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How do I prevent a boundary dispute on my farm from getting costly and creating tension with my neighbour?

View profile for Rhys Evans
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"I’m planning on redeveloping parts of my farmland however it has become clear that there is a potential boundary issue with my neighbour. What should I do to avoid an expensive dispute and damaging my relationship with my neighbour?"

Boundary issues are particularly common when it comes to rural and agricultural land and the development of it, due to its vast nature.  

Whether this involves a fence that has been incorrectly positioned or an accessway that has been compromised, it’s important to understand where the boundary is being breached.

We’d advise you to research this potential boundary issue, with legal assistance where necessary, to find the Land Registry record and identify the property’s boundaries through your title deeds. This may be more complex in the case of older properties as it may be more difficult to find original records.

Often there may be defining boundary features evident on site that can be a reference point. It is also important to understand that any boundary identified on a Land Registry title plan isn’t a conclusive boundary; it would be a general boundary only.

Once the disputed land has been identified, we’d advise you to have an informal chat with your neighbour in a bid to find a swift resolution to the issue. You can both look at your title deeds and work out where the boundary lies.

However, if there is still uncertainty, it may be worth getting the advice of a chartered surveyor who can help to determine where the boundary lies legally.

If you are still unable to agree and want to avoid the issue becoming costly, we’d suggest attempting formal mediation with a third party.

Where legal intervention is necessary, an expert in rural boundary disputes can help you resolve this in a smooth, professional and efficient manner, with the aim of supporting relations between you and your neighbour where possible.

In every circumstance we’d suggest this potential boundary breach is handled as quickly and efficiently as possible, to prevent further confusion and more damage to the relationship with your neighbour.

JCP’s Rural Practice team specialises in a wide range of legal services, whether you need legal assistance with succession planning, agricultural business, or expert advice on land use and environmental issues. To discuss rural matters contact Rhys Evans on 03333 208644 or email

The question posed is based on a hypothetical situation. This content does not constitute legal advice and is provided for general information purposes only.