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Title Boundaries

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When a property is purchased it usually has to be registered at HM Land Registry. The registration gives details on the title plan ofthe location of the property’s boundaries. In the majority of cases these boundaries are not fixed but give a general indication of where the boundary between properties lies. This can cause problems for property owners.

Under the Land Registration Act 2002 there is a procedure to allow for applications to be made to the Land Registry to have the boundary fixed. This can be for peace of mind or in the event of a dispute. Usually a surveyor is involved as a plan is required to be produced that complies with the Land Registry’s specific requirements. Any additional evidence to support the application is useful. The Land Registry serves notice on adjoining land owners. If an objection is raised which is deemed to have some merit the application is referred to the Land Registration Division of the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) for consideration. Such applications are dealt with in a formal manner similar to other court / Tribunal applications.

There has previously been uncertainty as to the extent of the FTT’s powers: do they have the power to determine where the boundary line is located even if it is not in the place that has been claimed or is it limited to determining whether or not the boundary is in the place shown on the plan? In July 2018 in the case of Lowe V William Davis [2018] the powers were clarified when the tribunal judge concluded that the FTT could determine not only the accuracy of the plan submitted with the application but also the location of the boundary if different.

This can still be an expensive and time consuming process but applicants can now have more confidence that the matter can be definitively decided.

For more information, or for any advice or assistance in connection with a property related matter please contact a member of our Property Law team.

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