Followers of the TV soap Coronation Street have been watching highly-charged scenes between neighbours Councillor Sally Metcalfe and Yasmeen Nazir. They were in dispute over the position of the fence dividing their properties.
Viewers will have seen Jason, the builder, removing the original fence and placing markers to identify the boundary position. Cunning Yasmeen then nips out and moves the position for the new fence. Sally quickly realises that her garden has shrunk and is furious that Yasmeen is ‘stealing her land’! Viewers will have to wait and see how this drama plays out.
Boundary issues between neighbours can become quite difficult (and often emotional) to resolve. We receive a large number of queries about boundaries – last month alone we handled over 5,000 telephone enquiries, including: who owns a particular boundary or has to maintain it, where the boundary is and can we help to resolve a dispute?
Whilst we can provide information as to where the general boundary is, we won’t always have any details about who is responsible for it, who owns it or its exact position. We can’t help you resolve a boundary dispute, but the information we hold can be used to help neighbours reach an agreement.
In the Corrie story, there was already a clearly defined boundary, but as the fence has been removed and the markers moved, there is now doubt over where the new fence should go. I bet the storyline will unravel for Yasmeen – we’ll have to watch and see!
In my experience, the best way for Sally to deal with her dispute with Yasmeen is to try and reach an agreement with her (or Yasmeen’s long-suffering husband, Sharif). Knowing Sally, she may have old photos showing where the fence was before and if she hasn’t, I bet some Corrie fans could look through archived TV footage to find some! The old fence position may also have left markings.
It will probably need some open and frank discussion between them both, but they need to avoid a dispute if they can. If that seems unlikely, then Sally should take legal advice on the options available to her.
More information about boundaries can be found on GOV.UK. We have also produced a series of YouTube videos to answer some of the most common boundary questions: