https://hmlandregistry.blog.gov.uk/2018/02/27/drawing-the-line-on-boundaries/

Drawing the line on boundaries

Boundary white line on a sports pitch

I often get asked questions about boundaries and they tend to be some of the hardest to answer. A boundary feature can be a fence, wall, hedge, ditch, piece of wire, or sometimes even just the edge of a driveway. They can be the cause of heated debate and trigger arguments between neighbours, sometimes over just a few inches of ground.

In my experience, the boundary can often become the weapon of choice when neighbours have fallen out over something such as noise, pets, parties, or BBQs when the washing is out.

I always start by explaining that we can’t tell you exactly where your legal boundary is, as our title plans show general boundaries. The information is based on large-scale Ordnance Survey mapping and is generalised to some degree. For instance, it may not show small juts in the boundary or bay windows.

We can’t tell you which boundary feature you are responsible for either, though some registers may refer to this. If you want to check if we have any boundary information, you can get a copy of the title register, title plan, and any ‘filed’ deeds we have for your own property and your neighbour's property. A deed plan may refer to measurements but these have to be interpreted, as the land may not be level and you don’t know where they were measured from or how.

People often think they are responsible for the left (or right) hand boundary wherever they live, but there isn’t any legal basis for this. Sometimes deeds lodged with us when we first register the property may have information about it, in which case it may be mentioned in the register. In a lot of cases though, the deeds make no mention.

Then there are cases where the deeds refer to ‘T’ marks on a plan and include wording such as ‘to maintain the boundaries marked with an inward facing T mark’. Larger developments tend to have some indication provided by the builder, but there are no hard and fast rules, I’m afraid.

If you want to change an existing boundary, such as replacing an old fence with a new one, we always recommend discussing with your neighbour first and making sure it is all agreed. The registered titles can help you to reach an agreement, but only if this information has been added.

Suburban fence panels have fallen down, making the boundary unclear.

Who can help with boundary disputes?

Boundary disputes can be complex and I always suggest getting some legal advice if a dispute is in danger of flaring up. If a dispute continues, it is ultimately a Court that makes decisions, but they do not like such disputes being put before them.

There are other organisations that can help you before things get to that stage, such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) who have a boundary dispute helpline: 02476 868555. They can’t solve the dispute for you though, so do remember if you can reach an agreement with your neighbour it can be a lot less stressful and certainly a lot less costly.

RICS Boundary Dispute Helpline 02476 868 555

Important points to remember

 The main things to remember are that:

  • our information can sometimes help, but is only part of a bigger picture;
  • the title plan will only show you the general boundaries of the property;
  • there’s more guidance on property boundaries if you need more information; and
  • we cannot help you resolve your boundary dispute or provide legal advice. If you need help, contact RICS or call their boundary dispute helpline on 02476 868555. If you need legal advice, see a solicitor.

267 comments

  1. Comment by Karen posted on

    Hello, my property borders a local authority park on one side and across the end. The boundary fences are in very bad repair. We have been informed by other neighbours that the council should maintain the fences. I emailed council but are ignoring me. Will it say on my deeds if council have responsibility for fences.

    Reply
    • Replies to Karen>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Karen - the registered details may contain information re boundaries but as the blog article mentions there are no hard and fast rules so it is just as likely to be silent. It's always worth checking but agreeing who does what is invariably a matter for neighbours to discuss and agree.

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Libby B posted on

        Hi Adam. The wall between us and our neighbour is on our property. We are an end of terrace. Would this wall be ours? Standing with our back to our house the wall is on the left. But as I said it is clearly within our roof if you get what I mean. Also wondering if there is somewhere I could take my deeds and a photo to get this clarified.

        Reply
        • Replies to Libby B>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Libby - If it is on your property then it would be assumed to be yours I suspect but it's establishing whether it is that counts in deciding if that is the case or not. As the blog article explains we register the general boundaries so the position of the exact legal boundary is very rarely known/defined. If you are unsure as to where the legal boundary lies then I would suggest discussing it with your neighbour and/or using a surveyor (RICS website) to compare plans/deeds/reality and a report of their findings.

          Reply
    • Replies to Karen>

      Comment by Christopher Wagstaff posted on

      Hi. We used to own a largish plot of land the majority of which we sold for development, but kept a small parcel, perhaps half an acre, that runs along the backs of several houses. This parcel of land is registered with the LR and has been for many years. We rarely visit the land as the development took place many years ago and there is no reason for us to visit. However, we were there recently to find that one of the neighbours had extended their garden by 50 ft into our land, and had fenced it and landscaped it. They claim that they did this many years ago and irrespective of whether it was registered or not, it's now theirs by law even though they have not paid for it. No one else in the strip of houses has done the same. Where do we stand legally? Thanks

      Reply
      • Replies to Christopher Wagstaff>

        Comment by AdamH posted on

        Christopher - you'd need legal advice to ascertain where you, and they, stand legally. Our PGs 4 and 5 explain how a claim as to ownership might be registered and these will give you an idea as to what the claimant needs to demonstrate to register. It points at some of the essentials involved so I'd use those as a starting point and the key, as your comment reads, is likely to be how long ago did they make the changes.
        https://www.gov.uk/topic/land-registration/practice-guides

        Reply
  2. Comment by Chris posted on

    Hello
    I have had a house built, but the builder has built a retaining wall in the wrong place, by approximately 0.5 metres onto some adjoining land. Can you recommend what I should do as the builder refuses to acknowledge he has made a mistake.
    Kind regards
    Chris

    Reply
    • Replies to Chris>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Chris - I'm afraid we can't as it's very much something for you and your builder to discuss and agree upon as to what happens next. The adjoining landowner may also have a view of course as you are acknowledging that you have encroached on their land. If you are unsure as to your, or your neighbour's, legal rights I would recommend sonsulting a solcitor

      Reply
  3. Comment by Mrs Susan Fowler posted on

    My parents property and the neighbouring property have had a shared pathway for over 40 years. Mid 2017, the neighbouring property owners acquired the shared path as their own. We have tried to explain to them that this pathway was here when we first moved into the family home and has been there up until they acquired the land. We have pictures from Google Earth that show the pathway. The main issue at the moment is that the neighbours have just sold their property. I am extremely concerned that we will not be able to reclaim the shared pathway once the new purchasers settle. Please could you advise me what steps I can take to ensure the Estate Agent who is selling the property, and the purchasers, knows there is an issue. We have tried speaking with the neighbour but they just won't listen.

    Reply
    • Replies to Mrs Susan Fowler>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Mrs Fowler - there are several things to consider here although the two Qs asked are not realy ones for us to advise on. Whether you should or how you broach it with the EA or prospective buyers is something I would suggets getting legal advice on first to ensure you are not for example making yourself liable for any claims that you prevented them selling.

      The other things to consider here are what rights have your parents over the path? Is their property registered and if so do they have a right over the path registered. Or if unregistered do their deeds refer?
      You can check if it's registered and how online and by post as appropriate https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land
      If no right is registered/recorded in the deeds then have they used it for long enough to acquire right to continue to use it. 20 years is the minimum timescale and our Practice Guide explains this in more detail https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/easements-claimed-by-prescription

      As such I would recommend checking the details they have registered/recorded and then seeking legal advice

      Reply
  4. Comment by Walter posted on

    21 years ago, my neighbour was erecting the fence between our gardens. There were several trees on his side that stopped the fence running in a straight line, and so he asked if he could bring the fence around them onto my side of the border. I gave my permission. I have a new neighbour now, who I have occasionally told about that agreement. He is now replacing the fence, and wants it to run in the same place. I have asked that it be straightened to its correct place. He is now claiming adverse possession, even though I gave my permission to the owner when the last fence was erected and it was placed incorrectly with my knowledge. Can he do that ?

    Reply
    • Replies to Walter>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Walter - something you will need to get legal advice on I'm afraid. We can supoply the registered details but we cannot advise you on the law. If you are looking for wider advice/assistance then online forums such as Garden Law can be useful resources for insight into how such matters may play out or be viewed legally. However it is legal advice you need on your unique set of circumstances

      Reply
  5. Comment by Gordon sanderson posted on

    I have just been informed by next door that I have to remove three screws that i put in to hold a 6x6 fence panel to the wall of his new extension ,
    I did it as wind was blowing the panel over .
    I am now ttold that i have to take them out and replace the three bricks .
    He removed four fence panels and the posts while the builders built said extension Should he not replace the fence that was our boundary at his own cost I have dogs so they go into his garden and i do not have the money to replace the fence any advice please .

    Reply
    • Replies to Gordon sanderson>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Gordon - I'm afraid it's legal advice you need here as to what your rights (and his) are in such cases. If you arev looking for wider online advice/comment then online public forums such as Garden Law or Money Saving Expert can be useful resources. The former in particular often discusses such matters but it is legal advice we would always point you to.

      Reply
  6. Comment by Lady Pippin posted on

    I'm having a boundary dispute with a potential neighbour who has renovated an old property opposite me. I own the private road which goes up to the two properties giving obviously vehicular access. The land that goes with the building was conveyed to the seller's father in a Deed of Grant date 1968. The plan on the Title Deed is not very clear but I've photos of how the road annexed to it clearly showing how the road was when conveyed and still should be which corresponds with my Title Deeds and also the sellers. Completion has now taken place and the new owner has registered her property with the land registry using it would appear the Estate Agent's plan which was found to incorrect and was subsequently changed accordingly. Surely the land etc should have been registered from the Title Deed plan on the Contract of Sale supplied by the seller's Solicitor and not taken from the Estate Agent's plan by her Solicitor? By using the wrong plan I've lost a significant part of the entrance to my gateway and am hard pushed to get in and out. We need to get this sorted asap as a condition of allowing the builders etc access to do the renovations is that they/she has to make good the road as it was before and obviously this can't be done till the boundary is sorted out. Needless to say there are no dimensions, my property goes back to 1860!!

    Reply
    • Replies to Lady Pippin>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Rachel - registration is based on the deeds/documents submitted. It would be rare to rely on an Estate Agent's plan or indeed a Contract as it is the legal deeds we would look to re what has been conveyed over time.
      You do not mention whether your property is registered or not but if we had mapped the neighbour's title to include registered land then this would have been covered at the time, often through contacting the affected registered owner or by excluding the already registered part from the new title.
      If you are in dispute wiht the neighbour I would recommend seeking legal advice.

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Lady Pippin posted on

        At the present moment we are trying to sort this amicably. The building and land sold formed part of another property so was included in that Title Deed. My land is registered and the plan on the vendors TP1 is correct and matches the plan on my Title Deeds. What puzzles me is that the plan that the purchaser has registered differs from the vendors plan on the TP1 and appears to include some of my property which was not sold to her and which is similar to the plans on the Estate Agents particulars, so am at a loss to understand how this could have occurred. Surely the plan on both parts of the TP1 should be the same.

        Reply
        • Replies to Lady Pippin>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Rachel - we would register the TP1 as submitted by the purchaser's solicitor and executed by the Vendor. Are we referring to 2 copies of the same TP1 or perhaps an older TP1 whereby the Vendor bought their larger area of land and property and a new TP1 now used to sell to the purchaser? If we are then the latest TP1 does not have to rely on the older TP1 plan but can have it's own plan instead. Either way we still rely on what is submitted in the new application/TP1 and then fit it as appropriate to the registered title(s) involved. If there are any overlaps or discrepancies then these would eb raised with the applicant to resolve.

          Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Lady Pippin posted on

        Sorry I obviously didn't make this very clear that this is a first registration in respect of land and property in question.

        Reply
        • Replies to Lady Pippin>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Rachel - if your title is registered and the Vendor's title is as well where does the first registration come in? In the circumstances I think it might be better for you to raise this as a specific enquiry, quoting titele number(s), so our support team can take a look and reply in context https://help.landregistry.gov.uk/app/contactus_general/?utm_medium=newsletter&utm_source=govuk&utm_campaign=death_contact_page_to_contact_form&utm_content=web_page

          Reply
          • Replies to AdamH>

            Comment by Lady Pippin posted on

            The First Registration comes in as this is a building and a piece of land that was included when her father bought the site in 1968 in the vendor's father's Title on his main property owned at the time . Since then that old building and land has been sold and it's now been admitted by the purchaser that she's registered the property with the plan on the Estate Agent's particulars which were inaccurate and amended accordingly. Despite copious docs and photos sent to her by email showing the inaccuracy of her Title, she's adamant that she's right and that everything else is wrong!! We're just going round in circles, so I've respectfully suggested she goes back to her Solicitor for clarification. What puzzles me is why/how did this happen in the first place??! There is also a suspicion that another piece of land owned by another neighbour may also be included in her Title, again this was not sold to her but was included originally on the Estate Agents plan. This was amended by the signing of a ST1 but they way things looked, it may still be included in her Title. I would like to thank you for your help. I hope I manage to resolve this without having to go down the Legal route - fingers crossed I really don't want a neighbour dispute.

          • Replies to Lady Pippin>

            Comment by AdamH posted on

            Rachel - I would recommend looking to strip away the questionmarks over theis and confirm what is registered and then request copies of any documents relevant to those registrations as appropriate. At present there is too much uncertainty aorund what has happened and I have not come across sellers/buyers who would use an estate agent's plan in a legal deed. The EA is marketing the property and the requirements are very different to what is required for a legal deed which then transfers the ownership.
            Like you I trust that the situaiton is resolved amicably but if her title has been registered then confirming the basis for that registration is crucial it seems

  7. Comment by liz posted on

    Hi, can you point me in the direction of the Act which defines a legal boundary. I understand from your guidance that a legal boundary is a line in space with no width etc, but is there an actual definition in the Land Registration Acts or some other legislation, that says what a legal boundary is or is it purely a definition that has been drawn up by HM Land Registry?

    Reply
    • Replies to liz>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Liz - the term ‘boundary’ has no special meaning in law. In the context of property ownership it can be considered to have two meanings:
      Legal boundary - the term may describe the imaginary or invisible line that divides one person’s property from that of another. This could be described as the ‘legal’ boundary. Such a line by definition, has no width and can therefore only be an abstract concept which in practice can rarely be precisely reflected in any form of physical boundary demarcation.
      Physical boundary - the term ‘boundary’ may describe a ‘physical’ boundary feature which may follow the line of a ‘legal’ boundary.

