Where Can I Find My Property Boundaries?
In most cases, the title plans for properties in England and Wales do not show any record of the:
- Exact legal boundary line used to separate two or more adjacent properties.
- Legal owners of barriers and structures that exist between two or more properties (e.g. fences, hedges, trees, and walls).
You do not need to be the owner to find a property from HM Land Registry and get its title plan. Hence, you will be able to see how far its general boundaries extend.
Simply put, the title plan will show a generalisation of where the boundaries are for any given property. Usually, the exact boundaries don’t need to be recorded anywhere.
Even so, it is possible to record border lines in a more precise way. You can make a boundary agreement with your neighbour or you can apply for a determined boundary.
Note: A help guide explaining how your property boundaries work is also available in Welsh language (terfynau eich eiddo).
Making a Boundary Agreement with a Neighbour
In most cases, having an informal discussion about the matter with your neighbour will avoid having to create an exact boundary agreement.
You can get professional help to solve disagreements over your property boundaries from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Boundary Agreements Explained
The main purpose of creating a ‘boundary agreement’ (set up between you and a neighbour) is to have a record of:
- The legal border line that exists between two or more properties.
- Who has the responsibility of maintaining any physical structures that divide the property boundaries (e.g. a fence, hedge, tree, or wall).
There are some limits on what a boundary agreement can and cannot do. For example, you would not be able to use it to transfer ownership of your property (e.g. sell or give away part of the land to a neighbour).
Important: It is usually best to get legal advice before making a boundary agreement between you and your neighbour.
A boundary agreement must include:
- Name and address of all parties involved (e.g. you and your neighbour).
- Date that the agreement will begin.
- Details about the boundaries and any physical structures as agreed by all parties.
In some cases, the agreement may also include a:
- Written description.
- Copy of an Ordnance Survey map (or one drawn up by yourself).
Boundary Agreement Example
This agreement is made on the 25th day of June 2021 between John Doe of 101 Acacia Avenue, title to which is registered under title number XX12345, and Kelly Brown of 102 Acacia Avenue, title to which is registered under title number XX67891.
The parties agree that the legal boundary between the land within their respective registered titles, and running from the point marked ‘A’ to the point marked ‘B’ on the plan attached, is as shown by the solid red line drawn between those points.
[Witness (Signature, name and address)]
[Witness (Signature, name and address)]”
Recording a Boundary Agreement
The first step is filling in application form AP1 to change the register. Write ‘To note a boundary agreement’ under ‘Applications in priority order’ marked in section 4. There is no need to fill in sections nine (9) through to fourteen (14).
Send the completed AP1 form, a copy of the boundary agreement, and a cheque or postal order to cover the fee (around £40) made payable to ‘HMLR’ to:
HM Land Registry Citizen Centre
PO Box 74
Important: HM Land Registry will send a copy of the updated register to you and your neighbour. See another section for more information about registering land or property with HM Land Registry (HMLR).
Recording the Exact Boundary
In simple terms, applying for a ‘determined boundary’ is a way of getting the exact border that exists between neighbouring properties recorded – providing they are listed in HM Land Registry.
Furthermore, a determined boundary stays valid even in circumstances where one or both of the neighbours sell their property.
In some cases, such as if a neighbour disagrees with the application, it may go to a housing tribunal for further investigations.
Applying for a Determined Boundary
Determined boundary documentation and requirements include:
- Application form DB (used to determine the exact line of a boundary).
- A plan supporting an application to determine a boundary (you may need to hire the services of a chartered land surveyor).
- Any relevant evidence required to support the application.
Evidence used to support or justify the surveyor’s boundary may include:
- A report produced by an expert in the field.
- Deeds to the property prior to its registration (must be certified copies).
- A written statement witnessed by a solicitor, a commissioner of oaths, or a magistrate.
The neighbour would need to sign the form and the plan if they agree with the application. You can then send all the documents and relevant fees to HM Land Registry (HMLR).
HM Land Registry will send a copy of the updated title plan and the register to all parties involved – providing the application is successful.
What if a Neighbour Objects to the Application?
In the first instance, HMLR will decide whether the neighbour’s objection is a valid one. Often, this gives the two parties another opportunity to settle their differences.
They would forward the application to a tribunal in cases where there is no obvious solution. As a result, it may be necessary to pay legal advice and hire a land surveyor.
If the housing tribunal approves the application, you would get a copy of the updated title plan and the register (showing the determined boundary) from HM Land Registry.
But, if the tribunal rejects it, they would (either):
- Make a decision about the exact boundary position.
- Decide not to set the exact boundary (this may mean having to pay costs to the neighbour).
Correcting a Title Plan Boundary Mistake
If you believe there is a boundary mistake on the title plan of a property you should write to HM Land Registry. The letter should:
- Explain why you think the plan needs correcting.
- Include any relevant evidence to support the query (e.g. certified copies of the property deeds).