in high levels of stress over a prolonged period of time. This not only impacts on you but also on your family & business whilst the boundary dispute 'takes over your life'. The end result can be ruinous in not only wealth but also potential loss of health, family, business, and indeed loss of the dispute! Mediation is a 'less stress more success' approach to dispute resolution.

Ordnance Survey v Land Registry

The difficulty about going to Court in the UK regarding boundary disputes is that the Ordnance Survey mapping, as used by HM Land Registry to register land, does not show property boundaries, merely ground features that may or may not be the actual boundary. Additionally, the mapping is often insufficiently accurate to 'determine' a boundary. In the UK, due to the lack of a cadastre fixed boundary system, it is frequently impossible to prove exact ground position of a boundary purely by using an Ordnance Survey map. As a result Judges have to make judgements based on expert opinion and other documentation and precedents.

The very nature of this indefinite map boundary definition far from guarantees success in litigation even when you perceive that you have a 'cast iron case'. Litigation is therefore a high risk strategy for boundary disputes.

Expertise of The Dispute Mediation Consultancy

Dispute Mediation Consultancy possess high levels of expertise & knowledge regards boundary disputes. Partner and RICS accredited mediator, Grant Vincent is a boundary dispute chartered land surveyor having expert knowledge of Ordnance Survey and Land Registry gained over 40 years. His role as Registrar of Lands (BOT) and Chief Surveyor has frequently required mediation between parties and indeed as land adjudicator. In addition he has participated as an expert witness in boundary disputes at the highest level worldwide. This depth of knowledge helps mediation succeed and prevents the need for disputes to go to costly litigation. We can help you with a range of matters related to boundary disputes including adverse possession, your Right of Way easements and the determination of your boundary line.

Boundary Evaluation - Desktop Review

Prior to commissioning a boundary survey it is often useful to carry out an Early Desktop Evaluation (EDE). Here an expert will request documentation from the parties in dispute. The expert will review the documents and produce a short report which will give opinion on the facts and offer options on how best to proceed. Click here to link to the DMC Dispute Evaluation Service fees pages.

Video Advice on What to do to protect your Boundaries

Try out this short video from 'Videojug' to see what steps can be taken to protect your boundaries using information from RICS How To Resolve A Border Dispute With Your Neighbour


I have known Grant for several years and can recommend him for any property disputes and mediation, relevant to his key skills as an expert in the area of photogrammetric evidence (interpretation of aerial photographs and related issues). His technical expertise in these areas is second to none, and he will always demonstrate great pragmatism and all round professionalism, which is highly valued by clients.

I would have no hesitation in recommending him to act on similar matters again.

David Brammer (Solicitor)
Real Estate / Planning

Boundary Problems - reference site

Useful Reference Sites for Boundary problems

Jon Maynard Boundary Problems Further information on Boundary problems and using Mediation can be found on an excellent reference site set up by Jon Maynard FRICS

Dispute Mediation

Mediation is a practical yet sophisticated process designed to address the real issues and obstacles behind conflict in reaching a commercially viable solution.

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