New service for neighbours in boundary disputes

Jun 14, 2021
Solicitors report an increase in disputes during the pandemic as people have been confined to their homes. Quarrels over apparently minor issues such as who owns a fence, unkempt hedges, party walls or use of driveways can swiftly escalate and are often slow to resolve.
A new service aims to help resolve such disputes without resorting to court action has been launched by the Property Litigation Association (PLA) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Boundary Disputes Mediation Service
The service comprises a mixed panel of experienced mediators, lawyers and surveyors who can provide a quicker and cheaper alternative to litigation. When adopted early, it can break a deadlock and help people avoid expensive and protracted court action, which often costs more than the value of the matter in dispute.
In the worst-case scenario, litigation can result in the loss of a home but even straightforward cases can cost each party anything from £10,000 to £250,000 excluding VAT.
Using the new service, parties can retain control of the negotiation process while a neutral mediator aims to reach a satisfactory outcome for all. The initiative is supported by the Civil Justice Council (CJC) and includes CJC  guidance published by the CJC encouraging alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
RICS will administer the Boundary Disputes Mediation Service - here is the application form.
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