Seeing red with commercial property boundaries?

Wilson Browne

1st December 2019

Legal Briefing

Wilson Browne

By Chloe Doggett

Wilson Browne Solicitors

RED tape, red pens, and red sealing wax have all been used to signify something important, a correction or authenticity. Commercial property owners would, therefore, assume that the red lines on the title plans mark the exact line of the property boundary. However, this is a common misconception and the red lines cannot be relied on as the exact location of the demise of a commercial property.

In actual fact, the Land Registry is only required to show the general position of the boundary in title plans. These are based on Ordnance Survey maps and unfortunately only provide a general guide as to where the boundary is, not a conclusive position. This can cause some uncertainty with companies who wish to erect fencing and gates on the perimeter. There may also be confusion when paying for the upkeep of areas that may not be their financial responsibility.

Whilst the Land Registry title plans are not conclusive there may be deeds referred to within the title that can assist. Generally, the conveyances and other Land Registry deeds may have measurements that provide the exact location of a dividing boundary but not in all cases.

When purchasing a commercial property it would be wise to have the boundary defined at the Land Registry. This would remove all the uncertainty and provide a clear plan identifying the position of the boundary between certain points. To do this, however, the neighbouring owner would need to agree. A surveyor's plan would be drawn up providing a clear and accurate measurement. Together with a short deed this could be filed with the Land Registry to provide certainty for both parties and would be binding on all future owners.

Without a defined property boundary complex and costly disputes can arise. Companies should always try to seek an alternative form of resolution which is more appropriate than court proceedings.

If you are in any doubt as to property boundaries speak to the specialist team, not red, but the purple branded Dispute Resolution team at Wilson Browne Solicitors. Contact Wilson Browne Solicitors on 0800 088 6004 or visit www.wilsonbrowne.co.uk

Wilson Browne