The topic of boundaries and land can be a tricky subject when it comes to neighbours.

From putting up a new fence and making sure it doesn't overstep the boundary mark to a neighbour putting in planning permission for a new outbuilding or extension.

Often ending in some sort of dispute, it's best to avoid any potential disagreement or legal issues by first making sure you understand the rules and regulations of boundaries and land.

Specifically, whether a neighbour can claim your land and what you can do if they do.

Can a neighbour claim my land in the UK?

According to Property Law experts Britton & Time, boundary disputes are one of the most common issues when it comes to neighbours, adding that it doesn't help that UK law isn't often clear on the subject.

But, to make for a simple answer, a neighbour can not claim your land unless boundary deeds show that the land is not actually yours. 

For example, if you're neighbour can prove with boundary deeds that your fence is overstepping into their land, they have the right to remove the fence and claim back the area.

On the other hand, if you find your neighbours' fence is on your land, you can ask them to remove it or move it to their land if you have evidence of the boundary deeds.

What is a boundary dispute?

According to Britton & Time a boundary dispute is: "When neighbours can’t agree over where one property starts and the other ends, the resulting dispute is legally known as a boundary dispute."

Adding: "Most boundary disputes concern tiny areas of land which are only a few inches or centimetres wide. Land which likely has no intrinsic value, but enables some form of entry or leisure use."

Boundary disputes often take place when there is a lack of evidence to confirm property boundaries, change in property ownership and claims of adverse possession.

How to check your property's boundary?

If you are not sure what your boundary is, you should check your house deeds for the property which should contain a plan of the land.

If you do not have access to your property's boundary, you can check the deeds online, here via the government website. 


Can a neighbour stop me from putting up a fence? The rules and regulations

Otherwise, you can purchase plans from the Land Registry, which allows you to buy both your own and neighbours' documents to ensure you know the boundary. 

If you find that there are no records of the property's boundaries, your best bet is to make new ones which you can do as long as your neighbour approves of the signs too. 

For cases which see neighbours disagree with boundaries, then your final result will be seeking help from legal advice.