Garden Property Boundaries


Disputes regularly occur with regard to the precise location of your garden boundaries. The Land Registry Title Plan only shows these boundaries in a general way. Whilst this is all that is needed for most purposes, when disputes occur with your neighbour more often than not the area disputed is very narrow. At this scale the Title Plan fails to provide the precision necessary to help you resolve the dispute, and you therefore have to look at other documents to assist you.

The legal records showing ownership of your property consist of a Title Plan and Title Register. Before Land Registration, however, ownership of a property was authenticated with a large bundle of documents which provided a chain of ownership stretching back at least 15 years. This is known as the root of Title.

Many Deeds would often be provided in the root of Title and there would usually be a lot more detail about your property and its boundaries in these documents than in the Title Register and Title Plan. For example the pre-registration Deeds often contained plans which often had T or H marks to show boundary maintenance responsibilities, measurements and physical features such as drains, culverts, etc from which the boundaries could be gauged.

A Boundary Search contains all of these documents, and does so for each of the adjoining properties. Not all of the Deeds are retained by the Land Registry, but those that are retained are held digitally. Only those Deeds and the Title Register and Title Plan are available with the search. It is often the case that resort must be had to the Common Law Presumptions provided, not by statute, but from the decisions of other boundary disputes decided by the High Courts of our country. Details of these presumptions are provided in a handy booklet provided with the search, and examples of how to apply them.

Physical Examination

The documents will help you establish the legal boundary. This is only part of the exercise however, as it is often more important to examine the physical features of the garden in light of the information provided in the examination. In a physical inspection you would be looking for line of sight features that would indicate the start and end of a boundary. You may also be able to obtain access to an aerial photograph, particularly an old one when a hedge or tree boundary was younger.

Implied Boundaries

The Land Registration Act 2002 confirmed the it was not the Land Registry’s responsibility to provide details of property boundaries and accordingly they are only shown in a general way within the Title Register and Title Plan. The Title Plan is only as accurate as the Ordnance Survey map that the Land Registry add their detail to. In fact, the Land Registry draw a red line outside the perimeter of the OS’s black line demarcating their opinion of the property boundary. This is why it is so important to check the actual features in the garden against what is said in the documents. The combination of both is far better than the sum of one.

In the documents the boundaries are usually not expressed as such, save in a general way. However, phrases and wording can often be combined with the position of landmarks and adjacent features which together may imply a more accurate positioning of the boundaries. Many examples of implied boundary positions are provided in the booklet provided with the Boundary Search.

Historical Maps and Surveys

Extrinsic evidence will usually be required where there is a litigious dispute. Extrinsic evidence is evidence other than the legal documents and may include a reference to historical maps and surveys. They can usually be found in a reference library or in local archives. By comparing them with the current Title Plan and Title Register it may be possible to provide a more accurate demarcation of your property boundaries. Other forms of extrinsic evidence may be provided by statements of truth from gardeners, builders, architects or previous owners, who may have first hand knowledge of the boundary positions.

Boundary Search 2 Properties

Obtain all the available property documents held to help resolve common boundary problems. For 2 Adjoining Properties.


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Boundary Search 3 Properties

Obtain all the available property documents held to help resolve common boundary problems. For 3 Adjoining Properties.


Find out more

Boundary Search 4 Properties

Obtain all the available property documents held to help resolve common boundary problems. For 4 Adjoining Properties.


Find out more