Boundary disputes can be a horrible affair. Often they can ruin friendships with neighbours and cause undue stress over the smallest amounts of land. Below we’ve listed some pointers that may help you to quickly resolve such a dispute. Where there is uncertainty there are often Boundary Disputes, and these can require legal advice to become resolved. There is however several steps you can take to check for yourself.
Steps you can take
You can begin by checking Title Deeds, these are registered at the Land Registry and you can request a copy from their website at a cost of £4 (July2012). Your mortgage company may also be able to supply a copy of your deeds but may charge more than the Land Registry. The solicitor who was involved in the property purchase may also have a copy that you could request.
Title Deeds vary depending on the age of the property and when it was registered.
There are rules however that governs how these deeds are registered and they are in three segments:
- Main Part of the deed, this contains:
- The Property Register which is a description of the property.
- The Proprietorship Register which states who owns the property.
- The Charges Register states who has the mortgage on the property. It’s within the Charge Register you may find more information about the boundaries often indicated with a ‘T’ mark.
- The Filed Pan is the second part of title deeds, every property that is registered will have this and it is created by the Land Registry upon registration of the property.
- Finally you may have a section titled ‘Other Documents’ this is often a copy of the transfer deed which will contain conditions attached to the property. Boundary details are often contained within this section as well. You will have to obtain a copy of this document again at a cost currently £4. A plan is often contained within this document and may show the ‘T’ marker that defines the property boundaries.
If you do find the ‘T’ marker this may only be the beginning before you can accurately state which boundary you must maintain. Check with your neighbours deeds as they may have the ‘T’ mark on the same boundary which usually indicates that both parties are to jointly maintain the boundary. If there is no mention of boundaries in either of the deeds the standard rule is that both parties maintain the disputed boundary.
Remember that the Land Registry cannot decide this issue, if you and your neighbour are unable to negotiate this issue, the dispute will then be determined by an Adjudicator to HM Land Registry or court judge.
It is also worth noting that should there be a dispute between neighbours this will need to be declared if you are selling your property. If you fail to do this you stand the chance of being sued for misrepresentation. Informing a potential buyer for your property could also result in delaying the conveyancing.
- Check yourself in your title deeds to see if it states who is to maintain which boundary.
- If you find this information in your deeds, you will still need to verify that it is accurate as over time boundaries can be moved through various means.
- The best solution to these disputes if always speak with your neighbour(s) and come to an amicable solution.