      Reply
  8. Comment by Lady Pippin posted on

    Thank you so much Adam - the matter has now been resolved!! I agree with everything you've said. I also have never known anyone use Estate Agents plans to determine Title and having suggested that she goes back to her Solicitor to clarify things, she has had another look through her documents and has now come across the Official Copy of Title Plan registered at the LR Kingston upon Hull in October 2015 and the plan on that Title Deed is correct. God knows what or how the document came about, it's a total different Title Deed!! I've now got the full width of my road back!! Thank you again, thought I was going completely mad!!

    Reply
    • Replies to Lady Pippin>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Rachel -that is a relief and well done for resolving it so smoothly. The only thing I can think of here is that the EA role is quite different in that they are marketing the property for sale. That is not to criticise their role in anyway but simply to refelect the fact that plans can be created for a variety of reasons and not all for the legal deed associated with the end sale/purchase of a property

      Reply
  9. Comment by Lady Pippin posted on

    oops should have said "the other document came about" !!

    Reply
  10. Comment by JohnH posted on

    A question please; I am in the process of buying the freehold from the leasehold I currently own from (unfortunately) my Local Authority. This is being done via Form TP1 (parial transfer of registered land). At the rear boundary of my garden is an earth retaining wall that is used by the Council to retain their higher land amongst other uses they have for it. The lease makes me responsible for repairing and maintaining said wall. The lease clause has been entered into the TP1 form by the Council stating it is "standard practice" to incorporate any lease terms into the TP1. After many letters they have confirmed they intend to transfer ownership of the wall to me as a result of me signing the TP1 form. I do not wish to take ownership of their poorly built delapidated asset. If we are unable to resolve this issue (seems highly likely with the Council) I understand that I can take the case to the Land Registration division of the Property Chamber (First-tier Tribunal) to amend or remove this clause in the TP1 Form. Would you know if this is correct please?

    Reply
    • Replies to JohnH>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      johnH - you really need legal advice here as to what options are available to you. I am not aware on what grounds you would be able to seek removal of such a clause after you have accepted it by executing and registering the Transfer itself.

      Reply
  11. Comment by JohnH posted on

    To AdamH
    I have refused to sign the TP1 at present, for this reason.

    Reply
  12. Comment by J Pope posted on

    we purchased a house in 2014 with a boundary fence which behind as a strip of land about 3ft wide. its unused. looking at old maps this land seemed to be in the boundary of our garden up to 1980. Is their a way to look at old title deads/registry to see if it was once within our garden?

    Land is ex local authority and we purchased from someone who borough the property from the council. Sellers never engaged with us and gave little information at the time although our Solicitor said boundary was ambigous

    Reply
    • Replies to J Pope>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      J Pope - we don't hold original deeds/documents so it is the registered title you would rely on here. Maps do not show or define legal ownership. They define the physical features in place at the time the map was drawn.
      If it was once owned by the local authority then I doubt if original deeds/documents exist and/or were passed on at the time. If the title refers to a 'filed' deed then that may help explain what was Transferred by the local authority at the time and clear up the issue for you

      Reply
  13. Comment by Patrick posted on

    Hi. Our title deeds differ to our neighbours with the T marks in different positions. Our deeds have the T on the disputed side in our neighbours boundry but theres show the T in ours. Our deeds seem to be more up to date as our house is detached which is indicated on our plans but our neighbours version shows our plot as a semi detached house. Is it possible for one set of plans and T marks to supersede another?

    Reply
    • Replies to Patrick>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Patrick - anything is possible but any superseding would be a matter of law and the ultimate arbiter a judge. The key, in my experience, is that such details are often part of a much bigger picture as who maintains a fence for example can change between ownerships and owners may not always follow what a single piece of information provides. For example a covenant to maintain the fence on the side marked with a T in 1923 may not still hold true or be legally binding in 2018. Equally a covenant in a deed affecting a specicif property relates solely to that proeprty. Yes there may be other T marks for neighbouring properties but the actual covenant relates to that single property only.
      So everything goes into the mix and and invariably it's between neighbours as to how they resolve and agree such matters. If you are looking to trump the neighbour with informaiton then that can work if the neighbour is willing to be trumped but ultimately that is only somethign a court of law could arbiter on

      Reply
  14. Comment by Anish Gupta posted on

    We have a similar situation near us a home owner has extended his property to block a path running between houses. As the area was allotments - prior to the 1950's the council don't own the path or maintain it but it has been in use for at least 50-60 years. It has been a real issue for locals but there is nothing they can do as the land in unregistered and there is little chance of finding any conveyance for it, the council seem to have washed there hands of it and don't want to be involved. So the home owner is left to do as he wishes and battle ensues with no one able to find who is in ownership or responsible. It has become a battle of who is brazen enough to steal some of the path and will end up a mess of adverse possession in 12 years.

    Reply
  15. Comment by Jim Kendall posted on

    21 years ago I purchased my house from the Nationwide Building Society with a promise that they would complete and register the land correctly as it was 'on the ground'. Now we have found they failed to complete their promise & instead of placing the front garden and part of the front driveway in the correct position the Land Registry placed it on-top of my 4 bedroomed detached house. This along with part of the land on which my house stands still being registered & owned by the man the Nationwide B.S. foreclosed on for defaulting in payment of their loan. To add further pain to our problems we now have a neighbour that can produce Land Registry Documents showing he owns all of my front garden. Surely someone at the Land Registry must have seen that you cannot put a garden & driveway on-top of a house?
    This is the second post I have put to the Land Registry but you seem to avoid anything that may reflect on your competence?

    Reply
    • Replies to Jim Kendall>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      I am sorry to hear of the difficulties you have experienced. We will not be able discuss individual cases on our blog but in general terms, we essentially have an administrative role and are required to register boundaries based on the applications made to us. Please contact us - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/contact-hm-land-registry if you have any new enquiries or issues to raise.

      Reply
  16. Comment by David posted on

    Hi I purchased a small plot of land last year and now my neighbour claims he actually owns some of it. Shows that it is mine on land registry map.is he just trying it on!? Whats best way forward before solicitors get involved thanks

    Reply
    • Replies to David>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      David - we can't advise you on the 'best way forward' as it is a legal issue if someone is encroaching/trespassing on your land. If you are looking for wider comment/advice and don't want to use a solicitor then online forums such as Garden Law can be useful resources. But do remember the land, the boundaries, your neighbour and you are all unique so what works for others may not apply here

      Reply
  17. Comment by ted posted on

    what if the courts dont get it right due to perjury and the judge did not want to see what a COLONY gave as conditions of sale and a judge thought easements were not on the roads which they were but decided they were over and against a neigbors title and caused a boundary to be misplaced ...... what can one do besisdes continue to confront the issues and also show the LTO facts of the faults carried out by the courts ....a judge will agree LTO do their job but what if they also show a judge was wrong .................a judge gives authority to the lTO aso whay does LTO want the courts to overturn the case why cant the LTO assist to correct heir faults also on titles

    Reply
    • Replies to ted>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      That's not something we can comment on as it relates to the courts / judicial process which falls under the responsibility of HM Courts Service.

      Reply
  18. Comment by Tony posted on

    Hi my neighbor has agreed to let me rebuild a front garden wall and move it by 1 metre. What forms do we need to fill out to get the deeds changed to show the change

    Reply
  19. Comment by Annette posted on

    I have owned my property for 23 years and it was built in the seventies. The house is end of terrace. Out of the blue my neighbour has decided that she owns an area that abuts her tarmac. The area in question was tiled by me when i moved in. What do i do now

    Reply
    • Replies to Annette>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Annette - if the neighbour is trespassing on your land then you should get legal advice as to how to evict/stop her

      Reply
  20. Comment by Martin posted on

    Hi There, would be grateful of some advice. I bought a property from Bloor Homes 12 years ago. They erected a wooden fence round my property. On one side I am bordered next to a Housing Association. I have been trying to find who is responsible for cutting back trees and bushes that are overhanging and leaning against my fence pushing it over. Bloor Homes are still responsible for some areas of my development. The housing association have been really helpful and we have established their border is a chainlink fence that runs parallel to my fence. Without digging through the bushes you would not even know it was there. Now the interesting part Bloor Homes have now implied that I am responsible for the area between the fence they erected and the wire fence! I would estimate there is between a 1-2 metre gap between the 2 fences that I have no access to. When I bought the house nothing was mentioned that the fence they installed is not on my property boundary and there is an area beyond it that I am responsible for. I would like to request that they clear the area in question and move the fence to the correct boundary. Do you thing I am within my rights to request this? The housing association have confirmed that they have no objections to that.

    Reply
    • Replies to Martin>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Martin - As we only register general boundaries, the exact position of the legal boundary line is left undefined. So it's unlikely that any information that we hold will assist you in resolving this. Ultimately, this is a legal issue, so you might want to consider getting some independent advice, for example, from Citizen's Advice or a property professional such as a solicitor or surveyor.

      Reply
  21. Comment by Stuart posted on

    Hi there
    Have lived in my house for around 20years,we have a fence out front which is in need of repair but is surrounded by a hedge, in front of this is just grass (road access to side) . This past week, for the first time ever, one of the local housing associations has decided to cut the hedge down to varying heights, from 4ft to 1ft in height, and has created multiple openings for my dog to get out the garden. Are they allowed to cut a boundary hedge without permission? Is a fence my boundary? I was under the impression fences are built within the boundary as to not intrude on limits.

    Reply
    • Replies to Stuart>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Hi Stuart. We register general boundaries and the exact position of the legal boundary is left undefined and so our records won't definitively show whether the boundary is the fence or the hedge and obviously particularly with hedges the position/extent of the physical boundary can change over time. Also, your title deeds will not usually have any information or covenants relating to the ownership or maintenance of boundaries, and the information may become out of date in any case.

      You may want to consider discussing this with the Housing Association or seeking legal advice, for example, from Citizen's Advice or a solicitor such as conveyancer.

      Reply
  22. Comment by Tammy butler posted on

    We have an extremely tall retaining wall at the back of our property that adjoins and holds council owned land on the other side (it’s a parking lot). A very large and dangerous crack had appeared and worsened over the years. On the titl plan we are responsible for maintaining our side of the wall.

    Who is responsible for repairing the wall seeing as it’s the weight of their land putting pressure on the wall? Us, them or both parties?

    Reply
    • Replies to Tammy butler>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Tammy - such matters are usually discussed and resolved between neighbours. If you are looking for wider advice then it's legal advice you will need

      Reply
  23. Comment by john clarricoats posted on

    Hi
    Since moving into my council house some 20 years ago we were told that the neighbours own 2/3 of the shared drive in the middle, this, if enforced would stop vehicular access to our rear garden (between houses is 18' back garden is divided equally down the middle and gates to rear are halfway down 'drive'.
    We have always used the drive for access to our rear and thought it was an easement allowing us to do this.
    The neighbours now want to extend and are threatening to put up a dividing fence unless we allow them to overhang their extension guttering into our garden by 6"
    We bought our house 2 years ago and the council supplied plan (supplied by the Solicitors to us on completion) shows our boundary as a full rectangle which in effect give us half the drive.
    I have been on the Hm Land Registry site and it shows a different plan with the neighbours owning the 2/3 as originally thought.
    Where do we stand? Can I state claim to the part of the drive on our side as that's what the Council state they sold us, or are the HM Land Registry plans definitive?
    If the neighbours do want to erect a fence, how do we confirm the exact boundary line?
    Many thanks
    John

    Reply
    • Replies to john clarricoats>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      John - if you bought a registered title then the title plan is definitive as to the extent purchased. Normally you are asked by your solicitor to check the registered extent with what is on the ground and query if there are any issues. A council plan would have served a different purpose and would not define ownership for example so you have to be wary about what a plan is for and what it then shows. I'd recommend you get some legal advice here especially if any right of access is going to be affected
      Have a read of our Practice Guide on boundaries https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/land-registry-plans-boundaries

      Reply
  24. Comment by E Hudson-Slade posted on

    I am wanting a defined boundary line Which is 6 feet long.
    There are two sewers on this boundary line, and the owners of the property next door have put a low brick wall on my side of the garden, I feel they have encroached on my property.
    Is this a situation for advice from a solicitor or a surveyor.
    Thanks
    Emily.

    Reply
    • Replies to E Hudson-Slade>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      E Hudson-Slade - potentially both as it is only something you are likely to be able to resolve with your neighbour. If they have effectively trespassed on your land then it's legal advice you need on how to evict them, remove the wall etc. A surveyor can assist re assessing where the legal boundary might lie and with any dispute/mediation with the neighbour

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by E Hudson-Slade posted on

        Hello Adam
        Thank you very much for your prompt reply to my question.
        I really do appreciate your answer and your time.
        Regards
        Emily.

        Reply
  25. Comment by Sally Grylis posted on

    I live in a semi basement flat in a terraced house built in about 1890. All the houses have long gardens (about 140 ft long) with high brick walls that are the same age as the house. Part of the garden wall on my right fell down last year and I have been trying to get the next door neighbours to rebuild it. It had been leaning for some time and I had notified them of this years ago but they did nothing. When is a garden wall a party fence wall? Can a party fence wall (also the boundary wall) be on someone else’s land and also abut my land? So far they have acknowledged it is their wall the brick supports are in their garden. They are saying that if it is a party fence wall and straddles both owners land I will have to pay half the cost of rebuilding it and will have a say in how it is rebuilt or if it is on their land they can do what they like and I would not have to pay anything. They want to knock it down and put up a fence which would be awful as the old brick walls are a feature of the gardens. I live in a conservation area and the next door neighbours are a Housing Association. Basically I would like to know if the garden brick wall can be on their land, abut my land and also be a party fence wall so that I can get them to repair the wall properly but not have to pay half the cost which would be a lot of money.

