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Jon Maynard Boundaries Ltd, Boundary Demarcation and Disputes, Rights of Way, Expert Witness, Chartered Land Surveyor


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Documents you might need

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The following is a list of the kinds of documents that are frequently referred to when investigating a boundary or a private right of way. Not all of them will apply in every case, but it would help the Boundary Advisor if copies of those that are relevant are made available to him before the Remote Consultation takes place.


1. Title Register and Title Plan

The Title Register and Title Plan are the obvious starting points for any discussion of a boundary. Land Registry usually issues a copy to the registered proprietor of a property whose title is registered. You can also buy from Land Registry a copy of the Title Register and Title Plan for any other registered title in the country.

At right is the header of a fictitious Title Register.
The Title Register consists of three parts:
the Property Register,
the Proprietorship Register, and
the Charges Register.
The example of the Charges Register, below, includes an example of a Transfer Deed that is available for purchase from Land Registry as an "official copy", which is indicated by the footnote to paragraph 2 that reads: "NOTE: Original filed".

header panel of fictitious title register
property register, subtitle
proprietorship register, subtitle
charges register, example

Below is the header for a fictitious Title Plan.

title plan header panel

The Title Plan shows the general positions of the boundaries by attaching red edging to those lines on an Ordnance Survey map that appear to Land Registry to approximate to the boundaries indicated on the documents submitted to Land Registry at first registration of the title to the land (as seen in the extract at right).

Because Land Registry does not define boundaries but simply interprets onto an Ordnance Survey map the information submitted to them, it is necessary to turn to the title deed in which the boundary was first described. There are two possibilities:

extract from a title plan, example of a general boundary
  • If the land was unregistered when the boundary was first described then the relevant deed is the earliest Conveyance relating to the land;
  • If the land was created by the division of a larger parcel of registered land then the relevant deed is the Transfer of Part.


2. Conveyances

A Conveyance may be typed, like the example on the right, but older conveyances were hand written, the older ones being referred to as an "Indenture of Conveyance".

conveyance deed: example of the top fo the firsdt page

If the land was mortgaged then the mortgage lender held the title deeds (including the Conveyances) and would make copies for the borrower on request - but only for the borrower.

Once land is registered, the mortgage lender has no need to retain the title deeds, relying instead on a charge against the land recorded on the Title Register. The original title deeds are usually returned to the landowner, but many have been lost. Sometimes the Title Register will indicate that an official copy may be ordered from Land Registry, as in the "NOTE: Original filed" footnote of an entry in the Title Register.

example of a parcels-clause, this one includes the grant of a private right of way conveyance plan example

The boundaries of a parcel of land are described in the parcels clause to a conveyance (above left) or in the conveyance plan attached to the conveyance (above right, but this example relates to a diferent piece of land from that described at left). It is from evidence such as that above left and right that the officially recognised description of the boundaries comes.


3. Transfers

A Transfer Deed is usually drawn up on a Land Registry pro-forma, of which there are two kinds,

  • TR1 - Transfer of the whole of a registered title, and
  • TP1 - Transfer of Part of a registered title (an example of the top of the first page of an official copy of a TP1 appears above).

example of an official copy of a TP1 transfer-of-part deed (header)

Form TR1 deals with the sale of the whole of the land that is registered under a particular title number.

It is usually necessary when investigating the history of the property to find either
the TP1 Transfer of Part or
the Conveyance
that was used to create the parcel of land.

The typical use of a TP1 Transfer is for the sale of a new house built on land that is owned by and is already registered to a developer.

There is usually a transfer plan attached to a TP1 transfer deed.


4. Seller's Property Information Form

Typical title block on a Seller's Property Information Form

This is a standard form prepared by the vendor's solcitor to provide answers to questions that the buyer's conveyancing solicitor will ask concerning the property. It covers a standard range of questions, those of interest here include:

  • the responsibility for and ownership of boundary features;
  • the use of any private rights of way;
  • the presence of undergound and overhead services that may be the subject of an easement that either benefits or burdens the property offered for sale;
  • whether there has been any dispute between the vendor and neighbouring landowner/s.


5. Estate Agents' sales particulars

If you have kept a copy of the estate agent's description of your property, dating from the time when you purchased it, then it is just possible that this contains some useful historical information that might assist in working out where the boundary may have been at the date of sale.


6. Planning drawings

Copies of planning drawings - for any property - can be purchased from the archives of the Planning Department of the District, Borough, or City Council in which the land in the registered title is located. The elements of the drawing that record pre-exisiting ground features are of interest. These might include an indication of what physical features there were in the vicinity of the boundary before the building works (the subject of the planning application) were carried out.


7. Ordnance Survey maps

Whilst these are not definitive as to the positions of property boundaries, they can sometimes give a useful indication of the historical layout of the land.


8. Old aerial photographs

Old aerial photographs are a more reliable indication than old maps of what was on the ground on the date the photograph was taken - provided that the ground is not obscured by trees, shrubs, hedges, or tall buildings. They are a specialised product, obtainable from specilist suppliers who are not well known to the general public, and they usually require interpretation by an expert.

The above photograph, reproduced at about 85% of its full size, covers an area of about 1.6 x 1.6 miles, or 2.5 x 2.5 km. At first glance it does not appear very detailed.

The photograph at left is an extract from the photograph above and gives an indication of the amount of detail that is available from an aerial photograph.

A skilled air photo interpreter is able to derive even greater information by viewing an overlapping pair of air photos in 3D.

The Boundary Advisor, if he feels they might be helpful to you, can source air photos for you.


9. Your own photographs

Your own photographs may be very important, in one of two ways:

  • a current or very recent photograph, particularly if taken close-up, can demonstrate what is happening on the ground at present and may be a vital illustration of the issues you wish to discuss with the Boundary Advisor;
  • old photographs from the family photo album are rarely taken with a view to showing off a boundary, but boundaries are visible in the background of a good number of outdoor photographs taken at home. If a reasonably reliable date can be attached to them, then they may be instrumental in proving the age and the approximate position of a boundary feature past or present.


To have a meaningful consultation with the Boundary Advisor it is necessary to send to him copies of whatever documents you have that you wish to discuss.

If you are able to copy the documents into a computer format, e.g. by scanning them and saving them in formats such as PDF, JPEG, etc, then they can be attached to an email. Please note that most Internet Service Providers will allow attachments to an email that total no more than 20 Megabytes of data, and it may be necessary to attach your documents a few at a time to a series of emails.

The copies that you send to the Boundary Advisor will be treated in confidence and will not be disclosed to anyone else unless you specifically ask the Boundary Advisor to do so.