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Boundary and Neighbour Disputes

Property disputes can be extremely stressful, particularly when they involve your home. A difficult relationship with your neighbours is likely to make life unpleasant at times, and if left unresolved, the situation can escalate.

A neighbour or boundary dispute can potentially carry on for years. The longer they are left, the more difficult it can be to deal with them.

Early intervention by expert dispute resolution solicitors can often mean that a disagreement can be settled so that you can put the issue behind you. At Hains & Lewis, our property disputes team have a good understanding of the stress of a disagreement between neighbours and an excellent track record of resolving issues without the need for litigation.

We will work with you to understand the details of your dispute and discuss the possible options available to you for resolving the matter. We can negotiate on your behalf with your neighbours or their legal representatives to try and reach an understanding that will allow you to move on.

Disputes we can help with include the following:

  • Boundary disputes
  • Party wall disputes
  • Rights of way disputes
  • Right to light disputes
  • Trespass
  • Adverse possession (‘squatters’ rights’)
  • Nuisance and anti-social behaviour claims

For an initial consultation with our expert boundary and neighbour dispute solicitors in Southwest Wales, please contact your local Hains & Lewis office in CarmarthenHaverfordwest or Narberth.

How our neighbour and boundary disputes solicitors can help you

Boundary disputes

Boundary disputes can become very bitter as property owners try to protect what they believe to be their land. Often, it is not easy to identify exactly where the boundary line is and Land Registry plans are rarely detailed enough to show accurately where a boundary lies.

We will work with you to try and establish the legal position and, where necessary, negotiate with your neighbour on your behalf.

Where an agreement is reached, our boundary disputes solicitors can arrange for accurate plans to be drawn up and the agreed boundary registered so that future misunderstandings can be avoided.

Party wall disputes

If someone is carrying out work on a party wall or building a wall on a boundary, then they are required under the Party Wall Act 1996 to give their neighbours notice of what they will doing. Examples of work requiring notice could be work on a chimney in a party wall, work on the party wall itself, putting a building on a property boundary, carrying out a loft conversion and putting steel joists into a party wall.

Where the neighbour objects to the work or the work is not done to a satisfactory standard or damages the party wall, difficulties may arise. We can advise you on the best way to proceed so that you can carry out the work you need to or alternatively protect your interests or obtain compensation for any damage caused.

Rights of way disputes

Rights of way can be vitally important to landowners, while having land that you believe is yours accessed by a neighbouring property without legal authority can be aggravating. Disputes over whether a right of way exists and the extent of it can be bitterly contested and it is advisable to try and deal with them early on before positions become entrenched.

If you are experiencing problems using a right of way or someone is using part of your land as a right of way, and you do not believe it is lawful, we can advise you as to the legal situation and suggest a course of action to resolve matters. Disagreements can also arise over obstructions, use of the right of way for construction work or maintenance of the access way.

It is usually the case that the best way of resolving issues is by negotiation and agreement. Our property disputes solicitors can represent you in discussions to try and find a solution without the need for litigation. Once an agreement has been reached, we will ensure that it is properly documented and registered to avoid difficulties arising in the future.

Right to light disputes

The right to receive light in a building can arise where it has been enjoyed for twenty years or more. The amount of light to which you would be entitled is generally considered to be sufficient for the normal use of the room, measured at one lumen or more for at least half of the room. A light expert will be able to measure this and advise on whether the light levels are sufficient.

If your light has been obstructed, we can represent you to require this to be remedied or seek compensation on your behalf.

You may have been offered payment by a developer who wishes to block the light to your property, in which case we can negotiate on your behalf and ensure that their construction does not exceed what is legally permitted.


Trespass can take a number of forms, including remaining in a property after a lease has ended, disposing of rubbish on someone’s property and building on a strip of land or boundary that someone else claims to own. Even allowing plants or animals to stray onto land can be classed as trespass.

We can advise you of your rights if you believe that they have been infringed. Trespass is not always straightforward and it is recommended that you speak to a legal expert before taking any action. Certain points need to be proved, including the intention to interfere with someone’s property interests without consent. Consent can be expressed or implied, for example, where the trespass has been permitted for a certain period of time.

Adverse possession (‘squatters’ rights’)

Where someone has been in occupation of land for a period of time, they may acquire ownership by way of what is referred to as adverse possession. The most frequent type of claim is usually over strips or areas of land owned by one neighbour and used by the other. There are several points that must be shown in claiming adverse possession, including use of the land as if the claimant owned it, exclusive use of the land and use of the land without the consent of the owner.

If someone has been in adverse possession of land, they can apply for possessory title to the land, which is a type of ownership, after ten years where the land has been registered with HM Land Registry or after twelve years where the land is unregistered.

If you are in dispute with someone over what you believe to be your land, we can advise you of your legal position and suggest the right course of action to protect your interests.

Nuisance and anti-social behaviour claims

Disputes between neighbours over anti-social behaviour can be bitter and damaging to your enjoyment of your home. Wherever possible, it is recommended that you try and deal with issues amicably to avoid protracted legal proceedings.

We can help you set out your issues in a letter to your neighbours to try and negotiate a resolution or a compromise.

More extreme behaviour, such as harassment, intimidation, bullying, vandalism and verbal abuse, can be extremely upsetting and should be dealt with without delay. In some circumstances, it may be necessary to obtain a court order to prevent further problems, and we can put together a robust case on your behalf and ensure that you have expert representation.

Speak to our property dispute solicitors in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire

To arrange an initial consultation with our approachable expert boundary and neighbour disputes solicitors in Southwest Wales, please contact your local Hains & Lewis office in CarmarthenHaverfordwest or Narberth.