Every property has specific legal boundaries. These invisible lines separate the land owned by one individual or party from that of another. And although it may seem so, these boundaries may not coincide with physical boundary features such as hedges, fences or walls.
The title deeds to a property rarely detail the legal boundaries and the owner is unlikely to know where they are. Hence, discovering the boundaries of a property before a sale can be a rather difficult and expensive procedure.
How to Find your Property Boundary
It’s usually a very difficult process to determine the exact boundaries of a property. This is because when a property is registered:
- The title deeds often don’t specify specific legal boundaries
- Owners are unsure where the boundaries are
- Discovering the property boundaries can be expensive and lead to unnecessary disputes
What is the Legal Boundary?
The legal boundary of a property is an invisible line that separates one property from another. The line does not have a specific thickness and is rarely identified with any precision either on the title deeds or the grounds. It’s also not shown on Ordanance Surveys.
What is the Physical Boundary?
The physical boundary of a property is a wall, hedge or fence that visibly separates one property from another.
How can I fix the Boundaries of my Property more Precisely?
Under the Land Registration Act of 2002, an owner can fix the boundaries of their property more specifically. To do this (referred to as ‘determining the boundary’), the owner must appoint a surveyor to draw up a plan showing the exact line where the boundary is. Alternatively, an owner can set out a formal boundary agreement with neighbors and ask for it to be noted on the land registry. This will record the agreement but will not legally bind the exact boundary.
Property, Boundaries and Rights of Way Disputes
As long as it is within law, no person can prevent a property owner from doing as they wish on their property. Equally, a person who is not the property owner has no rights over another person’s property.
If another person walks within the boundaries of your property or leaves rubbish on your land without your permission then these are forms of trespass. In this case, you have the right to apply to the court for an injunction. If the court agrees that the person trespassing has no rights over your land then they will make an order and the trespassing party will be required to foot the costs.
A common property boundary dispute is in regards to the exact position of the boundary. If the conflicting parties cannot agree the position of the boundary then the sensible option is to instruct a surveyor to determine the exact boundary position. If an agreement is still not reached then either party can apply to the Court for a legal declaration of the boundary.