    Reply
    • Replies to Sally Grylis>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Sally - a boundary can be a party one if designated as such at some point in time between neighbours/owners or if there is no information to suggest otherwise. The article looks to explain this for you. We can't really offer any more advice than what is in the blog and linked guidance so OI would recommend speaking to a solicitor if you are concerned as to what the legal position is. There are also online resources which may be able to assist such as online forums. Garden law can be a useful resource but remember your property, your neighbour and the wall/boundary are unique to you so wider advice can help to a degree but specific legal advice is always recommended

      Reply
  26. Comment by Douglas posted on

    I asked my estate agent /solicitor if he could measure out my boundary around my house. Documented in my title deeds are length and breadth measurements, he has since came back and said I don't own all what is documented,nothing has changed since I bought the house in 1948 except that a family built a house in 1998 on a neighbouring plot and are now saying that the piece of land between us belongs to them yet, on numerous occasions they (the owners) said that piece of land belongs to me I challenged my agent and he has been quite difficult and can't give any reasonable explanation how this has come about . I haven't been shown my neighbours registered plan or deeds to prove otherwise that they own it my agent has said that to measure the land I would need a surveyor and that would cost a lot of money but it's not the money that is the problem are what is on my title in mean length and breadth measurements what I own or not

    Reply
    • Replies to Douglas>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Douglas - the title plan shows the general boundaries of the registered title and the extent of your registered ownership. I assume the disputed land is registered to the neighbour. Measurements in deeds can also assist but they show what was included in that deed rather than what is perhaps registered. If you are disputing the ownership then a surveyor can assist with assessing where the registered boundaries lie and therefore advising on what they consider to be included. Anything more and it's legal advice you will need

      Reply
  27. Comment by Mr R C Hardy posted on

    The current land registry document for my property shows my boundary running directly front to back and shows my neighbours garage as sitting against this line. At sometime in the past my neighbour has moved his fencing and made a path, to allow him to walk around his garage, which means it is on my land. He says that as he made the change over 12 years ago (Before we purchased the property) he now owns that section of land, under adverse possession rights.
    Can that be true as the property has never lain empty and he just seems to have effectively stolen the land.

    Reply
    • Replies to Mr R C Hardy>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Mr R C Hardy - it is posisble to occupy and take land from someone else. Our Practice Guides 4 and 5 explain this from a registration perspective and would cover any application by the neighbour to register that claim. https://www.gov.uk/topic/land-registration/practice-guides
      But it's really legal advice you need to ascertain whether the neighbour has a legal claim if as yet it is unregistered

      Reply
  28. Comment by Kiwikins posted on

    Hi I an oak have a hedge in the back garden that we have maintained for the past 12 years keeping at a reasonable height straigh across. The hedge is planted on our side of a wire fence and is over a meter wide, with at least a quarter of this being on the neighbours side. He has recently done his garden up and has put a string line down the hedge. We had people in to cut the hedge and he stopped them saying we were trespassing in cutting the hedge, as he wants to grow it taller. Is this right? Surely it is our hedge and ours to maintain, or we could just cut the whole thing down??

    Reply
    • Replies to Kiwikins>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Kiwikins - I'm afraid that's not something we can assist with and it's very much legal advice you need here as to what rights you each may have. An alternative is to try online forums such as Garden Law where such matters are often shared and discussed but always remember that the boundary, you and your neighbour are all unique so often it is legal advice you need re your circumstances. Online forums can help from an experience/expectation perspective though if you are wary of a legal/boundary dispute

      Reply
  29. Comment by David Whelan posted on

    I have had full unrestricted use of a 'drive' that is created by the walls of my detached house and my neighbours. My neighbour now wants to put up a fence on the common boundary between the houses. Can he do this without my permission? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Replies to David Whelan>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      David - something you will need to get legal advice on. We can supply the registered informaiton but we cannot advise you on your, or indeed your neighbour's, rights

      Reply
  30. Comment by Mark McLoughlin posted on

    Hi we have agreed the sale of our 3rd floor apartment in an 1850's converted mill, along a share of the lease. We were advised that the balconies we added 10 years ago with full planning and completion certificates will require a deed of variation as they overhang a river/river bank on the eastern aspect of the mill. The envirnment agency were consulted at the plannng stage.
    The vendors lender perceives a risk in that any potential owner of what might be 'unregistered land' under the balconies may see them as a nuisance given the HMLR red boundary does not include either the outline of the balconies or any notional right to overhang the river . Any advice welcomed.

    Reply
    • Replies to Mark McLoughlin>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Mark - we no longer reference a balcony as a note on the land register. However if they have been added then I would anticipate the lease as being varied to include within it's demise - if I have read this correctly that is what has happened here although as yet nothing has been registered as you say 'will require a deed of variation'.
      The issue the buyer seems to face is that the balcony has been added above unregistered land and presumably therefore the freeholder/landlord does nto own the airspace into which the balcony extends. Planning approval would not look closely at the ownership issue and whilst the EA may have given permission is that enough. Veyr much a Q your solicitor will need to advise you on as to whether the freeholder/landlord own the space and if not can you have title to it?

      Reply
  31. Comment by Martin Dingle posted on

    Hi, my grandfather owns a fairly large property adjacent to a canal. When he purchased the land he was informed he owned the land right up to the canal as the canals and rivers trust clearly stated that their boundary was along the canal edge and did not include the bank. My grandfather has enjoyed the use of this area of land as well as his own garden since the late 80's. Nobody else has access to this land. Recently we have looked at registering for a canal berth and checked again with the canal and rivers trust where their boundary was and they sent an actual map defining their boundary at the waters edge adjacent to his land and also sent us the necessary forms to apply - they were happy for us to do so. However at some point when my grandfather sold another part of his land the boundary was re-issued and at that time they left a bank along the canal (coinciding with some trees he planted at the edge of his garden, there has never been a fence). Now we are not able to apply for a canal berth until the canals and rivers trust have proof he owns this land. How do we go about getting his deeds checked and altered to include this narrow strip of land (only a few metres wide by 20m long). At the minute there appears to be unregistered strip between his garden and the canal which nobody else can access and the canals people have said isn't theirs.

    Reply
  32. Comment by Neil posted on

    Afternoon

    We're currently buying a flat in a leasehold property that borders a council owned park. When we received the title plan from the Land Registry we noted that the boundary ran along the edge of the property wall, not the edge of the balcony as noted on the original architects plans included within the lease. Our solicitor believes this is probably a simple mistake but is there anything we can do to expedite resolution of the title plan between the leaseholder and the council?

    Reply
    • Replies to Neil>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Neil - you need to rely on your solicitor here. If the 'mistake' is being rectified by an application to amend the register, then the seller's solicitor can contact us to ask us to expedite the process

      Reply
  33. Comment by julie and john roberts posted on

    Hello Adam
    We recently agreed with our neighbours that a ditch which bounds our property and the adjoining field belongs to us and have fenced it accordingly and I have an email from our neighbours confirming that we are all in agreement that the new fence is the boundary . However talking to a land surveyor on a different matter he said we should register this with the land registry to ensure that if the field was ever sold there would be no dispute.
    We are not sure if it is necessary to take any further action but have now read on your site about form AP1
    Is it necessary to complete AP1 or could we just write to the land registry and send a statement with plan signed by both parties?
    If we do need to complete AP1 is this is something we can complete ourselves or do we need a solicitor?
    We would appreciate your advice

    Reply
  34. Comment by Jamie Mcglade posted on

    Hi, I need to establish who owns a piece of road! The road in question is a previously owned council estate, the road had council garages built on it (they have now been knocked down) and it also has a sub station, however both the highways agency and council are both claiming they don’t own the road, however someone has been maintaining the road over the years
    I would appreciate your advice thanks

    Reply
    • Replies to Jamie Mcglade>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Jamie - You may be able to check online to see if the road is registered with us - https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry .

      Select the Map enquiry option and use the road or a nearby road to search, and once you get a map of the area, change the options at the top of the map from Ordnance Survey Map to Birds Eye View. This should enable you to search the land you are interested in more clearly.

      Once you have identified the land concerned, zoom in on the map until you are able to use the 'Find properties' button on bottom left corner of the map. Click on the area that you are interested, which if the land is registered with us, will then list details of land / property information available. Once you decide which one you require and click Purchase, you will then need to register yourself as a new user. You will require a valid email address and a password for this.

      Register yourself as a user and then follow the process for payment. Once the payment has gone through, the title register showing the current registered ownership that you have purchased will be available in PDF format for you view. You will need to save the document on your equipment if you wish to retain it for future reference.

      However the roadway may not be registered with us. This does not mean that no one owns the land, merely that there has not been an event such as a sale of the land which would trigger registration with us. This is often the case with land such as roadways that may not have an intrinsic value on their own. We do not hold any information on the ownership of unregistered land.

      Other possible sources of information on unregistered land include:
      • National Archives – http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk,
      • County record offices, and
      • Local libraries.

      I hope this of some assistance to you.

      Reply
  35. Comment by Tracy Kacperski posted on

    Mypartner bought a house in 2007 which he gave to me as a gift of deed in 2008. I am trying to sell the house but have just been told that my garage which is at the end of my garden actually goes into my neighbors garden.
    Nobody has ever picked up on this before, not us or the neighbors.
    The garage is very old looking.
    I have no way of finding out when it was built or who by.
    The council say there was no permission for it.
    Can you help me

    Reply
    • Replies to Tracy Kacperski>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Tracy - I should mention firstly that we register ownership of land rather than the buildings on it. You could check the title plan for your property and also that of your neighbour - https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry which will show the properties' general extent, but bear in mind that it will only show the boundaries' general position as the exact position of legal boundaries is left undefined. The title plan(s) will also usually be dated in the bottom right hand corner which may be useful in dating the garage.

      It is possible that the registered boundary (reflecting what is shown in your deeds) differs from what is on the ground. If that's the case, you may want to consider getting independent legal advice, for example from a conveyancer such as a solicitor, as to the way forward and the possible options open to you.

      I hope this is of some assistance.

      Reply
  36. Comment by Anne Glencross. posted on

    Annie from Ilkley 2 April 2018
    I live in an old terraced house about 300 years old. At the rear of the house is a genuine dry stone boundary wall (not a Party Wall) which separates my property from the house next door.
    There is no boundary on the deeds of either house.
    I have lived in the house for over 30 years and the wall was there when I moved in and there has been no alteration to the wall during this time.
    The adjoining house has been sold recently and I have letter from the new owner stating that the wall and the soil below the wall belong to me.
    Dry stone walls are wider at the bottom than they are at the top because that’s the way they are built. We and the previous owner of the house next door had always assumed that the wall was the boundary.
    Recently my new neighbour has written to say that the lower part of my wall is trespassing on this land.
    What do you think?

    Reply
    • Replies to Anne Glencross.>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Annie - you say that there is no boundary on the deeds, but if registered, the title plans for your property and your neighbour's will show the general extent of your properties. That said, they will only show the general boundary position as the exact position of legal boundaries is left undefined. So, for example, they will not show whether the legal boundary line falls in the middle or either side of a physical boundary. Property deeds may sometimes refer to the ownership of physical boundary structures, but this is generally only a guide.

      In a dispute situation, the first step would be try and resolve this with your neighbour, giving regarding to any evidence that is available. As mentioned in the blog, ultimately if there is no agreement the dispute may have to be resolved in other jurisdictions such as the courts. As also mentioned in the blog, organisations such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) (helpline: 02476 868555) may be able to assist.

      You may also want to consider getting independent legal advice, for example, from Citizen's Advice or a conveyancer such as a solicitor.

      Reply
  37. Comment by vpg posted on

    I'm in a council property my neighbour is private renting and when I moved in the council said they wouldn't touch the 17ft hedge between us both. next door had a fence on their side of the hedge and I've cut the hedge down to the floor to realise their are 1 ft tall concrete posts that I wanted to put a fence in front of. next doors landlord said the hedge is ours and the boundary is the concrete posts so if I wasn't to put a fence on my side of the concrete posts leaving the posts on show in next doors garden is that an actual problem? the hedge was put in inbetwee these posts so does it matter if I'm putting a fence up in front of my hedge that has been cut to ground level??

    Reply
    • Replies to vpg>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Vpg - we provide the registered details and suspect deciding whether the issue faced is a problem is only one you and your neighbour can decide upon. If you put a fence up on your own land then that maybe something to discuss and formalise with the neighbour to ensure that you are both aware of and in agreement as to where the boundary actually lies. Neighbours can change but somehting you may wish to also make the council aware of

      Reply
  38. Comment by Hayley Wakeford posted on

    I have recently purchased a house which has a separate garage which has 4 different garages on the block. In front of the garage is an allocated parking space. Previously someone has fenced off the the side of the garage which on the title deeds shows that the land is mine. Somebody has also laid a path on the land to gain access to the school which is also shown as my land. What should I do, as I assume the council have laid a path through the land but haven’t actually got the rights to do so.

    Reply
    • Replies to Hayley Wakeford>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Hayley - it's l;egal advice you need here if you intend to challenge any of the works done or use of the land. You can check the registered details to confirm ownership/rights etc and it seems you have done this. Anything else will really rely on legal help

      Reply
  39. Comment by anthony corkin posted on

    I have a property which neighbours a church and its cemetery. my house was built circa 1960 and the land its built on is made up ground which uses a boundary bank that belongs to the church to support my property and gardens.
    so my house and the land it is on is about 5 foot higher than the land next door in the church cemetery. I bought the house approx. 20 years ago.
    I planted a fir hedge in my garden about a foot in from the boundary bank. there was when I bought he house a panel fence along the edge of my property adjoin the boundary bank. the boundary bank was about two foot wide and ran the length of my property about 40 feet.

    about seven or eight years ago the church commissioned their gardeners to cut back all the vegetation that was on the side and top of the boundary bank.
    this left the bank exposed and I realised over time that the bank was eroding with weathering.
    the gardeners have been stripping the vegetation back over the past years despite me asking them to leave some to hold the bank earth in place.
    the bank is now so eroded that it has washed down into to cemetery partially covering some of the graves.
    the panel fence that was on the edge on my property adjoining the retaining boundary bank gave way and fell into the church cemetery.
    the gardeners are now cutting the fir hedge that I planted in my garden as the original boundary bank is washed away. the roots of my hedge are now exposed and its not long before they fall into the church cemetery.

    my house is about two metres in from the edge of the boundary, as its built on made up ground I'm concerned that with continued erosion that my gable end is at risk?
    also as the churches gardeners are now cutting the hedge I planted within my property I assume they are trespassing and have asked them to cease but the continue.
    I have contacted the local church vicar, and churchwarden who have ignored me, the churchwarden just said we don't have money to repair the bank?
    I contacted the diocese who said that their legal team were confident that the boundary bank belonged to the church but then said its nothing to do with them?
    there is currently no resident vicar at this church.
    what is the law regards my right to support from this boundary bank? what can I do or say to get the bank repaired and stop them cutting my hedge or denuding the bank of vegetation?

