Navigating Disputes Between Neighbours

Boundary disputes between neighbors often arise due to encroachments beyond property lines, such as buildings or features extending onto neighboring land. Legal expert Chantel Gladwin Wood explains the key lines involved in these disputes and the different resolutions that often come about when seeking legal guidance.

Judicial considerations and remedies
in boundary altercations 

In the realm of property law, disputes over boundary lines between neighbours can quickly become complex and contentious. To shed light on this intricate legal terrain, we turn to legal expert Chantel Gladwin Wood, a seasoned professional from Schindler’s Attorneys, for her invaluable insights. 

Wood begins by elucidating the two primary lines at the heart of such disputes: the cadastral boundary and the building line. The cadastral boundary, registered in the deeds office, delineates the property’s edge, while the building line, established by town planning and building legislation, governs permissible construction proximity to neighbouring properties. 

Disputes often arise due to encroachments, where structures or features extend beyond property boundaries. For instance, a tennis court protruding into a neighbour’s land constitutes an encroachment on the cadastral boundary, while a house built too close to the building line presents another form of infringement. 

Should such disputes escalate to court, judges assess various factors, guided by the principle of nuisance. This legal concept scrutinizes whether a reasonable person would find the encroachment offensive or detrimental. Thus, subjective considerations, such as odor preferences or privacy concerns, may influence judicial rulings. 

In determining encroachments, physical evidence plays a pivotal role. Tangible structures like walls or pools encroaching onto neighbouring properties offer clear-cut evidence for adjudication. However, remedies for encroachments vary. While demolition remains a possibility, judges may exercise discretion, opting for alternatives like compensation or servitude registration to mitigate harm. 

Notably, disputes involving overhanging trees pose unique challenges. While legal avenues exist, practicality often leads neighbours to address the issue independently. Despite divergent legal opinions on self-help remedies, courts may mandate tree trimming rather than complete removal, recognizing the ecological importance of trees. 

For neighbours embroiled in boundary disputes, Wood advises consulting surveyors to delineate property boundaries definitively. Through meticulous mapping and analysis, surveyors provide clarity on disputed boundaries, offering a tangible resolution path. 

Boundary disputes between neighbours encompass a myriad of legal nuances and considerations. Wood’s insights underscore the importance of legal guidance and expert intervention in navigating such complex terrain, offering hope for amicable resolutions amidst discord.