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Solicitors and Registered Property Title Boundary Plan  -  by Ford Banks Irwin Solicitors - The Property Lawyers in Manchester

Please note: Not to be used or relied upon without legal advice. These notes are for illustrative purposes ONLY

Title Plan - Boundaries of Registered Property and Land

Except in a very few cases where the register states that the boundaries  of a title have been fixed (under the Land Registration Act 1925) or determined (under the Land Registration Act 2002), the title plan only indicates the general boundaries of the title.  This means that the exact line of any boundary is left undetermined. Areas of potential confusion are boundaries that either:
*include a hedge, wall or ditch;
*run along the centre of a fence or its inner or outer face, or
*include any part of an adjoining road or stream.

Land Registry plans are based on Ordnance Survey maps, which show physical features, such as walls or fences. When such features represent the boundaries of a title, the title is mapped up to them. The physical boundaries of the land are therefore defined on the plan, but the exact boundary lines within the feature are not specified.

When the boundary line of a registered title does not adjoin a physical feature shown on the Ordnance Survey map, a dotted line represents the boundary of the title. The register may include information regarding the ownership of boundary features or responsibility for their maintenance, but only when the title deeds and documents have provided this information.

How can you use the information on the title plan?
Title plans are prepared using the latest Ordnance Survey map available when the land was first registered. However, you cannot establish the precise position of the boundary of a property by scaling from the title plan. This is because title plans show only the general position of boundaries and not their precise location. Therefore, the title plan will not show you if your boundary:
*runs somewhere within the feature on the plan
*runs along one particular side of the feature
* includes all or any part of a road or stream alongside the feature.

Also, the scale to which the title plan is drawn limits the information shown. A black line on the title plan may correspond to a wide hedge or a narrow fence. It may also represent one feature - such as a fence - or more than one - such as a fence and a hedge that are close together on the ground.  A feature may be shown as a straight line on the title plan but may not be straight on the ground.

Ordnance Survey publishes details of the accuracy to which their maps are drawn.  Although the Land Registry draw title plans to scale whey are only a representation of what is on the ground.  Because of this and the difficulty of establishing a point to start measuring from, measurements taken by scaling between features shown on the title plan may not agree with the actual distance measured between those same features on the ground.  This may be the case if, for example, the Property or Land was on the side of a hill.

Ordnance Survey regularly updates its maps, features may change between updates.  For example a building may be demolished or new extensions or fences erected, so a title plan may not show all the features as they now appear on the ground.  Small buildings such as domestic sheds and greenhouses are not shown on Ordnance Survey maps.

How can the boundaries be fixed more precisely?
This can be done by a procedure known as 'determining the boundary'. To do this you must produce a very precise plan showing where the exact line of the boundary is.  The plan will need to be sent to Land Registry with a completed application form together with a fee.  

To successfully determine the exact line of a boundary you will need to make sure that the exact line of the boundary sought is consistent with the title deeds and, preferably, agree its position with your neighbour.  You will also need to use a qualified surveyor to draw up a plan that meets Land Registry's requirements.

If the Property Solicitor or Lawyer applies to the Land Registry to have the exact line of the boundary determined without the written agreement of the neighbour, and the Land Registry think you have a case,  the Land Registry will write to the neighbour to give them notice of the application and give them an opportunity to object.  If the neighbour objects it is strongly recommended that you try to agree the matter amicably.

If an agreement is reached with the neighbour then the Property Law Solicitor or Lawyer can record it formally for you.

 (All italics in this page are Crown Copyright and reproduced here for your information with permission from HM Land Registry)

For any further information please contact Ford Banks Irwin Solicitors.


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