    Reply
    • Replies to anthony corkin>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Anthony - we can't give you legal advice and I would strongly recommend that you seek that from a conveyancer as to what options may be available. If you are looking for wider online comment then online public forums such as Garden Law can be useful resources re general comment and advice but it is specific legal advice you need here

      Reply
  40. Comment by Janine posted on

    Hello, we are looking at buying a property. The Council's Local Plan map shows that the boundary line used to be around 1-1.5metres x 7metres approx wider in the garden, going around where the neighbours garage sticks out. A fence was erected somewhere between 8-10 years ago. On Google Earth and other images, it shows the same. This has been fenced straight across instead, so losing a substantial strip of the garden. Would we be within our rights to move the fence back if the title deeds/plan show the same? Thank you

    Reply
    • Replies to Janine>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Janine - we can't advise you on what you can or cannot do re your boundaries and I would strongly recommend seeking legal advice before doing anything. If the property footprint does not match the registered extent that is something generally raised wiht the seller in the first instance to clarify.

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Janine posted on

        Hi Adam, having done some digging (figuratively speaking) already, the fence was put up before the current owner bought it, so I don't think they'll know anything. Any other ideas, mainly on how to prove or disprove it? Thanks, Janine

        Reply
        • Replies to Janine>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Janine - all you can do is try and piece the jigsaw together with local knowledge/awareness and then compare the registered extents with the reality on the ground. Fences are moved for a wide variety of reasons but that does not automatically translate to land being lost/gained as that really only happens over time. The only time that is really challenged is if anyone notices or someone looks to claim land that they ahve then occupied for a number of years. So the key is identifying what's changed, why and how long it has been like it - then speak to a solicitor as to what options are available and how you can prove/disprove anything

          Reply
  41. Comment by Jane posted on

    Hi.
    I have a joint boundary with my semi detached neighbours. (However it has never been confirmed who's boundary it is to maintain?) And can not find this at the land registry.
    8 years ago the adjoining fence panels needed replacing, next door wanted to start replacing one by one when they could afford it. As I was having fencing work done in other areas of my property at the time I offered to pay for all the fence panels to be replaced on our joint boundary line, with a comment that if they moved out their house they made it clear to new owners, I owned the fencing and had paid for it to be replaced, so I was not to see the fencing being removed after I had just paid out for it all.
    3 years after they 'spray' their side of the fence, causing damage to my property. Spray over my dining room window, new extension soffit/facia/guttering. Spray all over the length of established planting, shrubs and trees my side of the fence!
    After a polite conversation with them about this, 3 years after(2 years ago) they 'spray' the fence again, a different colour. No spray on my house, however spray again over my planting, killing off two established shrubs, after them slowly recovering from the last attack,also the tree bark infected again, where the tree has now totally died off this past 18 months.
    I want to put some type of fencing screen up to the existing fencing posts on my side, approximately 6" higher than the existing fence panels. The panels are not currently at 6' high, they are lower.
    As next door feel it is ok to hand paint the top of the fence line, (which is fine) but spray the rest, (not fine), refusing to accept that spray still gets through the lower panels causing damage, I want to put the screening up to prevent further damage, as maybe again this summer will see the sprayer coming out!
    The screening will be something like Rattan or willow, maybe at a height of 6.5'. Do I need planning permission for this? There is no talking to the neighbours.

    Reply
    • Replies to Jane>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Jane - you'd need to contact the relevant local authority to see if planning permission is required

      Reply
  42. Comment by Angela posted on

    We are in the process of buying a property that was built by the owner in the early 50's. It was built on a plot of land that was then divided into two and a relative built their own property also. In the documents that we have, including a signed document which shows the gifting of the land to the relative the boundary line is straight. However over the years, they have each encroached the boundary through mutual consent which has ended with a dog legged boundary being registered by the relative with land registry. Solicitors have looked into this and have asked them to transfer the land to the estate to bring the boundary back to its original straight line, and the estate will transfer any land back to them. However, they are now refusing to do so. Which document stands as being correct, the original deeds, or the altered registered with yourselves? How do we resolve this?

    Reply
    • Replies to Angela>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Angela - if the title was registered on the basis of the deeds and the 'gift' you mention then that will be correct. Much may depend on how the title was registered and whether the 'gift' was in the form of a legal deed or whether the relative claimed it.
      I assume your purchase is of the unregistered remainder and if so presumably the original deeds/documents confirm the seller's ownership of the remaining and as yet unregistered land. I'd suggest discussing it further with your solicitor as presumably there is a reaosn for them wanting the land transferred and then transferred back again, which based on what you have posted here seems like 'extra' work unless there is perhaps a gap of some sort in the deeds/documents involved

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Angela posted on

        The boundary line between the two properties in the deeds that we have for the property we are purchasing is a straight line. The two family members each encroached each other's land by mutual verbal agreement, to their own advantages. None of this was in writing, however in 2006 the relatives property was registered with yourselves for whatever reason and shows that they have part of our land and we have part of theirs but with no written documentation that I know of to support this. Because our property is unregistered though it has resulted in the bit that was used by this property as being 'no mans land'. It does seem like a lot of work to resolve this which is why I asked if it is the original deeds or the register with yourselves that would stand as the legal boundary. Can we put it to land registry that we think the boundary is wrong, and therefore revert it back to the straight line without all this additional work?

        Reply
        • Replies to Angela>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Angela - the registered title defines the registered extend and general boundaries. I would suggest that you make enquiries as to the basis upon which the registered title was created as this should fill in some of the gaps here. If nothing was in writing and mutual agreements made that would not, in my experience at elast, equate to the scenario as described. You can apply to correct what you believe to be an error but it seems to me you need to establish what error has been made here as it seems that is unclear as you do not know on what baqsis the registered title extent was created.
          I would suggest completing our online contact form to ask what details we have on record and then applying for copies of these as appropriate
          https://www.gov.uk/guidance/contact-hm-land-registry

          Reply
  43. Comment by Kathy A posted on

    My neighbours have erected a new fence which encroaches onto my land and the communal land of the private development I live on (but they do not). When I had a new fence 5 years ago, I erected it within my boundary, and due to fence panel size, a small corner of my land ended up outside of the fence. I never considered this to be anything other than my land, despite not being contained within my fence. Their new fence has been moved out to meet my fence post, thereby taking that corner into their garden. There was no discussion or warning of this new fence, and I have not yet had a chance to discuss it with them. The boundary is clear on my deeds. But surely my fence line cannot be assumed to be my boundary simply because it’s not square? What should I do first? Has this complicated any potential house sale in the future?

    Reply
    • Replies to Kathy A>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Kathy A - the first step is to consider whether you need legal advice before approaching y0our neighbours to resolve the matter. A fenceline or any physical feature cannot be assumed to be the legal boundary as they can be moved so that is correct. However if you put a fence up inside the perceived legal boundary there is always a risk that someone may assume that is the legal boundary and act accordingly. The key here is to now discuss this with your neighbour, explain and share understanding over what has happened and why and look to resolve it.

      Reply
  44. Comment by Chequetere posted on

    I'd like to repair one of the boundary walls in my front patio which is currently leaning towards one side. I'm pretty sure it's mine but the property title does not specify boundary ownership. However, this wall:
    -Is built with the same bricks that my front wall and second side wall are built with, which are completely different from the bricks my neighbour's front wall, pier and other side wall are built with.
    -Starts at my front pier (even though the neighbour has a pier as well, the wall is on attached to my pier).
    -Seems to end at the front of my house, but about 60cm or so of this 6m-long wall are attached to a front porch my neighbour has (there's no need for me to touch that section of the wall to repair it).

    Can I claim ownership of the wall based on the three facts mentioned above and proceed to repair it without previous consultation with my neighbour? Many thanks

    Reply
    • Replies to Chequetere>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Chequetere - we can't answer that for you I'm afraid and I would recommend that you do discuss and agree a way forward with your neighbour before undertaking any works. As the article explains the registered details can help but they are rarely definitive re such matters and assumptions should not be made where details are lacking or uncertain.

      Reply
  45. Comment by Paula posted on

    My boundaries are clearly shown on my deeds and these are not in dispute. However for the past 29 + years I have accessed my side Garden! This being the other side of my fence, to the side of my property via the Cul de Sac next to my property however I have been informed that I am now trespassing by a resident in the Cul de Sac! Ridiculous as this piece of garden has always been well maintained by me at my my expense and they have never complained before. It appears the small driveway/Cul de Sac is an unadopted road! They refer to it in either terms..so I can No longer tend to the Garden without Tresspassing. I would like to move my fence out to my boundary line which would bring the Piece of garden into my back garden, I’m looking for advice if I can move your fence without any issues as this is clearly my land, and I would be no longer trespassing or being subjected to abuse from this neighbour! I am outraged by the ridiculous situation, my new fence would not enter into any land that I don’t own, it would be within my boundary area. Any advice would be welcome Thank you.

    Reply
    • Replies to Paula>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Paula - it's legal advice you need here as to what your options are. We can provide the registered details which will show the general boundaries for example but you need advice on how to deal with the neighbour(s) and what rights you/they have here

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Paula posted on

        Thank You, I have contacted the local council, whom have been very little help! I have a copy of my title deed as held by Land Registry. It’s all a bit silly, and I fear going to become expensive. Getting an answer from the local council is a minefield, they suggested I should obtain a certificate if lawfulness when I move the fence, yet more expense...Thank you again.

        Reply
  46. Comment by Gavin posted on

    The gate to the alleyway that leads around the back of a row of 10 terrace houses that provides access to these properties is hanging off and all ways open providing no security who owns this gate and is therefore liable to fix please help

    Reply
  47. Comment by Emilie posted on

    We bought a property in 2010 which included an area of unregistered land within the boundary. We understand from neighbours that the previous owners moved the boundary to include this area around 2006. We are now looking to submit an adverse possession claim to retain this area as part of our property. We have had no disputes about this from any neighbours. What I would like to know is what evidence we could submit to show when this area of land first became included within the current boundary line? Is there a data source that I can contact to obtain historical images or boundary maps?

    Reply
  48. Comment by Tommy Divers posted on

    Hi I Have semi detached house and my Neighbour has an extension built on the back of his house and its right on the boundary line but had to have his soil pipe remove so he could build onto the boundary line the thing is his tiles are hanging into my boundary and his gutter is obstructing my soil pipe I have contacted a solicitor and he says they are clearly encroaching into my property could they be made to move their wall back as this is in Scotland.

    Thank You

    Reply
    • Replies to Tommy Divers>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Tommy - Scottish property law is separate from that in England & Wales which we cover so we won't be able to advise. Try https://www.ros.gov.uk/ or consider seeking further advice from a solicitor as to the options open to you.

      Reply
  49. Comment by deb posted on

    Hello, there is a stone wall that forms a boundary between land at the back of my house and my neighbour's garden. His garden is approx 2 feet higher than the land at the back of my house. Does that have any bearing on who is responsible for maintaining the wall? (There's nothing marked on the title deeds). I also don't own the freehold for the land at the back of my house, I simply have the right to 'pass or repass' over that land. Again, will that have any bearing on who is responsible for maintaining the stone wall that forms a border between my neighbour's garden and the land at the back of my house. Thanks for any advice you can give.

    Reply
    • Replies to deb>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Deb - No, the height of the respective properties wouldn't have a bearing on the responsibility for maintaining a boundary structure. The boundary is essentially between your neighbour and whoever owns the freehold for the land at the back of your house. So that may affect any discussions that you may want to have regarding the maintenance of the wall.

      As mentioned in the blog, even where there is mention of a boundary structure in one of more the properties' deeds, this is only part of the picture, and it will essentially still involve the affected parties reaching an agreement as to the way forward. For example, agreeing to treat the wall as a party boundary where responsibility is shared.

      Reply
  50. Comment by Bibby posted on

    Hi, I have acquired a piece of line to the side of my property;an old coach toad). I now on the title although the lady 2 doors up has right of access and having lived there 40 years, thinks it’s hers . Which it’s not. I don’t wish to change anything, just have clarity on ownership. What should I do?

    Reply
    • Replies to Bibby>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Bibby - we essentially have an administrative role and cannot advise on how to proceed where you disagree or are in dispute with your neighbour. Some of the options open to you are referred to in the blog such as contacting the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

      As to providing clarity of ownership, as mentioned in the blog, the title plans that we prepare show the general boundaries of the property and the exact line of the legal boundary is left undefined. These along with information in any conveyancing deeds may therefore assist with any discussion with your neighbour, but ultimately where there is no agreement, these matters may need to be resolved in other jurisdictions such as the courts.

      Reply
  51. Comment by Different Deb posted on

    We are purchasing a new build property and the plans show that our garden fence will be positioned some distance away from the actual property boundary i.e. a portion of our land/garden will be on the other side of our garden fence, but will also adjoin an open communal area. By not having the fence at the boundary, isn't this just asking for problems later? Are we right to be concerned that "our land" will just be seen as part of the communal area?

    Reply
    • Replies to Different Deb>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Deb - it may cause problems but that's not really an area we can advise you on so I would suggest raising it with your solicitor/the seller to clarify why the fence is positioned the way it is etc

      Reply
  52. Comment by Sam posted on

    We have purchased an area of garden from our neighbours that ajoins our own and this has been registered without issue. However, there is a small strip of land between the end of the garden and the river bank that was not part of our neighbours title deeds. This area of land is unregistered and has been used by both the person who sold it to us and the previous owner as part of their garden for over 15 years. What do we need to do to claim legal ownership and register this land?

