LAND LAW AND BOUNDARIES

Always check that maps are accurate to avoid any negative interactions with your neighbours

It is imperative that prior to purchasing a property, the buyer should always be advised to employ the services of an engineer to ensure that the maps and the boundaries of the property match. This will give the buyer confidence that the property being shown matches up with the maps.

 

Property Solicitor, Cork

In some instances, natural occurring features will alter the appearance of the landscape and therefore the boundaries may look out of sync with the maps. This may include river erosion or uncontrolled hedge growth. It is also possible that boundary disputes may arise simply because land owners may genuinely forget where the boundary to their land lies, particularly on farm land where large land borders may not be clear. Where an unexpected death occurs and change of ownership is being pursued there may also be some uncertainty in terms of boundaries. These uncertainties can result in disputes between neighbouring landowners. Disputes can also arise where there are shared access ways between properties, rights to light, drainage rights, air rights and in some cases where trees planting on a neighbouring property overhang the land.

It is vitally important to employ a reputable engineer or property surveyor to establish property boundaries prior to making your purchase. Here at Walsh and Partners we are happy to arrange this for you.

When you purchase or inherit a property, one of the very first things you should do is clearly establish the boundaries of your land. This will ensure future disputes will not arise. Boundary disputes should be avoided at all costs as they can in some instances last years and can cause great stress to all involved, often these cases can lead to disputes between families, which can cause hurt and distress. If you are in any doubt about the boundary of your or a neighbours land, please get in touch with a member of the team here at Walsh and Partners and we will review your title documents and instruct an engineer to carry out an assessment immediately.

 

Land Solicitor Cork

We strongly believe that if court proceedings can be avoided then they should. Boundary disputes can be lengthy and tend to leave ill feeling between both parties. What tends to be overlooked in a lot of these cases is that the area of land disputed can be quite small and the legal costs and human costs far outweigh the worth of the land. Ongoing land disputes can also have a negative impact on the value of the land so an early resolution is always the best option for all involved.

In the event of boundary disputes, we would urge land owners to get in touch with a land law expert at Walsh and Partners to discuss the options available. Our advice would always be to keep a healthy relationship with the neighbouring landowner as this will greatly ease proceedings. The ideal outcome for your land dispute should occur outside the courts in a manner that leaves relationships intact and avoids acrimony, this can be achieved through mutual agreement or mediation.

The law governing land boundary disputes in Ireland is covered under the Land and Conveyancing (Law Reform) Act of 2009. Let’s take a look at an example of a land dispute to further explain:

This dispute arises where a river or stream forms the boundary between farms or neighbouring land. Under Irish law the general assumption is that the land ownership extends to the centre point of the riverbed (unless owned by another owner). Where the dispute is heard in court the judge will ask both parties to provide evidence, examine the property deeds and then give a verdict on the boundary issue. However, we would urge parties to consider other options before taking this route. Legal costs can soar and the court process can take many years, resulting in ill feeling, distress and financial hardship for those involved. Prior to engaging in the court process your solicitor should always outline to you the estimated costs associated with the dispute, keeping in mind that these costs may fluctuate due to the work involved and the length of the process. Costs will always be considerably higher once the dispute is referred to the courts and there is a possibility that if the dispute is unsuccessful, the claimant may be liable for the costs of the other party.

 

Solicitors Cork and Dublin

Always speak with a solicitor prior to making decisions about land disputes. Our legal team will appoint an expert engineer to examine all aspects of the dispute and we will advise on the best course of action at that point.

Where a dispute cannot easily be resolved, and where both parties wish to avoid the costs of court proceedings, we will offer mediation or arbitration to resolve the dispute.

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