Two neighbours, who previously described themselves as ‘good friends’ for twenty years, have ended their five-year long legal battle. The case has cost the loser approximately £80,000. The problem arose after Mr. Armes, a retired banker, voiced his intention to erect a fence that would divide the driveway that he shared with his neighbour Mrs Huntley and her son. Until this time, there had been no physical border between the driveways.
Mrs. Huntley objected to the fence, on the basis that it would prevent her from being able to open her car door when she parked on her driveway. She requested an extra 35cm width over the boundary so that she could open her car door. Mr. Armes declined to allow her this extra space. Until the issue of the fence came up, Mrs. Huntley had been undertaking ‘moments of transient trespass’ of approximately 35cm every time she opened her car door.
The Court of Appeal, agreeing with the original judge at Kinston County Court, found that Mr. Armes had always been the rightful owner enjoying ‘exclusive possession’ of the strip of land and the boundary, which had been in the same place for the last 70 years.
It is vital that, when purchasing residential property, you ensure that all boundaries and rights of way are clearly defined so that there can be no dispute at a later stage. Rights over residential property are often fiercely fought and lost and, as in this case, the consequences can be emotionally draining, as well as extremely costly. If you need advice on a property transaction, contact us today.