Boundaries – where actually are they?

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Physical boundaries are not always legal boundaries

Often with property transactions purchasers assume the boundaries shown on plans attached to the Deeds or Registered Title show the actual boundaries that they can see in front of them. However it is often not that straightforward.

The legal boundary isn’t a visible line on the ground. Assumptions are made about boundaries until they are questioned, often when building work is carried out. Unless these differences are resolved quickly there can be a lengthy, costly dispute, which needs to be disclosed to any potential purchaser and normally resolved before a sale can take place. The courts will often try to resolve the issue in a number of ways.

The first point of reference is the Title Deeds, those registered and prior to registration if they have been kept. Not all Conveyances or Transfers of Land contain clear, unambiguous descriptions of the property or plans. Then look at the physical features on the ground. Lastly, look if there are any agreements made between adjoining owners or legal presumptions you can rely upon. Each case is different so advice should be sought sooner rather than later.


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