Property boundaries

The following Property Disputes practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Property boundaries
  • General boundaries rule
  • Analysing the conveyance
  • The relevance of plans
  • For the purposes of identification only
  • More particularly delineated
  • Both forms of words
  • ‘Delineated’
  • Defined on the plan
  • No qualifying words
  • More...

Property boundaries

This Practice Note explains how to ascertain the location of property boundaries: the general boundaries rule that applies to HM Land Registry title plans, the proper approach to analysing the title documents and plans, and when and how to apply legal presumptions. It also explains how precise boundaries can be fixed by agreement or by application to HM Land Registry or to the courts.

General boundaries rule

All boundaries shown on HM Land Registry title plans are subject to the general boundaries rule. A general boundary does not indicate the exact legal boundary. This means that the precise line of a boundary is undetermined unless an application is made for it to be fixed.

In Drake v Fripp, it was emphasised that a title plan shows only a general boundary and cannot show the precise boundary between two properties. There is no specific level of tolerance or ‘margin of error’ and there is no limit to the amount of land that can fall within the scope of the general boundaries rule.

In Lee v Barrey, the contract plan and the transfer plan showed a plot of land with irregular boundaries and these had been marked out on the site by pegs. The HM Land Registry title plan showed a plot with regular boundaries. The defendant built his house based on the title plan and the claimant brought

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