How to Deal with Property Disputes.

Unfortunately, property disputes are all too common throughout the UK housing market. Not only can they affect your operation due to their complexity, but they can also negatively impact your profitability. When dealing with a dispute relating to your house, it’s advised that it is dealt with rapidly and with legal aids present at all times- as the process can be stressful to say the least and you will no doubt want a timely conclusion to your legal ongoings. Although you may think that it’s an unlikely situation to find yourself in, there is always a slim chance that you could be put in this disastrous situation. Here at We Buy Any House we have compiled our top pieces of advice to help you deal with property disputes. 

Why Do Property Disputes Occur?

There are several reasons as to why you may find yourself in the middle of a property dispute. When you’re a homeowner, disputes can occur for various reasons. Whether arguments arise over pieces of land, entitlement over building ownership, or due to personal feelings about the way a neighbours property is presented- these are some of the reasons that disputes happen between neighbours. When it comes to personal reasons, property disputes may happen due to arguments over divorce, inheritance, bereavement, co-habitation agreements or family breakdowns. 

Another reason as to why property disputes occur- and that lies with those who have shares in investment portfolio property, which are shared with other parties. When properties such as commercial investments are involved, there may be conflicts that arise which may affect your financial contributions to the commercial property. 

Can I Solve Property Disputes Without Taking Legal Action?

Before you decide to take any legal action, it’s a good idea to try and resolve the dispute peacefully, and without resorting to legal action. Firstly, talk to the people involved and try to come to an amicable solution. If this is your neighbour, then they may not have even realised that they are doing something wrong- and perhaps after it is brought to their attention, they may change their ways. Don’t approach them when you are in the midst of feelings of anger- this may only encourage them to become defensive or confrontational. Discussion with families may become heated due to emotions involved, so you should perhaps consider a mediation session to try and talk things through maturely without resorting to legal action.

If the dispute concerns boundaries, then this may also be a misunderstanding as sometimes people are unclear on legal property boundaries. The notion of a misunderstanding may also be proven further by Land Registry titles and pre-registration deeds- which don’t clearly show the boundaries of legal property. 

Engage a Chartered Surveyor if Necessary:

If it seems as though the dispute cannot be resolved and is involving land boundaries, then it’s wise to engage the services of a chartered surveyor arbitrator. Their expertise in the accuracy and history of Ordnance Survey maps, in addition to accurately measuring the property using technical equipment, will enable them to form an impartial opinion about where the boundary lays. Hopefully, an impartial and scientifically justified assessment will help solve any disputes without taking drastic legal action.

Consider Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR):

If you are unable to resolve a property related dispute, then a good step is to consider an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Instead of relying on litigation, which relies on addressing an issue in court, ADR is an option to avoid going to court, and save you thousands of pounds. Most cases qualify for ADR and it is a great way to solve conflict. Consisting of ADR are two types of approaches, negotiation and meditation. 

If you opt to go for the ‘negotiation’ process, this will incorporate both parties bringing forwards a solicitor who can negotiate on your behalf. Even if your dispute doesn’t get resolved at the end of this, it’s a perfect way for both sides to coherently clarify their positions. Meditation, on the other hand, involves both parties sitting down face to face to open the lines to reach an amicable solution- without the interference of a judge or arbitrator. 

Gathering the Right Evidence:

To make your case easier and more coherent, then it’s important that you gather the right documents and information to support your case. These files should be accessible to your solicitor, as from this they will be able to easily understand your property dispute. Documents to gather include:

  • Photos or video evidence of the issue.
  • A diary/timeline of how and when the events occurred.
  • Relevant property deeds or documents you have in your possession.
  • Details of any third parties who would be willing to provide independent witness evidence. 

We Buy Any House have compiled a few helpful ways to deal with ongoing property disputes- but perhaps relocating for a fresh start could be the answer once your property disputes have been legally settled- in a bid to have a fresh start. If you’re wondering “how can I sell my house fast?” or are looking into selling or buying a property, check out their website for more information.

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