    Reply
  53. Comment by Miss Dowdle posted on

    Hi. My neighbour has passed away and her family are now selling her house. We have a copy of the title plans showing our boundary comes off the corner of our house although our fence is set back around three feet from the front of the said boundary. Our houses are at right angles( so kind of an L shape). The estate agent told the owner that “ a lovely sweeping driveway could be made through the gap to the rear of the property as the garden is large, to provide ample parking. We don’t want to upset the family and I know they won’t take it well if we tell them we’re our fence post should really be. The deceased owner bought the house from new in 1971 and we moved here in 1999 and it’s always had this layout. Most of the properties on this estate of 27 houses have left the frontages open plan as was the original design. Not only would they not get a vehicle through the gap the cars would be passing right under our lounge window! This is worrying me and I don’t want to fall out with the family as when we first moved here comments were made about a gate put in at the side of the House nearest to them and they claimed they owned the grass right up to the corner of my house. It shows on the title plans there is a gap( where the gat now is). If they were that adamant, surely they would have had the gate removed when the previous owner put it in? I know it’s hard to tell from a title plan so is there anyway I can obtain measurements for the boundary just to clarify what’s what? Thanks so much.

    Reply
    • Replies to Miss Dowdle>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Miss Dowdie - it's rare for registered details to include measurments and even where they do it is often impossible to then accurately relate them to the reality on the ground as things have mnoved and you can't be sure who measured from where etc. You cna certainly check the registered details and specifically any deeds referred to on the register as 'filed'(if any). If the properties were built by the same builder/developer then they may refer to a filed deed re the first sale and that may contain measurements https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land
      Either way I would eb seeking legal advice before doing anything and looking to discuss it with the neighbours at some stage. Whilst it may not be the right time to do so if changes are proposed then agreeing what happens next is often crucial

      Reply
  54. Comment by Mike posted on

    An elderly neighbour has just died and I think the garage he used to use actually belongs to my house - how can I check that ?

    Reply
  55. Comment by Colin posted on

    Is there a time limit on reclaiming land that according to my deeds is mine but has been claimed by a neighbour

    Reply
    • Replies to Colin>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Colin - It really does depend on the individual circumstances. For example, whether your neighbour has lodged a registration application in respect of the land, such as an application for adverse possession (commonly referred to as squatter's rights). If the neighbour has encroached on land, for example, by repositioning a physical boundary, then it would be a matter of trying to find a resolution with your neighbour, if possible. Where there is a disagreement or dispute which cannot be resolved, then this may result in the matter needing to be considered in other jurisdictions, such as the courts.

      Reply
  56. Comment by Sarah jones posted on

    Good evening, I'm trying to find some answers regarding communal garage blocks, on my estate there are 15 garage blocks in various states of disrepair, how do I find out who is responsible for their upkeep, I have a feeling that a housing association may be responsible for the outer edges of them, but don't know where I would start to track this down, local council is unsure, but as part of the residents association we would like to try and help improve these parts of the estate, yet as I don't live in the parts of the state that have the garage blocks I have no access to deeds etc.

    Reply
    • Replies to Sarah jones>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Sarah - if the land on which the garage blocks are situated is registered, then you may be able to check the ownership online.

      Here is a link to our Find a Property information service -https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry.

      Once you are on the Find a Property page, as your search relates to a non-residential piece of land, I would suggest you select the Map enquiry option. Use a nearby road and town name to search, and once you get a map of the area, change the options at the top of the map from Ordnance Survey Map to Birds Eye View. This should enable you to search the land you are interested in more clearly.

      Once you have identified the land concerned, zoom in on the map until you are able to use the 'Find properties' button on bottom left corner of the map. Click on the area that you are interested, which if the land is registered with us, will then list details of land / property information available.
      For each registered title, a title register giving ownership will be available for £3 each. Once you decide which one you require and click Purchase, you will then need to register yourself as a new user. You will require a valid email address and a password for this.

      Register yourself as a user and then follow the process for payment. Once the payment has gone through, the title register(s) or title plan(s) that you have purchased will be available in PDF format for you view. You will need to save the document on your equipment if you wish to retain it for future reference.

      I hope this helps.

      Reply
  57. Comment by Patricia posted on

    We bought our house in 2016 we found a drain coming under the fence from next door, After contacting whoever I thought could help,I contacted an independent solicitor and he went through all of my documents that I had been sent from my conveyance solicitor when we bought the house,and it came to light that i had not received a property information form, I rang the conveyance solicitor and they gave me one,and no I had not seen that form before and also I had a document to say (to follow), on that form it said there were not any drain pipes or anything from any other property, also we had trouble with the neighbors with the boundary,i got in touch with the solicitor again she did nothing about it,in the end citizen advice told me to get in touch with (RICS),I did and he did sort it out but it cost us £2000 can I claim it back from anyone,

    Reply
    • Replies to Patricia>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Patricia - I am sorry to hear of the difficulties you have experienced. We essentially have an administrative role in registering ownership and other interests in land and so we can't offer advice on a legal issue such as this I am afraid. I should also mention that the property information form is not one of our forms and it not required as a part of the registration process.

      You would need to consider getting further independent advice, whether from Citizen's Advice or a solicitor, as to the legal position.

      Reply
  58. Comment by Selina posted on

    Hello,
    My partner and I bought a new build last year. We understood from the builders that there would be a fence behind our parking spaces (2 cars wide). But now the builders are saying that there is no fence and are refusing to put one up. Our neighbour has the same house (mirror image of ours) and has a fence behind his parking spaces (length of two cars). We have mentioned this to the builder but they have refused to comment. There is a building site at the back of our houses and the builders had asked us to give them access through our parking area. Now they don't need any access. They said that we should have checked the plans for the fence but the plans only show boundaries. How can we resolve this? The sales office and solicitor have been very unhelpful. Also, without a fence, people will use our parking area to drive through to get access to the flats behind the houses (although there is another route). Thank you.

    Reply
    • Replies to Selina>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Selina - I'm afraid this is not something we can help you with or offer any advice on other than to recommend you go back to your conveyancer for advice. It is a matter very much bewteen you and your seller and what was agreed/contracted at the time. If you are looking for wider advice then online forums such as Money Saving Expert or Garden Law can be useful resources but it is legal advice/help you realy need here

      Reply
  59. Comment by David Humphries posted on

    I have a fairly new neighbour who has recently put a new roof on a garage at the bottom of his garden - the garage wall runs alongside the property divide. His new roof enters my land by 16 inches and includes new soffits and guttering. He did not ask permission and we did not grant him any - can he be asked to remove the overhang?
    He has also built decking in his back garden that is 60cm high (from his back wall) - we have complained to the local council but they say he is in his rights - the limit is a height of 30cm, I don’t understand the council’s viewpoint - any advice

    Reply
    • Replies to David Humphries>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      David - I'm afraid we can't advise you on such matters and it is really legal advice you need here. If you are looking for wider online advice then forums such as Garden Law or Money Saving Expert can be useful resources also. But it is sspcific legal advice you really need

      Reply
  60. Comment by Zenno posted on

    We bought our first home, a semi-detached property and moved in recently. There is a garden fence between my free side and neighbor, which is erected by my seller. Our neighbour offered to replace the fence with solid wall as he is interested in building a lean to. We requested him to build the wall in his side of the property rather than to replace the fence. Later he claims that my seller has encroached his property and he wants us to move the fence by few inches. I feel that he should have raised this issue with the seller in the first place. Also I am gutted to lose the piece of land for no mistake of my own. How can I approach this? Should I involve the council? Do I need to speak to my solicitor? What could be the legal cost? Please advise

    Reply
    • Replies to Zenno>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Aenno - very much one to get legal advice upon. The Council will not be involved unless they are the neighbour. Costs can vary enormously depending on what steps you take but very much somehting only you and your neighbour can resolve normally. If you can't agree then the only arbiter will be a court of law.

      Reply
  61. Comment by Lisa posted on

    Hi my neighbours live on a corner plot, their boundarygarden fence ran in line with their house. They have a couple of years ago moved said fence roughly about 10/12 foot out to the footpath, therefore gaining such an amount of garden. My question is if this was their land wouldn't the boundary fence have been there in the first place? They have erected a 4ft fence and planted a rather tall (approx 9/10 ft hedge) directly behind. Is this right?

    Reply
    • Replies to Lisa>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Lisa - fencing may not always be erected on the legal boundary so every scenario has to be looked at on merit. The law does allow for people to take possession of someone else's land/property and our Practice Guides 4 and 5 explain how such claims might ultimately be registered. Whether that is what your neighbour is attempting to do here we would not know and you may wish to seek legal advice on what options are available to you (and them) for example. https://www.gov.uk/topic/land-registration/practice-guides
      Issues over the hight of fences/hedges etc can be governed by local planning regulations so that may be something to contact your local authority about.

      Reply
  62. Comment by Alec posted on

    Hi,
    some land adjacent to me was sold with an unresolved boundary issue with the old owner. The new owner now claiming I'm on his land, which the previous owner could not prove or resolve before he sold it on. Where does the new owner stand in respect to what he has purchased?

    Reply
    • Replies to Alec>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Hi. From a registration perspective, nothing will have changed other than that a new owner has been registered. Regarding the unresolved dispute, it remains the case that the title records can be of use in reaching an agreement with your neighbor, but ultimately where there is a dispute or disagreement which cannot be resolved and this is pursued, then it may have to be resolved in other jurisdictions, such as the courts.

      On a property sale, a buyer will receive a Property Information Form which has been completed by the seller with provision for giving information on boundary issues and any outstanding disputes. This forms part of the conveyancing process and is not something we are involved with, but it may be of interest/use in any discussions with your neighbour.

      Reply
  63. Comment by Gill posted on

    Unknown to me I have been using a small part of the next doors garden for 25 years which I thought was mine however he has decided it’s his and when I was out he came and put stakes in to qualify that it his what can I do about it

    Reply
    • Replies to Gill>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Gill - you will need legal advice as to how best to proceed and to register your claim as to ownership. Our PGs 4 and 5 explain the registration requirements re such claims but the law is a complex one so legal advice should always be taken as well especially if your neighbour is likely to dispute such a claim
      https://www.gov.uk/topic/land-registration/practice-guides

      Reply
  64. Comment by James posted on

    My property is located in a fairly isolated rural area. I have a long border with commercial forestry owned by a large estate. When I bought my property in 1988, I noticed that the boundary on the map was wrong. The vendor signed a sworn statement prepared by his solictor that he had always had use of the land in question as if it was his own and that he had never been prevented from doing so. Similarly, I have used this land that I have owned for 30 years with no questions asked.

    The neighbouring land was registered in 2007 based on the old map which was at least 40 years out of date and I was not informed or consulted I have now been contacted by the agent for the estate and he has agreed the boundary as it was when I bought my property, so we are not in dispute.

    The question is; should the estate inform Land Registry that they had provided the wrong informed in their 2007 registry application or would it be sufficient for me to provide the correct mapping when I make my initial application for registry in the near future?

    Reply
  65. Comment by Micky posted on

    Hello,
    I’m having some new build house built behind my property and while talking with a neighbour they have said that they think we own 3meters beyond our back fence, I have scaled of some drawings which has an ordinance map on it and from front to back should be 60 meters but I’ve only got 57 meters. Does this mean that I Own the other 3meters? The company building these property’s show that its there land on there drawings.
    Is there a correct way of finding out if I own the extra land?
    Many thanks

    Reply
    • Replies to Micky>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Micky - as the article explains establishing where the legal boundary lies can be tricky, especial;ly where you have a fence/wall already in place but you think you own land the other side. Perfectly possible that you do but veyr much something only you and your neighbour will be able to decide upon.
      You can scale from any plan and/or seek professional help form a surveyor for example but it will still come down to how you and your neighbour view such information, what understanding they have re such matters and the history for example fo teh land/property layout and any changes made over time

      Reply
  66. Comment by Vicki Alexander posted on

    My Mum is selling her house and there has been a delay as the buyers solicitor has picked up that the boundary out the front of the house on the title plan is not quite right. It shows the boundary going down onto the pavement/road out the front (not by much really though)

    The buyers solicitor is insisting it gets altered before they will proceed. Is this likely to take long to resolve?

    Reply
    • Replies to Vicki Alexander>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Vicki - it can do depending on what needs to be done. If I have read it correctly there should be less, not more, land. If so then that may be easier to resolve but the devil will be in the detail. As you Mum is selling her solicitor should let us know that and ask us to expedite the process. Any significant delay is invariably down to the wait time from receipt and actual consideration so shortening that part can make a difference.

      Reply
  67. Comment by Louise evans posted on

    Hi, I live in a mid terrace house neighbour to my left legally has an access gate to take bins etc through my garden. The house has been in my family for almost 70 years and I inherited it. The fence and gate was old as my grandparents put it up it eventually rotted and fell down. I was in the process of repairing and replacing fence panels in the garden when my next door neighbour had a concrete post put in and a new gate and 1 fence panel. This is on the boundary half theirs half mine. I painted the side facing my garden to match the rest but was careful not to touch any areas that were visible for next door. I came out the next morning to notices stuck to fence and gate that I had no right to touch or paint said gate/fence is this true?

    Reply
    • Replies to Louise evans>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Louise - it's not something we can advise you on I'm afraid as it's legal advice you need. Issues around who owns a boundary feature, namely who paid for it and who is responsible and/or what a neighbour can then do on their side are legal issues.
      If you are looking for wider online comment/advice then you could try online forums such as Garden Law or Money Saving Expert where such matters are often aired and discussed. But it's really legal advice you need here

      Reply
  68. Comment by Diane posted on

    We own a narrow private driveway over which our neighbour has a long standing easement to reach a plot of land to the rear of his property. This land historically had an outside tennis court and small pavilion building upon it, both of which have long since been removed and the land now sits overgrown and unused. Am I correct in thinking that should they wish to build residential properties upon this land, thus resulting in a change of use, that they would also require to apply through the courts to amend the easement to allow a different access and that this could only be granted with our consent?

