Boundaries and Disputes

In some countries of the world boundaries are precisely defined, recorded and identified by accurate survey using hi-tech IT and satellite instrumentation. Did you know..... This is not the case in England and Wales. There was an attempt in the late 1800’s to impose a “precise” boundary system in the United Kingdom, but after about twenty years the attempt was abandoned because the proposals had led to so many disputes. The fact is, our Title Deeds have not contained any system of plans at a controlled level of accuracy: some Deeds Plans are so vague that they may have been drawn in five minutes at the desk of a Solicitor’s clerk. Even where measurements are given on these old plans, many of them must have been pure guesswork or measured with a cloth tape which can stretch an extra metre by pulling it tight over its whole length!

To investigate and confirm the position of boundaries a Statutory Instrument focussing upon General Boundary Rules is followed. These Rules consider and cover all sorts of practical and “common sense” aspects including deference to such matters as Possessory Title by prescription and other very significant issues in Property Law.

Importantly, the identification of boundary lines must be made using both the documentary evidence in Title Deeds as well as the physical features or marks which exist to separate neighbouring holdings. Interpretation of these evidences can be complex, sometimes bewildering. However, Tombleson Associates offer years of experience and can help you. Our surveyors cover Dorset, Hampshire, East Sussex, West Sussex and the Isle of Wight. The New Forest, Southampton and Portsmouth are within a 35 miles radius of our office: we make no charge for travelling.

If you think you may need our help, remember we make no charge for the initial consultation so that you may decide whether or not you wish to engage our services. Please
give us a call and we will be happy to discuss matters entirely without obligation.
Remember, precise land survey plans do have an important place in boundary identification,
but they are not the whole story!

One word of advice: if a disagreement between neighbours over a boundary location seems to be emerging, never use the word “dispute”. Always strive to keep matters low key, within the ambit of a good neighbourly discussion if you can. If you concede that there is a real dispute, then this must be disclosed in your answers to “Searches and Enquiries Before Contract “ if you sell the property before agreement has been reached on your boundary question.


Party Walls And The Story Of Pyramus & Thisbe

Do you know... a neighbour cannot stop someone exercising their rights, but can influence how and when work is done. An Act of Parliament says that a building owner must not cause unnecessary inconvenience and may be liable to provide compensation for any damage caused to a party wall. Paul Tombleson is an expert on Party Wall matters and operates throughout the Southern Counties, in Dorset, Hampshire, Sussex and the Isle of Wight. The New Forest, Southampton and Portsmouth are all within a 35 mile radius of his office. He is a member of the Pyramus & Thisbe Club which exists to keep surveyors up to date with Party Wall matters.

The story of Pyramus & Thisbe (dating from 1
st Century AD) tells of star-crossed lovers who have a clandestine affair which is forbidden by their parents. They conduct the affair by secret conversations through a crack in the party wall between their homes. The lovers plan to elope and arrange a secret meeting. A lioness, blooded by a recent kill disturbs Thisbe, who arrives first at the meeting place: she runs and hides, losing her shawl. Pyramus then arrives, sees the lioness and the shawl and assumes Thisbe is dead. He blames himself for causing her death and kills himself on his own sword. Thisbe then emerges from her hiding place, sees her dead lover and decides to leave this earth by way of the same sword.

For a happier conclusion to Party Wall stories, please talk to us! If you are in any doubt that the works you propose may require specific action under the Party Wall etc., Act 1996 (or are concerned about works on an adjoining property) we are pleased to offer initial consultation without charge.


Rising Damp – Does It Actually Exist?

If it exists at all, “Rising” damp describes the upward movement of moisture through building materials by capillary action: in masonry this will seldom achieve a rise exceeding a centimetre or two. Impermeable reservoirs at the base of walls (attributable to non-porous paint for example) may occur by the natural levelling of a water table. Horizontal “bridging”, gravity or condensation are the main causes of dampness in walls.

Expert surveyors at Tombleson Associates examine buildings in Dorset, Hampshire, Sussex and the Isle of Wight; we are often shocked at the misdiagnosis of dampness and the incorrect interpretation of visual evidence or moisture meter readings. We are constantly witness to the expensive and unnecessary destruction of old plaster in houses.

This month (and just in time) at a house in the New Forest we intervened in the proposed re-plastering work and traced the source of moisture to a tiny leak at the roof verge.

Unfortunately the phenomenon of “rising damp” has become endemic – propagated by surveyors in mortgage valuation reports and also in inappropriate remedial works by “specialist” damp treatment contractors obsessed with
rising dampness. Most often the removal of rubble “bridges” in wall cavities, together with improvement in ground drainage and exterior ground levels will be the answer: if not, anti-condensation actions, and improved propensity for evaporation will solve the problem. Set a test! ...... does the surveyor know without hesitation, whether the damp meter is calibrated for wood or masonry and when the calibration was last re-set? Keep your money in your pocket unit you are absolutely sure of the correct advice!


High Hedges

The height of hedges between neighbouring homes can sometimes be the source of dispute or discord.

The Law governing complaints about high hedges is contained in the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003. This Act gives Local Authorities the power to deal with complaints about hedges which are having an adverse effect upon a neighbour’s enjoyment of residential property.

The Local Authority can investigate relevant complaints and where appropriate, issue a Remedial Notice. Failure to comply with the Notice can result in prosecution and fines. The powers of the Notice are limited: a reduction in height to a level which will remedy the problem can be ordered, but cannot require either the complete removal of a hedge or even a reduction in height below the level of 2m.

As a rule, the questions of loss of light, intrusion and nuisance will be the main topics to consider. We can help you.... give us a call without obligation. We make no charge for the initial consultation and will be happy to talk to you on matters of this type (including Boundary Disputes) so that you can decide whether you need to engage our services or not. Sometimes you can settle these matters on your own, but sometimes it is better to engage a surveyor who will not be emotionally involved and will endeavour to achieve a resolution, mediating between the neighbours in a friendly and approachable manner throughout.

We work across the Southern Counties from Dorset through Hampshire, East Sussex, West Sussex and the Isle of Wight. The New Forest, Southampton and Portsmouth districts are within a 35 mile radius of our main office. We make no charges for travelling; our surveyors will be in your vicinity on a regular basis. You may wish to follow this link: