As the saying goes, 'everyman's home is his castle,'
so the implications of living in the confines of a relatively small
island such as Jersey, means space is very important, so boundary
disputes between neighbours can be hotly contested.
As a relative newcomer to the world of conveyancing
(conveyancers deal with all the legal matters, paperwork and
queries involved in a property transaction) I am amazed at the
volume of boundary disputes that arise on a regular basis. There
are a variety of reasons that can lead a property owner to fall out
with a neighbour causing him or her to seek legal advice when all
else fails, with the most common being parking, electricity supply,
rights of way and Planning applications.
The history of land or a property is contained in title deeds
but no matter how old or detailed these are, when property changes
hands there is still the potential for a dispute. This is why a
conveyancer, with all his or her training and experience is
involved in property transactions, especially when it comes to
resolving issues over boundaries – even in the age of
digital mapping. Digital technology only identifies a
property's location and does not constitute a legal definition
of the boundaries or contractual rights.
In the UK surveyors can become involved in boundary disputes but
in Jersey it is conveyancing lawyers who provide the expertise in
settling such disputes. However, when they are not able to broker a
resolution then litigators are brought in and there is plenty of
case law in the Royal Court of Jersey on this subject. This is
unfortunate, as boundary disputes can be costly and bitter in
situations when neighbours are unable to reach an amicable
When anyone has to change property deeds or alter or confirm a
boundary, they are required to pass a contract before the Royal
Court and neighbours may be required to be party to or to confirm
their agreement to the changes.
That is why it is important to check your legal rights and
discuss your plans with neighbours if you want to avoid falling out
or finding yourself in an unnecessary and stressful dispute. There
may be more to a situation than at first meets the eye and remember
fact is readily perplexed with belief, clauses are written in
perpetuity and the answer to your quarrels can almost certainly be
found to be in your contract or title deed.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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The process for obtaining planning permission for development of property in the Cayman Islands has been updated as a result of the latest revision of the Development and Planning Law and accompanying regulations (July 2015).
In principle, when the parties agree to arbitrate, they shall be
bound by that agreement. It should therefore follow that when a
party initiates arbitration proceedings, the other party - the
respondent – will avail itself of the opportunity to present
its case and participate in the proceedings.
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