    Reply
    • Replies to Diane>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Diane - I'm afraid we can't advise you on the law here and it's legal advice you need. If We register the land and rights and ultimately any changes made but we are not involved in the proces sof change of use or alteration of such rights unless they then result in a change to the registered details. So it's legal advice you need as to the process of change for example. If you are looking for wider comment then public online forums such as Garden Law can be useful resources

      Reply
  69. Comment by Catherine Carter posted on

    Hi
    I was wondering if you can advise me regarding a house I’m hoping to buy.
    There is a small bit of land at the bottom of the garden that is not included in the registered land on the title plan. The back of the garden goes down to another road at the back of the houses.
    According to neighbours the land used to be common land but it is at the end of a close and was never used so about 30 years ago some of the neighbours registered the sections at the end of their gardens. They are all now fenced in. The one we want to buy is fenced at the sides with the neighbours but there is no fence at the bottom. I don’t think the people we are buying from ever registered it. The title plans show a small section not included in the red boundary of what we are buying but we have no idea how much land it is in reality and there is no mention of it in any documents. In real life there is no clear boundary at all.
    We are actually currently living opposite the plot at the moment and on our plan (which looks more up to date) the plot that we are buying has a black line including the land at the bottom - so it is in line with all the other neighbours that registered the land. But obviously this is for our plan so there is only a red line around our plot showing the boundary. Does that mean that our more up to date plan is just done roughly for the neighbours around our plot and isn’t exact?
    I suppose I’m looking for some advice on how to proceed. The sale is currently quite difficult because of other reasons and taking a long time. I would like to know if the sellers should be registering the land before we buy it? Or can we / should we register it as soon as we purchase the property? Roughly how long does the process take? We essentially just want it to be in line with the direct neighbours properties taking in land that is not used by anyone and was sold to us by the estate agent as part of the plot.
    I hope this makes sense!
    Thanks for any help you can give me.
    Catherine

    Reply
    • Replies to Catherine Carter>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Catherine - adjoining titles will not offer any indication as to what is included in an adjoining title. If you have checked the seller's title plan and the land is not included and it is also unregistered then we do not know who owns it. If they are looking to include it in the sale then they would have to provide evidence as to their ownership, namely deeds or evidence to support any claim.
      In my experience your solicitor/lender will invariably insist that they register title to the land before you complete. However that is something only they can advise on and naturally what evidence the seller provides is decisive as to what advice they provide. Please do rely on your solicitor's advice here

      Reply
  70. Comment by Fred Moore posted on

    Hi Can I build a fence on my side of a boundary?
    My neighbour has cut the hedge between our properties to around 4ft from 6ft. It's his boundary but I would like to put a fence up on my side of the boundary. Can I do this? My garden is no longer private. He has put string line up to mark the boundary.
    Can I cut back the hedge? And fit a fance a small distance away from the line?
    Thanks,
    Fred.

    Reply
    • Replies to Fred Moore>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Fred - we can't advise oyu on what you can or cannot do re the boundary or own land. There are online forums such as Garden law or Money Saving Expert where such matters are often aired and discussed. You may find them a useful resource. The only caveat I would add is that it is really legal advice you need as your property and your boundary/neighbour are unique so it's important to understand what rights you eahc have and what can happen in any given set of circumstances. For examle if you do put a fence up on your land can or does the neighbour (or any later neighbour) assume that's the legal boundary?

      Reply
  71. Comment by Nicola Setchell posted on

    We are in the process of selling our house and our buyers have raised concerns that our boundary is incorrect, as on Map Search it includes some of our neighbour's garden. This is definitely not the case as our boundary hedge is the original one planted when the house was built. The buyers do not want the land but are concerned that when they come to sell the discrepancy might cause issues. Is there a simple, swift way to resolve this?

    Reply
    • Replies to Nicola Setchell>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Nicola - Mapsearch does not provide a guaranteed result so it is important to check the actual title plan(s) involved to identify what is included within a registered title. I would recommend checking the titloe plan(s) for the property land as appropriate and then dicuss what options are available with your solicitor.
      If the titles are not as you expected then there is unlikely to be a swift way to resolve it and much will depend on whether an error was made or whether you now need to make a claim as to ownership. However you must confirm what is registered first using the title plan(s) before deciding next steps

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Nicola Setchell posted on

        Thank you. I have looked at the title plan and the shape of the boundary is roughly correct. I think the issue is how can we tell if the boundary does go into the neighbouring property at the back as the title plan only shows my property with no relation to the neighbour at the back. To further complicate it goes over a footpath and cable easement that divides our two properties. This is shown on both the original building plan and also Mapsearch. However the facts on the ground and evidence from long-standing neighbours confirms no land has been sold and no boundaries moved. Do we go with what's on the ground?

        Reply
        • Replies to Nicola Setchell>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Nicola - all information will be relevant so what's on the ground is important but it reads very much as if it is something you should share and sicuss with the neighbour and agree a way forward. If it is unclear as to where the boundary lies then formalising that through an agreement or determined boundary application may also be beneficial to you both

          Reply
  72. Comment by Andrea Roberts posted on

    I am in the process of buying a property. The property was originally Leasehold. The Leasehold was purchased by the current owners and became Freehold. The boundary line drawn on the Freehold plans differ from that on the Leasehold plans, in as much as the driveway at the front of the property is now not within the drawn boundary.

    How do I ascertain if this an error?

    Reply
    • Replies to Andrea Roberts>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Andrea - you should query this with the seller in the first instance. If the leasehold title was closed on merger back into the freehold then the lease has been determined and is no loinger relevant. As such they no longer have the leasehold interest in the driveway it seems

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Andrea Roberts posted on

        Hi Adam thanks for your prompt response. I am not sure I understand your reply fully. Does that mean that even though the drawn line on the Freehold plan does not encompass the driveway. If the Leasehold has been merged back into Freehold it would include the driveway.

        Thanks again Adam

        Reply
        • Replies to Andrea Roberts>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Andrea - no it does not. If the lease has been merged back into the freehold the the lease is no more. It has no relevance. You are then left with the freehold title and it's registered extent. If that does not include the driveway then it may be worth checking to see if it is registered and if so under which freehold title and to whom. https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land

          Reply
          • Replies to AdamH>

            Comment by Andrea Roberts posted on

            Hi Adam thanks for your response. The original Leaseholder has been located and have admitted they made a mistake, they are going to contact the Land Registry to have it corrected. Do you know how long this would take?

            This is the only thing that is preventing our house moving chain from completing and I am becoming anxious that a lengthy delay here would break the chain.

            Thank you again

          • Replies to Andrea Roberts>

            Comment by AdamH posted on

            Andrea - how are they going to correct it? What is the title number involved?

          • Replies to AdamH>

            Comment by Andrea Roberts posted on

            Hi Adam, I am unsure as to how they are correcting it our Solicitor is dealing with it. The original leasehold title number is ND37879, this is all I have a copy of.

            Thank you Adam

          • Replies to Andrea Roberts>

            Comment by AdamH posted on

            Andrea - I think you need to clarify exactly what is happening with your solicitor here. The title number quoted is the leasehold title and that is still 'live' and has not been merged. It is in the same ownership as the freehold title, ND167808, but it's extent is larger. The 'extra' bit of land in the lease is registered under freehold title ND47784 and in a different ownership. I suspect, but your solicitor needs to confirm, that the solution lies in checking and confirming whether the sale and creation of the freehold title ND167808 was done correctly. And as you are a potential buyer I imagine the seller's solicitor will be trying to clarify/confirm. At present we have no enquiry or application against these titles.
            In light of the specifics involved can I suggest you check and if that gives rise to further Qs that you email me at customer.service@landregistry.gov.uk for ease of response

          • Replies to AdamH>

            Comment by Andrea Roberts posted on

            Thank you very much Adam, I will contact my Solicitor now for clarity and and an update.

            Your assistance in this is greatly appreciated

          • Replies to Andrea Roberts>

            Comment by AdamH posted on

            Andrea - I hope it works out. I suspect there is a solution to this but it may take time to resolve and as the buyer you are very much reliant on your solicitor and the seller to achieve that for you

  73. Comment by Mick posted on

    I am the owner of a detached property and want to know if I'm allowed to move my garden fence to my land boundary.
    It will not infringe onto anyone elses land, but it will mean the fence would be running adjacent to the road on the part of the small estate I live on.
    Currently the land I want to enclose is covered by small stones and a couple of shrubs. There is no pathway on the section of the road, and the road in questions just leads down to the 6 houses I'm adjacent to.
    The current wall is approximately 6 foot high, and my intention would be to simply move the wall outwards, hopefully using a matching brick to the original ones used.

    Would I be able to do this without planning permission

    Reply
    • Replies to Mick>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Mick - we can't advise you on what you can or cannot do here. If it is simply an issue of whether you need planning permission then you should check with your local authority planning department

      Reply
  74. Comment by chris posted on

    Hi
    I've lived in my house for 30 years - my garden defined by fences. When my neighbour bought his house he noticed that the lines on the land registry plan showing where his garden meets my garden don't exactly match what is on the ground - it looks on the plan as if he owns a small triangle of land on what has always been my garden (as defined by the fences). I have persuaded him to let me have most of this triangle as long as I pay for it changing. I thought just getting a surveyor in to draw a plan to show where we have agreed it actually is and applying for a boundary change using form AP1 would be enough. He wants me to 'transfer' the land as he insists it is his even if he now agrees to transfer it to me. What would the land registry want in this case, on the Land registry map for both properties about the last 15 feet is wrong - leaving a triangle of garden.

    Reply
  75. Comment by Medit posted on

    For the past two and a half years we have been living in close proximity to our neighbour’s building site in the construction of a new house which was started in November 2015. They had to put in a further planning application which was accepted in 2016 with conditions. One of the conditions is to erect a fence on our joint boundary.
    I have two issues, one is that we are unable to enjoy our back garden as we are so close to the site (currently a small open mesh fence dividing the properties) which is unsightly and overlooked on the opposite side by neighbours further up the road since the developer has cleared the site of trees and bushes that acted as a screen. Secondly, the developer seems intent on planting hedging rather than complying with the terms of the planning condition.

    I have tried to establish when the boundary will be completed with a vague possibly end of the year, and a denial that it is a fence that should be erected. I would really like my privacy restored and the erection of a fence rather than hedging. At present it doesn’t appear possible to proceed via enforcement as the developer has not done any work on the boundary. Is there anything I can do?

    Reply
    • Replies to Medit>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Medit - this is not something we can assist you with or advise upon. It is very much legal advice you require here. If oyu are looking for wider comment/advice then online public forums such as Garden law can be useful resources but it is specific legal advice you really need

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Medit posted on

        Thank you, I appreciate your prompt reply. No doubt a costly process and the need to identify the right person, especially if the developer chose to retaliate.

        Reply
  76. Comment by K. Flowers posted on

    Years ago my neighbours offered to replace the wall out the front of our houses and the fences that adjoined our gardens. This is I believe was our fence and wall but we were ok with it ias seemed they wanted matching fences and walls both sides and we couldn’t have that anyway as the other wall belonged to our other neighbour, plus although functional were a bit of mess and we didn’t have the money to replace them at the time. Anyway, my neighbours then decided, without telling us, to recently install massive railings to the wall so their driveway was gated. They now have the house up for sale and I am concerned where I stand on my ownership of that wall and fence in case I want to replace it in the future.

    Reply
    • Replies to K. Flowers>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      K Flowers - ownership and responsibility can be separate things so it's invariably a case of discussing and agreeing with your neighbour as to what changes you want to make and when. If you want to know what your legal rights maybe then it is legal advice you need

      Reply
  77. Comment by jayne posted on

    Hi i have just put my house on the market after living here 18 years. My neighbour who rents out her property has contacted me and says that 8inches of my garden is actually hers as the previous owner moved the fence slightly and they now want it back. This means me moving my decking, concrete fence panels and some of the previous owners patio underneath for and 8inch difference. I have no money after a messy divorce hence the sale of the house. Can this be enforced ....help please

    Reply
    • Replies to jayne>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Jayne - it's legal advice you need here as to what rights you and your neighbour may have. Plans will veyr rarely be so precise that you can spot an 8 inch difference so do check what details you have and on what basis the neighbour is stating it's moved. One key point can be how long ago was the fence allegedly moved. If that was 12+ years ago then you may have an argument to back up it remaining as is now but again very much something to get legal advice on.
      If you are looking for wider comment/advice then online forums such as Garden law can be useful resources but do remember that you, your neighbour and the boundary are unique to you so it is specific legal advice you need.

      Reply
  78. Comment by Tom Duffy posted on

    I have just bought a piece of land to build a house on. I have just received the plans showing the land i have bought. The neighbour has claimed approximately 4m x 30m of the land as his garden by erecting a fence. How do I claim it back.

    Reply
    • Replies to Tom Duffy>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Tom - establish how long ago the neighbour did it and whether the seller gave them consent and then get legal advice

      Reply
  79. Comment by Charlie posted on

    I live in the penultimate house of a terrace. There is a small area of shrub land at the end of the terrace next to my neighbour's property. It's been pretty much unloved for a long time but he was clearing it today. He's hinted before that he owns it and not the council but I've checked the property deeds from when he did the extension, and it clearly shows that the shrub land is not part of his property. I believe he's just claiming this for his own as there would have to be a notice on planning permission for people to approve or not? There are lots of plants and small trees on the shrub land which he clearly cannot just clear without the necessary permission. Should I flag it with the local council just to check he does own it?

    Reply
    • Replies to Charlie>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Charlie - it's entirely up to you whether you flag it with the local authority but you may find that it is not something they would note or record. The planning process deals with the size, shape, materails etc being used for any extension/building and the issue of actual ownership may not be an issue for them. The council may only be interested if they do own it as a result

      Reply
  80. Comment by karen posted on

    Hi, I am in the process of buying a property. We have just found out that the land registry map shows a completely different boundary to the water search map. Will this delay the purchase further, we were supposed to exchange this week.

    Reply
    • Replies to karen>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Karen - all depends what legal advice you get as to it's relevance/impact. The title plan shows the general boundaries so should be compared with the reality on the ground to identify any anomalies re what you are buying. I'm unsure what a 'water map search' is but it suggests that it may be looking to cover a larger/different area as if it is to gauge the impact say of flooding then you would be looking at more than just the property I suspect

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by karen posted on

        Hi Adam, I now have more information. The land is a small verge attached to the front of the house which hasnt been included on the Land Registry title plan, even though the owner registered it in 1920 and the house has been sold twice since then!

