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Old 21.05.2015, 14:39
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Boundary dispute

We've found ourselves in what seems to be the beginnings of a boundary dispute and I'm wondering if anyone has ever encountered a situation like this before...

We purchased our house back in 2012. Behind our house there is an embankment down to a rail line owned by BDWM. It seems the previous home owners have built a ledge out over the house boundary onto this embankment. Previously the land was a complete wilderness but over the last year BDWM have cleared all the embankment and built an access road along it.

We have just received communication asking us to remove the ledge as it goes over into their boundary. However, from looking at this there will be a fair amount of work involved in removing it. My question is are we responsible for removing this? We did know about it but don't use it and certainly didn't build it.

any advice greatly appreciated!
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Old 21.05.2015, 14:42
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Re: Boundary dispute

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We've found ourselves in what seems to be the beginnings of a boundary dispute and I'm wondering if anyone has ever encountered a situation like this before...

We purchased our house back in 2012. Behind our house there is an embankment down to a rail line owned by BDWM. It seems the previous home owners have built a ledge out over the house boundary onto this embankment. Previously the land was a complete wilderness but over the last year BDWM have cleared all the embankment and built an access road along it.

We have just received communication asking us to remove the ledge as it goes over into their boundary. However, from looking at this there will be a fair amount of work involved in removing it. My question is are we responsible for removing this? We did know about it but don't use it and certainly didn't build it.

any advice greatly appreciated!
YES* - the end








*Unless there is a clause in your purchase contract that says the previous owners would be liable for the removal of the ledge should it be required.
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Old 21.05.2015, 14:52
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Re: Boundary dispute

yes you are responsible for that unless you have a servitude that passed the notaire to give you the right to use that land. I do not know the wording in English but I presume you do not have it. sorry for the bad news.
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Old 21.05.2015, 14:57
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Re: Boundary dispute

I am assuming the ledge extension was an obvious construction and should have noticed and picked up during the house survey.
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Old 21.05.2015, 15:17
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Re: Boundary dispute

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I am assuming the ledge extension was an obvious construction and should have noticed and picked up during the house survey.
In my experience, house surveys don't exist here.
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Old 21.05.2015, 15:23
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Re: Boundary dispute

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In my experience, house surveys don't exist here.
Correct, but the notary and the land registry should have picked up on it when you purchased the property.
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Old 21.05.2015, 15:28
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Re: Boundary dispute

Although it seems from the replies so far that you may be liable I would start by denying all knowledge of it.

Say that it must have been built by a previous owner and that you have nothing to do with it. Say that they can remove it if they wish. If your boundary fence had been moved to include this within your garden this isn't likely to help you.

If that doesn't work then check all your documentation as mentioned by others
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Old 21.05.2015, 15:29
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Re: Boundary dispute

Legally, you have up to 10 years to claim for a 'vice caché' - a serious problem deliberately 'hidden' by the seller. I would seek urgent advice on this matter- as it should have been highlighted at the time of sale.

Do you have any photos?
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Old 21.05.2015, 15:31
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Re: Boundary dispute

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Correct, but the notary and the land registry should have picked up on it when you purchased the property.
Wouldn't that depend if it was shown on the plan of the property? Just a ledge may not have been included on the plans.
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Old 21.05.2015, 15:36
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Re: Boundary dispute

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Although it seems from the replies so far that you may be liable I would start by denying all knowledge of it.

Say that it must have been built by a previous owner and that you have nothing to do with it. Say that they can remove it if they wish. If your boundary fence had been moved to include this within your garden this isn't likely to help you.

If that doesn't work then check all your documentation as mentioned by others
and expect a pretty hefty bill to arrive later...
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Old 21.05.2015, 15:57
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Re: Boundary dispute

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Wouldn't that depend if it was shown on the plan of the property? Just a ledge may not have been included on the plans.
As a potential purchaser I would be damn sure to ask..."what's that" is it recorded etc when viewing a property.
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Old 21.05.2015, 16:02
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Re: Boundary dispute

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and expect a pretty hefty bill to arrive later...
If they accept that it has nothing to do with the current owner, I wouldn't expect them to be sent the bill. It may be worth clarifying that when initially writing to them though
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Old 21.05.2015, 16:06
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Re: Boundary dispute

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If they accept that it has nothing to do with the current owner, I wouldn't expect them to be sent the bill. It may be worth clarifying that when initially writing to them though
Unless there is a clause endemnifying the current owner for the ledge you can be pretty damn sure the current owner is responsible.

The OP should check the bauamt for whether permission was sought for the ledge to be built - if it was and BMWM approved it - then the OP may get off having to pay to have it removed and may find themselves able to claim compensation for a replacement structure.

I know of contracts where certain unknowns are included for remediation by the seller at a later date (usually within a time period) - the most common one being that of asbestos removal.

Pictures of the ledge, boundary and embankment would help
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Old 21.05.2015, 16:34
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Re: Boundary dispute

Isn't there some sort of time limit for complaining about this sort of thing?

BDWM obviously have the right to remove the offending structure, but how can they prove who built it in the first place?

I'd be tempted to approach them and say they're more than welcome to pull it down, it's their land and you don't own it as you only bought the bits inside your boundary.

May at least be a negotiating position for sharing the cost or something.
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Old 21.05.2015, 16:38
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Re: Boundary dispute

I would start with the point of view that the previous owner of your property deliberately deceived you in that he failed to disclose that he made a construction which interfered with the neighbour's rights, for which he neither obtained the necessary permission from the neighbour, nor, maybe, obtained the necessary permission from the local administration.

You require now a solution which is acceptable to your neighbour, you, and, maybe, the local administration. For instance, the removal of the new construction, and restoring the situation to as it was before the new construction was started. Or, maybe, modifying the current construction so it no longer interferes with your neighbour's property.

You should seek legal advice. At some point, you will require an estimate for the costs of the building work to remedy the situation to help you decide how to proceed.

In Switzerland, there is no 'squatters rights' or property rights conveyed to you simply because of long usage.
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Old 21.05.2015, 16:48
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Re: Boundary dispute

I don't see how there is any deception. I presume the ledge is quite clearly visible.
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Old 21.05.2015, 16:50
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Re: Boundary dispute

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I don't see how there is any deception. I presume the ledge is quite clearly visible.
I suspect it was painted to look like a tree
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Old 21.05.2015, 16:57
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Re: Boundary dispute

Are we talking about a ledge or a hedge?
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Old 21.05.2015, 17:08
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Re: Boundary dispute

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I suspect it was painted to look like a tree
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Are we talking about a ledge or a hedge?
Why on earth would they need to paint a hedge to look like a tree
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Old 21.05.2015, 17:09
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Re: Boundary dispute

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I don't see how there is any deception. I presume the ledge is quite clearly visible.
The construction itself may be visible. The fact that it was constructed without the neighbour's consent my not be so clear.
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