Boundaries – Before you start
The most important piece of advise I can give…. ‘Do whatever you can to avoid a dispute’
Boundary disputes can be costly in many ways and should not be entered in to lightly. They can be costly in terms of time and money and they will , in all likelyhood, be emotionally draining and sometimes affect a persons health. So please, please, please, don’t start or get involved in a boundary dispute without giving it a great deal of thought. Consult friends or family and try to get an objective view on the issue.
If a dispute is unavoidable…
If you have exhausted all other avenues and you still want to go ahead with the dispute over your boundary, then you will need evidence to prove your case and more than likely you will need an expert to help you. Below is a list of documents and items (in order of importance) which could prove useful.
1. Title Deeds
The most important documents you need are the ‘Title Deeds’. These are paper documents showing a chain of ownership for land and property and record how tit has changed ownership over time. They can include: conveyances; contracts of sale; wills; mortgages and leases. Most people think that the documents obtained from Land Registry are the actual Deeds. This is not correct. HM Land Registry can only keep records of registered land and therefore, if your land is not registered they will not have this information. Whilst the documents Land Registry provide are very useful, they sometimes contain errors or omissions. Therefore, you are advised, if at all possible, to get hold of the original paper documents. If you do not have these then they may well be stored by the solicitor who acted for you when you bought the property. They may be with the company/bank who provide you with your martgage, if you have one.
2. Land Registry Official copies
If you can’t get hold of the Title Deeds then the next best thing, in the case of registered land, is the Land Registry’s register of title. It will contain all the details of the title to your property. An Official Copy of the register is the equivalent of a full set of title deeds except that the register entry may sometimes refer to a deed that has relevant content, rather than abstracting it.