        The solicitors are trying to contact him (if he is still alive). However if he has passed away, will this complicate matters further and potentially be a long drawn-out process?

        I hope you dont mind me bothering you with this question, only my solicitor is not giving me any information at all.

        Many thanks.

        Karen

        Reply
        • Replies to karen>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Karen - I suspect they are trying to contact him to try and get some evidence to support a claim for adverse possession of the land. Such a claim can be made after X number of years of use/maintenance etc as the deeds don;t include the land. If he has passed away then that closes off his ability to assist. If that is the case then you are probably looking at the seller providing what they can and then looking at some form of indemnity insurance to cover the risk of someone coming forward and proving that they actually own the land. You do though need to rely on your solicitor here

          Reply
  81. Comment by Fiona posted on

    Hi

    My neighbours have told me that they plan to move the fence that runs alongside their house by about 8 feet to 'sneakily' incorporate the wide council owned verge. They know the land is not theirs.

    The council trim and cut the verge twice a year, Several of my windows look out at the verge and it's pretty, with flowers, so I'd rather it stay as a verge that all can see, rather than look out at a new blank fence.

    I think a new fence will also block the view of people trying to turn right on the lane. It's an accident blackspot as it is.

    I've seen the registry plans for the area, and it's definitely not their land.

    Is this okay for them to do? Is there anything I can realistically do to stop them? Do the council mind if people take their land?

    Do you have any suggestions about how I might go about preventing this, without causing a neighbourhood dispute? Thanks

    Reply
    • Replies to Fiona>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Fiona - if the Council own the land then it would most likely be for them to protect it from any claimants. Our PGs 4 and 5 explain how such a claim might be registered in time and will offer you some understanding of what would be involved/required. https://www.gov.uk/topic/land-registration/practice-guides
      If you are looking for wider comment/advice then I would suggest trying online forums such as Garden law or Money Saving Expert where such matters can be discussed and aired. But it is really legal advice you need to understand what rights you or anyone else may have here and what might happen in any given scenario

      Reply
  82. Comment by Carole Mason posted on

    I live in a persimmons built house and my back garden is fenced at the bottom and is the boundry to the estate my solicitor stated that this fence is owned by persimmons upon purchace. This fence is now falling down who is responsible for replacing it?

    Reply
    • Replies to Carole Mason>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Carole - a matter for you, Persimmon and any adjoining landowner to discuss and agree upon I imagine. I'd suggest looking into the basis as to why the solicitor said it was Persimmon's and go from there

      Reply
  83. Comment by Lee posted on

    My neighbour has put a fence up which i agreed to, but without my concent hes but a board up from his garage to the top of the fence. So i took it down as its on my side of the fence, with him putting the fence up does that make it the boundry?

    Reply
  84. Comment by Michelle posted on

    Hi, I have an end of terrace house and there is a small piece of land on the side of my property which my council confirmed it does not belong to them. However, there is a telephone box by my fence - could it be owned by them? I wish to extend the boundary of my garden into a square but the box is in the way. How do I find out who owns that piece of land, or how do I go about in extending my boundary?

    Reply
  85. Comment by Sam posted on

    We bought a house a couple of years ago, that has a boundary hedge separating our garden from the house infront of us. The previous owner had placed a small fence in front of it to neaten the area as there is a flower bed there.

    This week the neighbour has completely removed the hedge, which makes our house completely overlooked and also less secure as the fence is very low and very easy to jump over. It also means they have gained an extra 3ft. They have not asked our permission to remove the hedge.

    Where do we stand legally? Can we ask them replace the hedge?

    Reply
  86. Comment by Bryan Hindle posted on

    I've been looking at some old OS maps (1927) and on many boundaries the are wavy lines the cross them. It's a bit like a stretched out S. What do this symbols mean?

    Reply
    • Replies to Bryan Hindle>

      Comment by Bryan Hindle posted on

      Think I've found the answer.
      It indicates it's all one parcel of land.

      Reply
      • Replies to Bryan Hindle>

        Comment by AdamH posted on

        Bryan - that is correct. They are OS markings known as 'braces'

        Reply
        • Replies to AdamH>

          Comment by Richard Drew posted on

          Hi Adam, Seemingly a great service from the HMRC/GOV.uk!

          I have a possible boundary dispute arising on exactly where my boundary line is as there were previously a long row of trees present and its exactly on where this should sit now that I have removed the trees.

          I have a copy of the deeds with my house purchase from 5 years ago which shows a stright line from one edge of another property boundary to an original post which i have excavated about 10ft away.

          This then forms an almost straight line to an original post, which is off the opposite end of the garden (20m away) on my neighbours property.

          They are disputing this ruler straight line (from left to right which picks up the original post) as they have measurements on their deeds dating from the 1980's which have measurements on. They are simply taking the measurements shown there from their house and/or from the front garden/Path which do cross over the straight line that i can clearly see on the deeds and plot to with a straight line.

          I have an end point on the left of the property and a then secondary anchor 10 ft (the original post) from here and what this line forms is the deed line

          As noted an original post is about 10ft away from the left side and this gives me a straight line to the original post at the other end and then forms a straight line back to the left post (well almost - the post on the far left has come back a foot but otherwise from the orignal second post, this forms a straight line as shown on the deeds)

          So really its just to confirm these measurements on the 1980's deeds and how accurate these are?

          Presuming our next step from here is a surveyor and agree to be bound by their findings?

          Many thanks for any help,

          Rich

          Reply
          • Replies to Richard Drew>

            Comment by AdamH posted on

            Richard - plans and measurements are invariably indicative only and won't define the exact position of the legal boundary. As you probably already appreciate a straight line on a plan may not be a straight on the ground for a variety of reasons. And an 'almost straight line' is the same. You also don't know where the person measured from and/or what features existed which may have impacted.
            So your conclusion is the right one in that it's really a matter for you and your neighbour to resolve by sharing details and understanding and agreeing a way forward. A surveyor can assist in interpreting the various details you each have and the RICS have a very good dispute resolution service. But again as you appreciate both neighbours need to agree on the outcomes.
            If you do reach an agreement and wish to formalise it then the Boundary Agreement or Determined Boundary options referred to in the article are available to you both

  87. Comment by Stuart kirtley posted on

    Hi, it clearly says in our deeds (were mid terrace) not to errect any fences or plant any hedges enclosing the front garden, but my neighbour (who doesnt speak to us) has planted a large hedge between our drives! How should I go about having it removed

    Reply
    • Replies to Stuart kirtley>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Stuart - I would recommend seeking legal advice as to what options/rights you (and your neighbour) have here. If you believe that they have breached a restrictive covenant that you benefit from then it will be a legal matter

      Reply
  88. Comment by Paul posted on

    Hi I have a small bit of unusable public or council land in front of my front garden that I would like to park my car on, I would like to build a fence that includes a cover that will protect the car from the trees (and birds!) the proposed (roof if you like) will not be built on council land just over hang it, supported by my fence, would this raise a legal debate in your opinion?

    Reply
    • Replies to Paul>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Paul - we would not know or be able to advise and I would recommend seeking legal advice for clarity. If you are looking for wider comment then online forums such as Garden law can also be useful resources as such matters are often aired and discussed

      Reply
  89. Comment by Rupert posted on

    Hi,

    My title deeds do not show who owns the adjacent fence lines, so I have agreed with my neighbours that I shall take ownership of both and accept all costs, etc.

    What is the correct process for updating the deeds?

    Reply
  90. Comment by VickyBee posted on

    Hi

    We are struggling to establish ownership of a wall between our property and the property behind. It is in need of urgent repair as it is very high and risks masonry falling on to my children playing in the garden. We have evidence of a Plan to Assignment from 1968 referred to in our conveyancing report stating that there are T marks pointing outwards towards the property behind. Our solicitor has advised that this should mean the neighbour is responsible. Our neighbour disputes that this is evidence that we are not responsible as 'T marks on the Plan to Assignment are only relevant if they are referred to in the original deeds' (Our house was built circa 1900) - I don't think we have original deeds. He is suggesting we split the cost. Are you able to advise how we best clarify who is responsible and how best to pursue this?

    Reply
    • Replies to VickyBee>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      VickyBee - as the blog explains the best way to pursue this is through neighbourly discussion and agreement. Whilst covenants and T marks can assist in identifying who was asked to be responsible at a point in time what may have been true then may not apply or be legally enforceable now. So the best way to clarify matters is to share whatever details you have, inc what your sellers advised on sale, and agree whether one or both of you takes responsibility for the wall. Your solicitor can advise you on whether the plan to an assignment is legally enforceable and and any possible costs involved should the neighbour dispute the point

      Reply
  91. Comment by Colin posted on

    Hi

    We are in the process of buying a new house which has a hedge boundary to a public lane. We want to completely renovate the hedge but are unsure if the entire hedge is part of the property or if half belongs to the local council?

    Reply
    • Replies to Colin>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Colin - if they own the land the other side then I would suggest contacting them to discuss and agree next steps. Legal advice may also be warranted around where the legal boundary might be assumed to for example be the middle of the hedge.

      Reply
  92. Comment by Colin posted on

    Thanks Adam, would this also be the case if we wanted to fell trees growing out of the hedge?

    Reply
  93. Comment by Colin posted on

    Thanks again. So should we contact them even if our solicitor confirms that we would own the whole boundary.

    Reply
    • Replies to Colin>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Colin - you should always rely on your legal advice. There are in my experience two sides (at least) to every boundary so doing something without consulting the other side is a potential risk. I would suggest speaking to your solicitor to clarify what rights you and the council have here

      Reply
  94. Comment by Colin posted on

    Many thanks. Another property down the lane have done what we want to do (and it looks fantastic) so I think I’ll knock on their door and ask what they did as well.

    Reply
  95. Comment by Claire posted on

    I have bought a new build home and the builders have told me in a email and with plans with dimensions, that from the gable my boundary should measure more than they have given me. Please can you advise as now the next door neighbour wants to put a fence on what should be my land thanks.

    Reply
    • Replies to Claire>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Claire - it's something you will need to resolve with the builder/neighbour and I would strongly recommend getting legal advice also. If both properties have been transferred and registered then it is very likely you would have to get your neighbour to transfer the land to you. As I am sure you will appreciate that may not be a simple task but your solicitor will be able to advise/assist. We cannot.
      You may also want to check on what you contracted to buy and what was bought and clarify on what basis the builders are now saying you should have had more

      Reply
  96. Comment by Julie c posted on

    I have lived in my semi detached house for over 30 years.2 years ago the house next door was sold,he told me he was going to add an extension to the house
    which involved knocking down some of the wall between the properties and rebuilding it higher on the
    part that is where the extension is,The extension roof rests on the whole width of the wall and a wire,maybe for an aerial has been tacked to run up the wall on my property at the side of the downpipe.Was I supposed to recieve a letter about the extension? The house is now rented ( has been for a month) ,I have no idea where the owner is.

    Reply
    • Replies to Julie c>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Julie C - we would not be involved in the planning/building process so would not know whether you should have been notified. I'd suggest getting some legal advice or doing some wider research online as to the processes involved re building an extension and what, if anything, you have to do re your neighbours for example

      Reply
  97. Comment by David R posted on

    David R - I have recently removed 12 feet of hedge which acts as the boundary between my property and my neighbour. I have erected two fence panels which my neighbour claims are in breach of covenant as a live hedge has to be in place. The fence panels I have erected are very slightly my side of the remaining hedge stumps, so as far as I'm concerned are my side of the boundary. Would the middle of the line of hedge stumps represent the boundary?

    Reply
    • Replies to David R>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      David - there appear to be two aspects to this. Firstly, your neighbour's claim the removal of the hedge is in breach of covenant. If necessary, those involved would need to explore this further, for example, whether there is a conveyancing deed containing such a covenant. Even where this is the case, as mentioned in the blog, information in the registered titles / conveyancing deeds are usually only of assistance in helping neighbours to reach an agreement.

      Secondly, you have queried the exact position of the boundary. As mentioned in the blog, we normally only register general boundaries and the exact position of the legal boundary line is left undetermined. So we won't be able to say definitively where the legal boundary line is in relation to the new physical boundary that you have erected. Other sources of help such as the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors will again only really be of assistance in helping you to reach agreement with your neighbor.

      Reply
  98. Comment by Sue posted on

    I am almost complete in buying my house from local authorities. At the front there is a fence that comes straight up the garden.then our part of the house goes on to the neighbour's land.it was year's ago old cold shed.we have access to this brick building that is attached to the house local authority has sent use the map and this part of the building is missing off it.the boundry line goes straight .could some one plz help me as we are on the last stages now.

    Reply
    • Replies to Sue>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Sue - you'll need to discuss this with your solicitor. We can supply the registered details only and it reads as if you need legal advice here

      Reply
  99. Comment by Sarah posted on

    Sarah - I am in the process of selling my terrace property. The terraces have a shared passageway between. My bathroom is above this passageway and has been since the property was built in 1880. I have been told that somehow my bathroom has been included in the deeds for next doors property and not mine. Is there anything I can do to have this corrected and quickly so that our purchase chain does not fall apart !

    Reply
    • Replies to Sarah>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Sarah - it reads as if this is a flying freehold situation so if it's not shown on the title and the buyer is aware then there are generally two options. Either apply to have the two titles corrected or next door transfers the part to you (or the buyer)
      I suspect the buyer will want the former to be done before they will complete but something to check/confirm as other factors can come into play such as speed, how much they want the property, the chain etc etc
      I also suspect, as it has not been spotted before, that the error was in the historical conveyancing and the flying freehold aspect not detailed. If so then correcting the title may only be achievable by next door transferring the floor level/room to you

      Reply
  100. Comment by Sunny posted on

    Hi
    My property's boundary line is quite weird.
    We have a shared pathway which leads to a shared alleyway between the two houses.
    According to the title and plan from land registry the my house is built over the alleyway and technically own the alleyway as well but the path in front of it is shared. This also affects the the back garden line as well as the line is straight apart from the extra bit we have from the alley.
    As the adjoining property is a council house, can i speak to the council to extend the boundary so that we have a straight boundary all round.

