Boundary Surveys

Boundary definitions: Does the OS (Ordnance Survey) map define my boundaries?

Ordnance Survey and The Land Registry Office work closely together to show the general boundaries of a property or area when the land is first registered. Ordnance Survey’s role is purely to make topographic maps of Britain for many different uses, one of them being for title plan registration.

Ordnance Survey are constantly updating their maps over time and therefore the OS map/Title plan  of your property may be slightly out of date with what is actually on the ground. Remember, just because a fence or wall has been erected doesn’t mean it is the boundary to your property or that it will automatically be included in your title plan or OS map.

Boundary Definitions: Does the Land Registry define my boundaries?

 “It is usually very difficult to find out the exact position of a boundary, most registered land and property in England and Wales is registered with General Boundaries.  Once the land or property is registered we create a title plan, which whilst being as accurate as possible, it does not show the precise position of the boundaries and cannot be used to establish exact boundary positions.”

Land Registry June 2013

What is the legal boundary? - The legal boundary is an imaginary or invisible line that separates one person's property from another. It does not have thickness or width and is rarely identified with any precision either on the ground or in the title deeds, and is not shown on Ordnance Survey mapping.

What is the physical boundary? - The physical boundary is a feature that can be seen, such as a fence, wall or a hedge. The legal boundary may follow any physical boundary structure but might just as easily run along one particular side of the fence, wall or hedge, or include all or part of any adjoining roadway or stream.

Under section 60 of the Land Registration Act 2002, you can fix your boundaries more precisely by sending the Land Registry a very precise plan showing where the exact line of the boundary is, using Form DB. This procedure is known as 'determining the boundary'.

Land Registry June 2013

How can Powers & Tiltman’s Land Surveyors help to determine your boundary more precisely?

The Land Registry oversees 23 million title deeds showing proof of ownership of land or property in England and Wales. However, due to the nature of their  General Boundaries System for title plans and the fact that ordnance survey maps are more often than not out of date, anomalies about the boundary line usually occur at, during or after the sale or transfer of ownership of a piece of land or property.

Further to this, only 80% of land is registered in England and Wales, which means that 20% still has no proof of ownership attributed to it at all. At Powers & Tiltman we are fortunate to have one or two very experienced Land Surveyors who would be able to help you with all aspects of your boundary related issue including:

  • Determination of individual parcel boundaries.
  • The subdivision of land.
  • The provision of lease and conveyance plans.
  • Boundary demarcation.
  • Boundary dispute resolution and expert witness
  • Assessment of land areas for sale

One of our experts would be more than happy to discuss your boundary issues with you so please feel free to give us a call.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Can you set out the boundary of a property using the OS boundary line?

    Yes we can set out the boundaries taken from OS plans but these lines are not necessarily the legal boundary.

  2. What do I do if I think my neighbour has taken some of my land?

    Contact a solicitor first to establish your legal position, then we can carry out a measured survey of the boundaries & buildings to over lay onto title plans to assist with the legal process.