Call us today on
020 7935 2502
Property Surveying Blog
Written by Tughan Musa

In this blog post, I am going to explore the various methods we follow to help determine boundary lines.

What is a Boundary?

A boundary is effectively an imaginary line that separates land, and is marked by a physical feature. A boundary line has two dimensions; it runs vertically from the center of the earth to the sky and extends horizontally across the ground.

Site Inspection

Before we get our hands dirty, we start by having a discussing with the client to get an overview of the boundary issue, and then take down notes to get a timeline of past events.

Once we have established the background, we would take a look round to familiarize ourselves with the property, and then take a closer look at the boundary issue.

In undertaking my inspection on site, the first logical point of reference as a Boundary Surveyor is always to locate a position on site that has remained unchanged irrespective of the owners, occupants or changes to the property.

In some cases, it could be the party parapet wall at roof level, the shared chimney stack or the windows. I am of the opinion that the boundary line between terrace type properties is clearly indicated at the central point of both properties. It would therefore be a commonsense assumption for the centre point of the party parapet wall and chimney stack to be interpreted as the boundary line.

Additionally, I look for historical physical features in the ground, which may be present from the initial construction, such as chain-link and bamboo fencing. These original features are both good indicators and can be used as a point of reference in the report.

Finally, we would take photographs and sketch the layout of the property with markings showing the assumed position of the boundary line.

Desktop Research

Once we have conducted the inspection, we would undertake comprehensive desktop research to assist with the findings and shed light on the position of the boundary.

Title Deeds Review

We review the Title Deeds for both the subject property and property that it shares a boundary line with. Title Deeds can include scaled drawings, which may show the boundary line in relationship to the subject property.

Land Registry Review

We obtain and review the Land Registry Title Plans, which are available via HM Land Registry website. The Land Registry Title Plans are not intended to determine the boundary line, however they are intended to clearly indicate boundary lines.

The scale at which the Title Plans are usually drawn is at 1 to 1,250, which does not allow for effective scaling and measuring, that being said they do clearly indicate the intended location of boundaries.

Additionally, we look at Land Registry Maps to identify if there are any discrepancies between the Title Plans and Map search. This is a search tool, to allow users to locate properties and then obtain their legal documentation by download.

Local Authority Planning Application

We analyse the Local Authority Planning Application Register for previous and current relevant planning applications for the subject property and all the properties close proximity to the site.

These applications can include scaled plans, which may be relevant for determining the boundary and is useful for identifying any changes that may have affected the boundary lines over the years.

Historical Maps

We review a wide range of historic maps going as far back before the property was built. The historical maps are a good indicator for identifying any changes in the boundary.

Historical Photographs

We look at historical photographs to establish what the boundary originally looked like. This can be useful for identifying trees close to the boundary, which can have an effect on the position of the boundary fence.

Aerial Photographs

We review aerial photographs in relation to the subject property and property its shares a boundary with. These photographs are an excellent indicator for demonstrating boundary conditions and on precise dates.

No two boundaries are alike, meaning no two reports are alike, each one genuinely throws up a different issue. If you need assistance with a boundary determination, call us now and our Surveyors will be happy to assist you.