    Reply
    • Replies to Sunny>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Sunny - it is possible to own a shared pathway/alleyway and the neighbouring property then has a right over it. If you are concerned as to the boundary position and want to try and straighten things out then yes, it is best to discuss with your neighbouring landowner. You may also wish to get legal advice as to possible options and likely outcomes.

      Reply
  101. Comment by Michelle Old posted on

    We have recently bought a property that backs onto land owned by Northumberland Estates. When we moved in there was a summerhouse backing immediately onto the boundary fence. This was sited onto a concrete pad. We have since removed the summerhouse and intended it to be replaced on the same footprint. In our deeds it requires us to get permission from Northumberland Estates. We have done this but now been advised that they require us to site it 1.5 metres from the boundary fence as they do not wish us to access the field for any maintenance that may be due to our summerhouse. This would mean us completely re designing the garden and removing several trees and tons of concrete.
    Are they legally allowed to do this.

    Reply
    • Replies to Michelle Old>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Michelle - you'll need legal advice here as to what their legal options are, and indeed your own. If you are looking for wider comment/advice then online forums such as Garden law can be useful resources re such matters. But it is still specific legal advice you really need here

      Reply
  102. Comment by Nick posted on

    I have a 100+ year old house on a road which has never had pavements and until very recently didn't have kerbs. A chap from my local council told me that some of the land between my house and the road (but couldn't tell me how much) is actually public highway and that I shouldn't park on it and I shouldn't have any plants on it.

    It's mostly grass right now, but I do use it as a driveway (they have put in a dropped kerb for it, so I guess they don't have problem with that) but it did make me think if I wanted to block-pave the driveway or something in the future.

    Is what he said true? I checked my land registry document and it highlights an area which goes right up to the road. There is mention of a 'building line' of 15 feet from the road, but surely that is basically all of my front garden! That can't all be public highway, can it?

    How do I find out exactly what is my land and what is public highway?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Replies to Nick>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Nick - the title plan will show that title's registered extent and the red outline shows the extent of your legal ownership of that title. The building line will not impact re what you own but presumably there is a covenant on the title saying you can't build in front of that building line.
      Roads are generally adopted by the local authority which means they own the top few inches. Most properties own as far as the middle of the road, but not those inches, but the title plan will rarely extend that far - research ad medium filum online and get legal advice over what the council chap is telling you. Alternative is to try online forums such as Garden law where such matters are often aired and discussed

      Reply
  103. Comment by Marie posted on

    Our deeds state that the southbound wall is not included in our property and a T can be found on the drawing of the plot on the North boundary wall. Due to the lack of maintenance of shrubs/bushes/trees,etc. that are adjacent to this wall for a number of years, said greenery has caused the wall to tilt dangerously. We obtained a survey to this affect also indicating that this was the cause. (Various tree trunks were leaning against our wall.) Finally the Management company who look after the plot and who we contacted yearly to inform them of the problem, have had all said greenery cut away, but still won't do anything in regards to replacing the wall, which as stated, has become dangerous. Are we in our right to demand them to do so as it was their neglect which caused the problem?
    They are now requesting that we prove it is our wall, as they can't get a hold of the deeds, which doesn't make sense as the freeholder, who they work for will have theirs.

    Reply
    • Replies to Marie>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Marie - As mentioned in the blog, deeds may contain 'T' marks and/or refer to the maintenance/ownership of boundary structures but they are really only of assistance in trying to reach agreement with the other party. Where an agreement cannot be reached, such matters may have to be resolved in other jurisdictions, such as the courts.

      Also, as mentioned in the blog, the RICS may be able to assist but I note you have already had the wall surveyed. Websites such as Garden Law may also be of use in considering the legal position and ultimately you may need to consider seeking legal advice, for example from Citizens Advice or from a conveyancer such as a solicitor.

      I am sorry we can't be of more assistance but I hope this is of some use to you.

      Reply
  104. Comment by Pam posted on

    I own my property and next door is rented. Land registry showed shared ownership of fences, so I contacted the letting agent who in turn contacted the landlord who agreed to share the cost of replacing the fence. However, the payment is not forthcoming. The agents keeps emailing me saying they will chase him for payment. What are my rights after he agreed to pay?

    Reply
    • Replies to Pam>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Pam - something to get legal advice on to clarify what your legal rights are in such cases. We cannot advise you on how the law would view such an agreement and how to enforce it

      Reply
  105. Comment by Nigel Whitten posted on

    Hello, The back fence of our garden covers about three of the gardens of the houses opposite, and it is their responsibility according to our deeds for its upkeep.The neighbour on the right side of the garden has just put up a new fence ( his "share" of the fence so to speak) but he has placed the fence about 12" inside his boundary, thus losing some of his garden - but he has left the old fence still standing.
    This means when that part of the old fence disintegrates we will be left with the problem of disposing of it and attempting to join the fence up to the next piece of the fencing which another occupier owns.
    I haven't attempted to speak to the person on this matter yet, but it seems a very weird thing to do!
    Any advice would be appreciated!

    Reply
    • Replies to Nigel Whitten>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Nigel - we can't offer any advice really as very much something to discuss and clarify/agree upon with your neighbour. In my experience it is not that 'weird' in modern times and people seem to prefer to do this rather than engage with the neighbour and agree what next etc
      It can pose issues later on as you suggest although they tend to be over who owns the land in between old and new fences - it can get quite problematical where neighbours dispute the issue, especially if property is old to a new neighbour
      Try online forums such as Garden Law for wider comment/advice as they often share and discuss similar issues

      Reply
  106. Comment by Susan Menzies posted on

    Hi Nigel
    The neighbour whose garden runs longways across the bottom of our garden had conifers which my husband has always kept trimmed, some time ago this neighbour said he wanted to get them cut down by about a foot (they were approximately 6ft at the time) we were quite happy with that. On Saturday we came home to find that he has had them cut down to approximately 3' 6" and are absolutely devastated as we have totally lost all privacy and also any security (the rest of our garden is enclosed), we have been trying to think of ways to improve this, if we put a fence in then when he trims the hedge it would probably damage the fence. Is there anything we can do?

    Reply
    • Replies to Susan Menzies>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Susan - very much something to discuss and agree with your neighbour. If you are looking for wider comment/advice then try online forums such as Garden Law where such matters are often aired and discussed

      Reply
  107. Comment by Emma posted on

    Hello, I brought a house just over a year ago and the council are now updating the roofs on the properties they own in the area. The house next to ours is one of those houses. We are an end terrace and the council are wanting to use our side entrance to get to that house, but I don’t want them to as I’ve a newborn baby and feel our privacy would been interrupted. Do I have to agree to them using it?
    I was never informed that it would be used when I brought the property.

    Reply
    • Replies to Emma>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Emma- Hello. We essentially have an administrative role and whilst the register of title that we hold will show any rights (such as rights of way/access) and covenants that your property is subject to, we cannot advise as to whether or how they are enforceable. The Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 may also come in to play. That Act gives a right of access where it is vital for one neighbour to go on to the land of another to carry out repairs to their own property. This is not something that we are involved with and if you're unsure what action to take, you may want to consider seeking independent advice, for example, from Citizen's Advice or a solicitor such as a conveyancer.

      Reply
  108. Comment by Nigel Jones posted on

    Hi, I have a wire/barbed wire fence at the bottom of my garden that backs on to a Church hall. I have two trees at the very edge of my garden and I want to put a wooden panel fence just inside - so there is a gap between the wire fence and my new wooden fence. Can the Church then take down the wire fence and make that area - 4ft x 20ft - their own?
    I only ask because my neighbour has down something similar and the church has created a garden using the space.
    I will add that I don't mind them doing this to my garden but I don't want the trees cut down. I'm thinking if they claim this land then they have the right to cut them.
    Kindest regards,

    Nigel

    Reply
    • Replies to Nigel Jones>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Nigel - Hi. As mentioned in the blog, the invisible legal boundary line is left undefined, so regardless of changes to physical boundary or boundaries on the ground, we wouldn't able to confirm whether the owner is entitled to take any action such as cutting down the trees. A tree preservation order(s) may also come into play but that is not something that we are involved with.

      As to the claiming of land without deeds this would generally be by adverse possession, commonly referred to as 'squatter's rights', and this a very complex area of the law. If you're unsure of the implications of any action taken, you may want to consider seeking independent advice, for example, from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors as mentioned in the blog, and/or from Citizen's Advice or a conveyancer such as a solicitor. Online forums such as 'Garden Law' may also be of interest.

      Reply
  109. Comment by Carol posted on

    Would it be correct to assume that the house that owns a boundary, the boundary/hedge is planted on that land and not instead on the next door neighbours land?

    Reply
    • Replies to Carol>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      That might be a reasonable assumption but we can't say whether it would be correct given the precise position of a legal boundary is not determined and may run inside, or either side, of a living boundary structure such as a hedge. These types of structure may also move over time given they may take root on adjacent land.

      Reply
  110. Comment by Sadiq posted on

    My neighbour is asking to split the cost of a new fence, she believes in her documents the left side of the fence is my responsibility. However my documents state mine is the right side. Is there any legal standing for do either of us given that we have documents claiming "ownership" of a side?

    Reply
    • Replies to Sadiq>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      The information in deeds may assist the parties involved in reaching an agreement, but it is important to mention that responsibility for a boundary does not necessarily confer ownership. Ultimately, where an agreement cannot be reached, these issues may have to be resolved in other jurisdictions such as the courts. Resources such as the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors referred to in the blog may be able to assist and if you are unsure as to the legal position, you may want consider getting some legal advice, such as from Citizen's Advice or from a conveyancer such as a solicitor.

      Reply
  111. Comment by Gaz posted on

    We purchased a property 18 months ago, then recently purchased the neighbouring land. It was not until the latter purchase that we discovered a discrepancy in the boundaries between these two. Many years ago there appeared to be a couple of very small buildings straddling the boundary between the two. As a result the OS map that existed when the property was first registered still showed the boundary around these two small buildings. This means in the title plan for the property does not include the small area originally occupied by these small buildings. The physical boundary which I guess has been in place for over 50 years has this small area within the property boundaries. This very small piece of land (approx. 1m x 3m) is unregistered.

    However, the purchased land, is split into two titles. One title is where the two small building existed and again is a very small piece of land (approx. 0.5m x 3m) This had possessory title before our purchase, but we have changed this to absolute. These two titles use a newer OS map which is representative of the physical boundaries in place today.

    At some stage in the future we may wish to build on the land so need to ensure that all land is registered. Land Registry have asked me to complete an FR1 form which I assume is just to register the small 1m x 3m piece of land. Or is there another way that this can be done?

    Reply
    • Replies to Gaz>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Gaz - if part of the land is unregistered then you will need form FR1 to apply for it to be registered. The application should then include any evidence to support your application

      Reply
  112. Comment by Christina posted on

    Hi wonder if you can help me. I built a kitchen extension which for three quarters of the way runs along the boundary and then goes a few cm into my garden - we had to do this to make sure the wall was a straight line. I built the kitchen wall as a party wall for my neighbours to also use to build off. They now want to do just that but they are nervous about using the wall because of the few cm that it veers into my garden as they are scared in the future I will try and claim those few cm or make an issue and change my mind.

    I won't - I built the wall for their use knowing that the end bit would veer into my garden so what can I do to assure them legally? Is it enough that they get a party wall survey and draw up a party wall agreement that states this? The neighbour mentioned land surveyors and specialists and redrawing title deeds - which is silly as boundary lines are not shown to cm in title deeds. Any help appreciated - they are lovely neighbours and I understand their worry but I built the wall for them to use as well as I didn't want a tiny gap between our extensions.

    Reply
    • Replies to Christina>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Christina - we can't advise you legally but would suggest considering either the boundary agreement or determined boundary options highlighted in the blog article.
      As you rightly state a few cms is not going to show up on existing title plans. If you want to formalise the situation then the options as mentioned are available to you both from a registration perspective.

      Reply
      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Christina Ioannou posted on

        Sorry but where does it talk about boundary agreements and determined boundary options? I can't see where the information is... or am I being a space cadet?

        Reply
  113. Comment by Tara Roden-King posted on

    Hello. Am I able to build a wall next to my neighbours wall? He says the the wall between us is on his land and goes up to the boundary line. He becomes very aggressive if we place objects against the wall or if builders have soil/sand and this leans against ‘his’ wall. He said that I can’t do this, is this correct? Many thanks.

    Reply
    • Replies to Tara Roden-King>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Tara - it's legal advice you need here as to what your rights (or his) may be. If you are looking for wider comment or online advice then forums such as Garden Law can be useful resources. But remember it's your property, your neighbour and your shared boundary so what may work for some may not apply to you. Legal advice is the best option.

      Reply
  114. Comment by Joan Hudson posted on

    Joan Hudson 19th July 2018.
    On the 4th of July, my new neighbour (having gained planning permission for large extension to the back of her property) on July 4th at 7-30 am, upon the neighbours instructions, builders removed a joint wooden party fence to the side elevation between our properties and drilled out the substantial, solid mini concrete boundary wall, that had ran the full length between our detached houses and gardens, no permission was sought, they also, demolished a eight foot ornamental wall on the end of their side path and dumped it onto my mature shrub border, planted seventy years ago and well within the now demolished concrete wall & wooden fence,
    (I have photographic evidence of all these facts), would your office define this substantial concrete mini wall that the builders of all properties in this area 70 years ago had placed between each property, as a boundary marker, they are now extending their path up to my property side wall.

    Reply
    • Replies to Joan Hudson>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Joan - we register the general boundaries so do not define the position of the exact legal boundary. I would recommend seeking legal advice/assistance with regards what steps you can now take. Boundaries can be marked in a variety of ways but it's important to understand why the neighbour has done what they have and what their understanding is also. As the blog article explains the RICS offers a dispute service but it reads as if it's some form of legal action you now need to stop the works until this matter is resolved

      Reply
  115. Comment by Sue posted on

    We are in the process of purchasing a property that backs into a beach. What are the rules so far as the outer boundary of our property? We have been told that we would own up to the high tide mark. I have a copy of the title deeds but it is not clear.

    Reply

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