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Selling a House With a Boundary Dispute?

Property Saviour » Problematic Properties » Location » Selling a House With a Boundary Dispute?

Yes, it is possible to sell your home while a boundary dispute is ongoing. However, it is a legal requirement to disclose the dispute when you do so.

When selling your house, your conveyancing solicitor will need you to reveal various details about it. Particularly, you will be asked to complete a Property Information Form (Form TA6), which deals with boundaries, disputes, and grievances concerning your property.

The definition of what is considered a dispute may be ambiguous, but disagreements over land ownership and boundary locations may fit into this category.

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What are Boundary Disputes?

A boundary dispute is an issue over a right of way, access, or land between neighbours. It could involve a hedge that has encroached on your land, a tree whose roots are causing damage, or a cesspit. It could also be knotweed that started on a neighbouring property and has now spread to yours.

Having a neighbour dispute is never helpful, especially if you are in the process of selling your property. If it is more than a few cross words, you must disclose the dispute in the Property Information Form (PIF).

This must be completed by the seller and given to the buyer’s solicitor during the conveyancing process. If you do not disclose the dispute, the buyer could hold you responsible for mispresenting the property and seek damages or compensation.

If there is a piece of land that one person believes is theirs and the other disagrees, it will be identified as an issue that must be resolved before a sale can go through.

If you are considering selling your property and expect issues, it is important to resolve them quickly and efficiently before the sale.

Who pays for a boundary dispute?

If the dispute can’t be resolved via arbitration then the losing party will have to pay for all legal fees and court fees.

Litigation is very expensive and complex.  It is not unsurprising that legal costs can run into six-figure sums.

Selling a house with a boundary dispute
Having a neighbour dispute is never helpful, especially if you are in the process of selling your property.

Do you have to declare a dispute with a Neighbour when selling?

Sellers may be tempted to provide incorrect or incomplete information to attract potential buyers. However, not declaring a boundary dispute could have serious consequences.

According to Form TA6: ‘If you give incorrect or incomplete information to the buyer (on this form or otherwise in writing or conversation, whether through your estate agent or solicitor or directly to the buyer), the buyer may make a claim for compensation from you or refuse to complete the purchase.’

If the purchase has already gone through, the buyer may still make a claim against you for misrepresentation and/or breach of contract.

The remedies available to the buyer depend on many factors and could include cancellation of the sale contract (known in law as rescission) or damages. Furthermore, if the buyer’s claim is successful, you may also be liable for their legal fees.

What is the 7 year boundary rule?

The rule is clear: if someone has been encroaching on your land for seven years or more, they’re in a legal grey area. It doesn’t matter if it’s a large area or a small one – a fence or hedge on a neighbour’s land counts as a boundary.

Are boundary disputes worth it?

When boundary disputes become personal, they can be more difficult to solve. Unless the land is of considerable value, the legal fees can quickly surpass the worth of the land being argued over.

Can you sell a house with a legal dispute
Sellers may be tempted to provide incorrect or incomplete information to attract potential buyers. However, not declaring a boundary dispute could have serious consequences.

Can you sell a house with a legal dispute?

You must legally inform the buyer of any legal disputes regarding the property or any neighbouring properties. If you do not, you could be subject to legal action for mis-selling.

Will the Buyer Find Out About the Dispute?

Maybe there’s been legal filings in the dispute, or perhaps it’s a feud between two neighbours who never got along. If there are legal proceedings related to your property line, your buyer can find out about this quickly.

This is because you’ll need to fill out the TA6 seller’s property information form, which states any major issues that could hinder a sale.

To avoid this, it’s best to attempt to settle the conflict before you list your home and avoid having to answer awkward questions or make embarrassing admissions.

Can I sell my property with a boundary dispute?

Selling a house with a boundary dispute can pose challenges. It’s advisable to resolve the dispute before putting the property on the market. Legally, you must disclose any legal disputes related to the property or neighbouring properties to potential buyers.

Sometimes, property disputes can last for years. Both parties may feel they are in the right. The law may even dictate that both sides are right.

Nonetheless, the dispute still needs to be resolved for the sake of both parties’ peace of mind and if either wishes to sell.

You can protect your buyers, your current home, and your transaction by utilising dispute resolution services. These services can help you settle ongoing disputes with neighbours by utilising methods such as arbitration, adjudication, and independent experts to bring the case to a successful conclusion.

Are you currently facing a boundary dispute or another issue that is preventing the sale of your home?

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