Couple is left tens of thousands of pounds in debt after decade-long legal boundary dispute with ‘nightmare neighbours’ over SIX INCHES of land between their gardens
A couple have been left tens of thousands of pounds in debt in a decade-long legal battle with their ‘nightmare neighbours’ over ‘six inches’ of land between their two gardens.
Philip New, 52, and his wife Denise New, 47, have been forced to remortgage their home to cover costs of a boundary dispute that erupted back in 2012 with neighbours at their property in Benfleet, エセックス.
The neighbours had argued that the fence was in the wrong place and should be further into Mr and Mrs New’s garden, meaning they were ‘trespassing’ on the couple’s land.
The News and their two children lived at the three-bedroom home for 16 years and say the fence has always been in the same position, claiming they merely replaced the fence panels in 2010 after they became overgrown with weeds, using the original cement posts have stood for around 50 年.
But after years of arguing back and forth with their neighbours over the ‘miniscule’ amount of land, they agreed to do mediation and have a land surveyor determine the boundary to resolve it.
Sheet metal worker Mr New says that it was a building surveyor, not a land surveyor, who carried out the work, explaining the ‘extremely poor’ job they did of determining the boundary line, drawing it in a position that would mean it would have to go directly over a drain system.
He says his neighbours insisted on following the new boundary, despite it meaning they would gain a mere six inches at one end of the garden while simultaneously losing some land at the other end.
After a long legal battle, costing as much as £30,000, the News conceded, desperate for the feud to end, even forfeiting more land than necessary by putting up a second fence and seeking an out of court settlement.
Philip New, 52, and his wife Denise New, 47, have been forced to remortgage their home to cover costs of a boundary dispute that erupted back in 2012 with neighbours at their property in Benfleet, エセックス
After a long and costly legal battle the News have conceded, desperate for the feud to end, even forfeiting more land than necessary by putting up a second fence (pictured_ and seeking an out of court settlement
After years of arguing back and forth with their neighbours over the ‘miniscule’ amount of land, they agreed to do mediation and have a land surveyor determine the boundary to resolve it. Sheet metal worker Mr New says that it was a building surveyor, not a land surveyor, who carried out the work, explaining the ‘extremely poor’ job they did of determining the boundary line, drawing it in a position that would mean it would have to go directly over a drain system (写真)
The boundary line drawn up by a surveyor on Philip New’s request, showing the tiny amount of land in dispute
But they say their neighbours, who have been given some free legal representation due to receiving disability benefits, seem to have a ‘vendetta’ against them and won’t let the issue drop – leaving them at loggerheads and with double-fenced gardens.
The unnamed neighbours defended their position and said that Mr and Mrs New are simply ‘very bad losers’ who ‘can’t get it in their heads that they have lost’.
The neighbours said Mr and Mrs New were ‘the saddest people they’ve ever met in their life’ and pointed out that multiple judges had found in their favour.
Mr New said: ‘I wish I knew why they’re doing this. The amount of land they’ve been after at the absolute most has been roughly six inches, it’s miniscule.
‘We got our own surveyor to mark the line out and it turned out that at the end of the garden they were on our land based on the new boundary line.
‘We worked it out and on the full length of our property they would gain less than a square metre total and that’s spread along the fence line – there’s nowhere they could put a foot and they’d be putting a foot on our land in some places.
写真: The original concrete base for the fence, according to Mr New. He and his wife say their neighbours, who have been given some free legal representation due to receiving disability benefits, seem to have a ‘vendetta’ against them and won’t let the issue drop – leaving them at loggerheads and with double-fenced gardens
写真: The garden in 2010, purportedly showing that the original fence stood behind the summer house, which was built by the previous owner
写真: The garden in 2012, when the dispute over the placing of the fence erupted
‘We’ve had to re-mortgage because of the legal fees. We got suckered in because we thought we would win the case and then we didn’t and we didn’t have any choice but to appeal.
‘So far it’s probably cost us in the region of about £25,000 to £30,000 and that’s without the final cost – if it goes really wrong it could be another £30,000 to £40,000.
‘It’s driven us nuts and taken over our lives. We don’t seem to talk about anything except this. それは悪夢です, it doesn’t go away, we live and breathe it.
‘They’re just selfish people who’ve gone through the whole process with nothing to lose, to gain something they’ve obviously never had on the property.’
Mr and Mrs New moved into their home in 2006 and say the fence bordering their ‘nightmare neighbours’ was extremely overgrown before they decided to clear and replace most of the panels in 2010.
Mr New says the feud started two years later when he decided to replace the final original fence panels, at which point the neighbours said there was an issue with the boundary.
