Surrey Hills Investigation

Technics was able to use the physical features still present to resolve this boundary dispute, but what does it mean for the client when there are no physical features available?

Technics was commissioned to clarify and demarcate a boundary between a residential house and private estate. A potential dispute had arisen because a new fence had been erected and the client wanted reassurances that the fence was correctly positioned in accordance with his title.

The project required a layered approach and the investigation process started with the compilation of a number of Legal Titles from the original Estate Demise in the 1890s right up to the latest Land Transfer in 2002. In addition to these plans we carried out an accurate measured digital site survey of the property area – a topographic survey. We then converted the paper title plans into a digital format and added them to the site survey to make a digital sandwich of the various boundary lines.

Aerial photo

Once we had gathered all the initial information we were then able to use this to explore the location of the fence.  By looking at the combined set of digital plans it became clear that the new fence line had been positioned to the physical field demarcation line and not to the intended title demise.  Over time the original iron boundary fence had disappeared and with the on-going changes in land use, the edge of a field had become the new practical boundary; this didn’t look that different to that of the title deeds.

The title demise corresponded to an aged dilapidated iron fence that was 90% removed along the boundary in question over time. Remnants of this same fence were also present around various other boundary positions. These points were in agreement to the title plan when viewed in the combined digital drawing. Thus, with no other contradicting physical features present this line confirmed the old fence as the originally intended title boundary and not the relatively new field edge. But what now?

Having the combined digital plan we were able to take this information to site and reconfirm the original boundary line. This case was concluded relatively easily considering the challenge of only having poor quality title plans based on Ordnance Survey small scale 1:1250 & 1:2500 mapping, as an initial guide. Had the original dilapidated fence not been present confirming the intended position of the original boundary, and the lack of other corroborating evidence the fence could only have been positioned using the potentially inaccurate OS based titles.

It is important to note that your registered title usually only delineates the general boundary rather than the legal boundary. It is intended for guidance only and not the exact position.  See article “Title Versus Reality “

If you have any boundary issues or concerns then please our RICS Chartered Surveyor Adam Harwood or contact us here.