Your property boundaries

1. Overview

If you live in England or Wales, there’s usually no record of:

  • the exact boundary between two properties
  • who owns the hedge, wall, tree or fence between 2 properties

The rules are different in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

You can get an idea of where the boundaries for your property are by looking at its title plan. Most title plans don’t show exact boundaries - you usually don’t need to have the exact boundaries recorded anywhere.

You can apply to get the title plan corrected if you think there’s a mistake on it.

Record the boundary more precisely

You can do this by:

2. Make a boundary agreement with your neighbour

You can usually avoid having to create a boundary agreement by having an informal discussion with your neighbour.

Get help in solving disagreements

Contact the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors for advice on solving disagreements over boundaries.

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
contactrics@rics.org
Telephone: 0247 686 8555
Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm
Find out about call charges

What a boundary agreement can do

You and your neighbour can create a ‘boundary agreement’ to record:

  • the boundary between 2 properties
  • who’s responsible for maintaining a hedge, wall, tree or fence between 2 properties

Get legal advice if you’re thinking about making a boundary agreement.

What a boundary agreement can’t do

You can’t use a boundary agreement to sell or give away part of your land to your neighbour.

Get legal advice if you want to make sure the boundary agreement is still valid after you or your neighbour sell your property.

What to include in a boundary agreement

Your boundary agreement must include:

  • your name and address
  • your neighbour’s name and address
  • the date the agreement begins
  • the boundary you’ve agreed

You can include the boundary using:

  • a written description
  • a copy of an Ordnance Survey map - you can draw or write on it to show the boundary
  • a map you’ve drawn yourself

Example of a boundary agreement

“Boundary Agreement

This agreement is made on 15th July 2017 between John Smith of 10 Acacia Avenue, title to which is registered under title number XX12345, and Mary Brown of 12 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 red line drawn between those points.

Signed

[Witness (Signature, name and address)]

Signed

[Witness (Signature, name and address)]”

Record your boundary agreement

Fill in an application to change the register (AP1).

In section 4 under ‘Applications in priority order’, write: “To note a boundary agreement”. Under ‘Fees paid (£)’ write “£40”.

You don’t need to fill in sections 9 to 14.

You’ll need to send:

  • the completed AP1 form
  • a copy of the boundary agreement
  • a cheque or postal order for £40, payable to ‘HMLR’ or ‘HM Land Registry’

Send the documents and fee to:

HM Land Registry Citizen Centre
PO Box 74
Gloucester
GL14 9BB

HM Land Registry will update the register for your property and send a copy of the updated register back to you. They’ll do the same for your neighbour.

3. Apply to record the exact boundary

You can apply to have the exact boundary between your property and your neighbour’s recorded. This is known as applying for a ‘determined boundary’.

You can only do this if your property is registered.

A determined boundary will still be valid if you or your neighbour sell your property.

Your application may be referred to a tribunal if your neighbour doesn’t agree with it. Get legal advice before making an application.

Check your property’s title plan and register to see if it already has a determined boundary.

Apply for a determined boundary

You’ll need to send:

Evidence that supports your application

Send any evidence you have that justifies the surveyor’s boundary. This could include:

  • certified copies of the deeds to your property from before the property was registered
  • an expert’s report
  • a written statement signed in front of a solicitor, a magistrate or a commissioner of oaths

Send your application

The application costs £90. You’ll also need to pay the surveyor and the solicitor a fee.

If your neighbour agrees with your application, they’ll need to sign the form and the plan as well.

Send everything to:

HM Land Registry Citizen Centre
PO Box 74
Gloucester
GL14 9BB

If your application is successful, HM Land Registry (HMLR) will send you a copy of your updated title plan and register. They’ll also send your neighbour a copy of their updated title plan and register.

If your neighbour objects to your application

HMLR will decide whether the objection is valid. If it is, they’ll give you and your neighbour the chance to come to an agreement.

If you can’t, they’ll pass your application to a tribunal. You may need to pay for legal advice and advice from a surveyor if this happens.

If the tribunal approves your application

HMLR will send you a copy of your updated title plan and register. They’ll record the determined boundary in the register.

If the tribunal rejects your application

The tribunal will either decide where the exact boundary should be, or decide not to set the exact boundary.

You may need to pay your neighbour’s costs.

4. Correct a boundary mistake on a title plan

If you think there’s a boundary mistake on your property’s title plan, you can apply to get it updated.

Fill in an application to change the register (AP1).

In section 4 under ‘Applications in priority order’, write: “Alteration of title plan”. Under ‘Fees paid (£)’ write “£40”.

You don’t need to fill in sections 9 to 14.

Send HM Land Registry:

  • the completed AP1 form
  • a cheque or postal order for £40, payable to ‘HMLR’ or ‘HM Land Registry’
  • a letter explaining why you think the title plan is wrong
  • any other supporting evidence

HM Land Registry Citizen Centre
PO Box 74
Gloucester
GL14 9BB

After you apply

HMLR may ask to inspect the land before making a decision on your application.

Your neighbour can object to your application. If you and your neighbour can’t agree who the land should be registered to, HMLR may refer the case to a tribunal.

You may need to pay for legal advice and advice from a surveyor if this happens.

The tribunal will either:

  • hold a hearing
  • ask one of you to take the case to court