Working out the boundaries for your house can be an expensive and complicated process and knowing them before any particularly tough legal issue arises can save you a great deal of time and cost. Land in England and Wales is registered with general boundaries rather than precise ones, and so it can be extremely useful to calculate and plot out the precise boundaries for your own property.
The general boundaries to your house or garden should be available for you in the title plan for your property. Occasionally, if a previous owner has worked out the exact boundaries, then you will have very little work to do, and these title plans will only show boundaries based on ordnance survey maps. The government’s land registry website can provide a copy of your title plan for a small fee and it is highly recommended as a first step.
If there are any areas which you are uncertain of, perhaps a shared plot of land, or where gardens meet perhaps, then you should discuss these matters with a neighbour. It may also be worth consulting with a surveyor at this point, or alternatively an organisation such as Saga who can provide advice at both this, and the next stage of the process. You and your neighbours should come to an agreement about where boundaries between houses and property lie, and should sign an agreement stating these boundaries so that you can easily avoid any future disputes.
The government provides a free document online called ‘Application’ to determine the exact line of the boundary. In the final stage of the process, to determine and register your property boundaries, you should complete this form. The form, along with a document outlining the boundaries of your property, as well as any signed agreements between you and your neighbours should all be sent to the Land Registry who can then update the title plan of your property to reflect these and any other changes.
It may sound like a complex process, but it is a necessary step in the investment of a property. You could discover than when plotting out the boundaries of your new home, you are entitled to more land than you first discovered and this, in turn, may increase the value of your home. Knowing your boundaries is one of the key elements of home ownership.