Our boundaries are a legal battleground
MORE than a quarter of the nation's over 50s have been involved in a dispute according to new research released today – and disputes over properties are the most widespread.
Neighbour and property disputes – such as arguments over boundaries and the level of noise – account for 38 per cent of all such disputes.
Motoring incidents account for a further 28 per cent of the disputes.
Over half (52 per cent) of those involved in a dispute have taken legal action to try to resolve it and are spending on average £1,283 on legal advice according to the investigation by Saga Legal Services.
Most people recognise the importance of being legally covered on the road. In fact, according to the survey of 10,203 over 50s, 61 per cent of those who took legal advice over a traffic issue paid nothing as they were covered by motor legal expenses cover.
Unfortunately, people are less legally switched on when it comes to protecting themselves at home, with property and neighbour disputes costing a great deal more; the average fee for advice relating to a row over property is £1,331, for nuisance neighbours it is £879.
When neighbours turn nasty – cutting down trees or replacing a fence in the 'wrong place' – can produce huge legal fees for people who want to resolve the problem.
The research shows that there appears to be much cause for complaint among those who have had to seek legal help to resolve their dispute.
People feel aggrieved about both charges and level of service. One in eight (13 per cent) say they were unclear about the cost of legal advice until afterwards.
The cost of advice came as a shock to many, as 16 per cent said that the advice cost more than they had expected.
A third (31 per cent) were unhappy that the process was slow and 11 per cent were fed up of having to chase for updates.
In order to make legal services more accessible and understandable, Saga has launched a Legal Essentials package. This offers unlimited free legal advice and up to £100,000 of legal cover for a fixed fee of just £45 or £30 for existing Saga customers.