Buying land with boundary and title complications?

by Readers Question

13:45 PM, 13th January 2020
About 5 months ago

Buying land with boundary and title complications?

Make Text Bigger
Buying land with boundary and title complications?

I am looking at a plot of registered land, which is available at a very good price. However, I spoke with the neighbours on both sides and discovered the following information.

1/ On one side there is no defined boundaries, which the neighbour made a point of, but there is temporary low grade animal fencing.
1a/ Should the seller define these boundaries before selling the land?
1b/ Can they sell land without defining the boundaries?

2/ On the other side, the neighbour informed me, he had previously owned a comparatively small piece at the back of the land which i’m looking at, of which he sold to the present owner.

Ive looked into this and it appears the small piece of land was taken out of the neighbours recently registered title (neighbour inherited his property and then made first registration). When this piece of land was sold as mentioned came out of neighbours title and given a new title.

Now the owner of the land I’m looking at, subsequently took his larger parcel of land which I’m looking at, and amalgamated the large land by putting it into the small piece of lands title.

I am aware that the larger piece of land had been registered a lot of years ago, before the small piece of land was brought, but because the large piece of land has been put into the tiny parcel of land’s title, it makes it appear that it was only first registered much more recently than it actually was, and I can’t find the old title number.

Its like its past didn’t exist!

Does this sound strange?

3/ Now touching upon point 2, I was out for drinks and was chatting to a random person who happened to be a developer and briefly spoke about it. He mentioned from what memory serves me about something called Land ownership issues, countenance to wipe the countenance records and few other things I cant remember,

So hoping someone may have a point of view on this, I was hoping as a project to buy the land and self build.

thanks in advance.

Frank



Comments

james pearce

9:13 AM, 14th January 2020
About 4 months ago

Hi,
Land transactions are rarely simple it seems.
You also have to bear in mind accuracy of land registry plans is often questionable. The line showing the boundary can often scale at 1m+ which hardly helps!!
Expect this to take some time to resolve however subject to price it will no doubt be worth it..
Good luck.

Beaver

11:42 AM, 14th January 2020
About 4 months ago

Make sure you involve a solicitor who knows what he is doing.

Lindsay Keith

16:19 PM, 14th January 2020
About 4 months ago

I was a solicitor for about 50 years and learnt quickly in may Articles that the Conveyancing Managing Clerk Ron Wilson knew far more about that aspect of the law than I would ever master. So, JJ's comment is right. Make sure you get the best, go for quality, not cheapest!

Beaver

16:50 PM, 14th January 2020
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Lindsay Keith at 14/01/2020 - 16:19
Apologies: That could just as easily have been 'know what she is doing'.

The other thing that you could do is get the vendor to mark out any of the land being sold using fencing, if it isn't all yet fenced. Ask the vendor whether there are any restrictions on use of the land and tell you what they are at the same time to avoid either of you wasting your time.

Then get a RICS surveyor to come in, both produce a land-registry compliant plan *and* take pictures of the land to be sold and clearly and accurately mark the position of the boundaries. If you are worried about identifying the position of the boundaries accurately then tell the surveyor how accurate you want them to be. (You can have more accurate surveys done, it just costs more).

Then a solicitor who knows what he or she is doing will be able to do a better job for you.

Edward Prentice

17:48 PM, 14th January 2020
About 4 months ago

I am a Chartered Surveyor dealing with lots of boundary issues throughout the south east. There are very many problems with boundaries and Land Registry title plans based on different editions of the OS maps. LR title plans use the General Boundaries Rules. (see LR Practical Guide 40 April 2019), so they are "off the hook." When property is first registered very often the original deeds for properties are shredded - this causes a lot of issues.

From what has been seen from your original post, if you propose to proceed with the purchase the vendor should get a Land Surveyor to do a proper GPS survey of the whole plot and its neighbours and get Determined Boundary Agreements done. These are registered on the LR titles for both sides of the boundary. Only when this has been done should you proceed with the purchase.

This is a practical and cheaper way of getting the matter sorted once and for all. The alternative is you go ahead and purchase the land, as seen, with the problems already highlighted and are potentially faced with a bill of say £100,000 if one of the neighbours decides to go to court and you lose and have to pay their costs. Just be very careful

Beaver

10:28 AM, 15th January 2020
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Edward Prentice at 14/01/2020 - 17:48
Good advice: What would you normally expect to see in a Determined Boundary Agreement?


Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

£100,000 Coronavirus emergency donation by Paragon

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More