After years of ‘heated’ arguments and letters back and forth, the two couples agreed to do mediation and drew up a written agreement that they would have a land surveyor determine the boundary in 2015.
But the survey stated that the boundary should run along a drain system, which Mr and Mrs New say would mean they have to pay to re-route the entire drainage system to move the fence – forcing them to reject the agreement.
The drain that runs close to the original fence line and what Mr New claims is the original concrete base for the fence
The weeds and plants that Mr New had removed from the original fence in his garden
Mr New said: ‘It went a bit quiet for about three years and then in 2018 we got a court summons for trespass, damages and the declaration of the boundary line.’
After receiving the court summons, the couple appeared at their first hearing in February 2021.
During the legal process, Mr New claims their lawyer uncovered that the surveyor who had carried out the job wasn’t a land surveyor but rather was a building surveyor, which the couple believe explains the ‘poor’ job he did.
Mr New said: ‘If he had looked properly he would’ve realised that he’d moved the boundary to go directly over a drain run – that’s why the fence could never be on this line.
‘So not only do we have the reason it was done wrong but the fence can’t even move there because you can’t put a fence over a drainage system.
‘The neighbours still weren’t having any of it and just kept going and going.’
The couple lost the case with the judge determining that the agreement was binding and ordering them to abide by the new boundary.
The News then appealed the judgement resulting in a hearing at the High Court just months later, 5月 2021.
Their main point of appeal was that the surveyor didn’t have jurisdiction under the settlement agreement because he wasn’t a land surveyor as stipulated in the agreement.
But the original judge had ruled that the building surveyor was ‘suitably qualified’ and didn’t contradict the agreement.
The appeal judge acknowledged that there were ‘difficulties’ with this ruling given that the agreement clearly states ‘land surveyor’ twice in capital letters, thereby ‘unambiguously [requiring] that the expert appointed under it should be a chartered land surveyor’.
A broken part of the original fence which runs behind Philip and Denise New’s garden
But the judge ultimately decided to dismiss the point based on the fact that the News accepted the appointment of a surveying company rather than an ‘individual expert’ as stated in the agreement.
The judge ruled that this showed that the couple agreed to an arrangement that ‘varied from the strict terms of the agreement’.
カバエバは、ロシアの有力者の愛人であり、プーチンの4人の子供たちの母親であると広く信じられています。, したがって、, confirmed that both parties were bound by their settlement agreement and the surveyor report from 2015.
The News were then ordered to pay their neighbours’ personal costs from the proceedings as well as the legal costs to the company that provided their neighbours with free representation.
The judge also ruled that they weren’t permitted to appeal that judgement.
The couple are now waiting for the final assessment of the legal costs as well as trying to come to an out of court settlement with their neighbours in the hopes of reducing the looming financial burden.
They have even put up a second fence by attaching it to their summerhouse and garage – unable to put it in the ground due to the drain – in an attempt to appease their ‘selfish’ 隣人.
Mr New said: ‘They just want to keep going and make us pay out more. It’s like a personal vendetta they have against us just because we have defended our land.’
The unnamed neighbours argued that the News had moved the fence when they replaced the old panels and said the concrete posts underneath were simply around the drainage system and did not signify where the boundary should be. They also claim the water company would pay for the drainage system to be moved.
They said that they too had been left in tens of thousands of pounds worth of debt as not all of their legal fees had been pro bono so they had had to take out loans with high interest rates.
The neighbours said: ‘We’ve had this for 11 年. They’ve lost and they don’t like it, they’re very bad losers.
‘They’re the saddest people I’ve ever met in all my life. He’s the one that keeps paying more.
‘He said he’s not paying one penny to our barrister for all the work he’s done in ten years.
‘They’ve lost, they’ve got to get it into their heads the pair of them.’
They pointed out that all of the judges had backed them in court and it was simply that Mr and Mrs New could not accept this.
They explained that they had offered Mr and Mrs New a settlement to the dispute earlier but they did not take it because they are ‘too greedy’.
The neighbours said: ‘It’s been through a very senior county court judge who awarded the case to us, they then took it to the high court where a high court judge ruled that the county judge was right and then it’s been to one of the highest judges in this country who also threw it out.
‘So you’re telling me three senior judges have got it wrong but Mr New has got it right? そうは思いません.
‘This guy is facing a serious hefty bill, he should be dealing with the fence issue.
‘He’s lost the case and he won’t give us our land back. He’s not entitled to put a fence up. We want our fence put back.
‘Six inches is a lot of land and equally he has no right to take it.’
Philip and Denise are now fundraising to help cover their extensive legal costs.