If land is registered in England and Wales, it will have general boundaries. However, there are occasions, such as neighbourly disputes, when general boundaries are not enough for homeowners and they need to find out the exact boundaries around their property.
Finding out where a property’s exact boundaries lie
Unless the previous property’s owners had already provided boundary information, a homeowner is likely to need to go through a complicated process to obtain the details. “Title plans” drawn up by the Land Registry usually only show very general boundaries of land.
To find out where a property’s exact boundaries are, a homeowner will need to gather as much information as possible from the home’s title plan, registry documents and any other significant documentation. A homeowner may also benefit from looking up information about neighbouring properties from the Land Registry.
Discussing the boundaries with neighbours can mean that any unclear areas are agreed upon – in some cases, neighbours may be willing to sign an agreement about the boundaries. Property solicitors or surveyors would be able to provide advice at this point in the process.
A surveyor can then draw up a detailed plan of the proposed exact boundaries which will then be sent off to Land Registry. An application form to determine the exact line of a boundary can be downloaded from the Gov website.
In cases where the form is sent off without a signed agreement from any neighbours it might concern, Land Registry will contact the neighbours and find out whether they are satisfied with the boundaries. If a homeowner and their neighbour are unable to reach an agreement about the boundaries, they may need to resolve the dispute in court or with the independent Adjudicator to HM Land Registry.
Trying to resolve property boundaries with neighbours can become a costly process if it requires outside help, so it is heavily recommended that neighbours come to an agreement between themselves whenever possible.
If a homeowner is concerned that a mistake has been made on their title plan, they should get in touch with Land Registry. Land Registry makes their title plans as accurate as possible and may be able to explain any misunderstandings about property boundaries.
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