The “War of the Roses” comes to an end

Garden Fence Canva

The Court today heard argument in Stirrett v Uziell-Hamilton, a long-running dispute over a boundary between two properties in Camberwell in south-east London, branded by the Daily Mail the “War of the Roses”.  HHJ Saunders, sitting in Central London County Court, ordered that the boundary followed the line which the Claimants claimed and ordered the Defendants to pay £60,000 towards the Claimants’ costs of the five-day trial.

The case was widely covered in the press, including by the Daily Mail, the Sun and the Mirror.  The dispute arose in 2018, when the Defendants (an artist and a lawyer) removed a fence and paved over an area of land, extending their garden around 40cm onto the Claimants’ property.  They argued that they were simply reclaiming a flower bed that had been fenced off temporarily by builders in 2013.  The Claimants issued a claim, which the Defendants resisted on the basis that the land had always been theirs and that, if had not been, they had the benefit of a boundary agreement reached between them and a contractor some years before the Claimants purchased their house.

The judge held that the available evidence was consistent with the Claimants’ case that the boundary features had been moved and rejected the alternative argument that there had been an implied boundary agreement.  He found that if any agreement had been reached, it was an agreement intended to move the boundary rather than to demarcate.  It was therefore unenforceable by reason of non-compliance with section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989.

The successful Claimants were represented by Tom Morris, instructed by Michael Adamson of DKLM LLP.

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