How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Joshua Your Own Question

Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 24280
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
Type Your UK Law Question Here...
Joshua is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am building an extension along the line marked as the boundary

Resolved Question:

I am building an extension along the line marked as the boundary at the land registry. To do this, I am demolishing a previous smaller extension and building on the same line but further along the 'red line'. The neighbour objected at the planning stage that the space beyond my existing extension where a 225mm wide tumbledown wall stands belongs to them and furthermore, my old extension is built on 'their' wall. The old extension was built over 100 years ago according to old OS maps. They have deeds saying to their predecessors (and I therefore assume successors) that the boundaries marked with a 'T' mark inwards on the sale plan shall from and after the date thereof (1995) be the property of and the responsibility of the purchaser. The 'red line' appears to show the tumbledown wall in my garden (only by virtue of it being a straight line on the plan - I appreciate LR boundaries are general) and my extension on my land with one wall along the red line with no gap. There are no T marks on this stretch of straight red line but there are elsewhere on the plan.
Can they claim ownership of a stretch of wall outside the 'red' straight line with no T marks? Can they claim ownership of the wall of my house? If I knock the extension down to rebuild, can they take possession of the strip of land the wall used to be on?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 9 months ago.

Joshua :

Thanks for your question. Please kindly RATE my answer when you are satisfied

Joshua :

Is the wall in question in line with your old extension wall - i.e. does not jut into your neighbours land please?

Customer:

yes it is in line with the old extension and the original house (still standing)

Customer:

there are no 'juts'. Sorry for clarification the old extension is already demolished

Customer:

recently

Joshua :

Thanks.

Joshua :

Based on the above evidence you would appear to have a strong argument for the wall being within your boundary on the basis of physical features (the old extension) and the title plan. A boundary dispute would be difficult to sustain by our neighbour on the above basis.

Joshua :

As you are building along the boudnary line you will need to serve a party wall notice on your neighbour before you commence building and seek their agreement under the same. If they refuse then a surveyor will need to be appointed to prepare a party wall award in which this issue can be addressed along with any other issues that may arise.

Joshua :

Once the surveyor has prepared the award then it is binding on both parties unless the neighbour or you choose to appeal the same to the county court. There is a short window of appeal after the award is issued.

Customer:

1950s plan
Full Size Image

Joshua :

In terms of a boundary dispute HMLR plans are only show boundaries for the purpose of identification however if the red line is straight and your existing extension is accepted as clearly demarcating your boundary then it follows that the boundary must continue in a straight line along that outer edge of the wall. The neighbour would need some very persuasive evidence to establish otherwise - e.g. a kink in the red line or to challenge that your old extension was your boundary which would be very difficult in deed.

Customer:

the above picture is a copy of some 1950s drawings showing alignment of the walls. Although the extension is no longer there, the replacement would follow the same line

Joshua :

Quite - as above it is very difficult to see how the neighbour could show that the boundary would follow that straight line taken from the outer edge of your original extension. Such issues can be dealt with as part of the party wall award process if the neighbours continue to be difficult.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

Full Size Image

Customer:

my registered title (which reflects the neighbour of course) showing in red the disputed boundary area

Customer:

a party wall surveyor is reluctant to make an award as yet as the neighbour has counter offered with a request for approx. £10000 of works for me to pay for. seems like too much to buy what is already mine

Joshua :

On the face of this the boundary line would appear to run along the length of the line from your outside edge of your property. Obviously it then turns at right angles to follow the outline of their property as it travels away from the road.

Joshua :

If the surveyor does not feel able to decide the boundary dispute then you can as an alternative use the land registry adjudicator to determine the same.

Joshua :

Would you like information on how to achieve this?

Customer:

yes please. do you know the fees for that?

Joshua :

You can ask the Land Registry to determine the boundary on the title plans by instructing a surveyor to prepare a a very precise plan showing the exact line of the boundary in the surveyors opinion. You will need to use a RICS qualified surveyor to draw up a plan. You then complete form DB (link below and send to the Land Registry who will inspect the same and serve a notice on your neighbour offering him the opportunity to object to your proposals.

Joshua :

http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/_media/downloads/forms/DB.doc

Joshua :

There is a fee of £90. However remember that there are surveyors fees to pay as well

Customer:

thanks. Who will decide it? LR or the surveyor. Could objections etc and appeals turn this into a long winded expensive process?

Joshua :

The Land Registry Adjudicator has the power to fix the boundary and amend the title plans with measurements which are then legally binding

Joshua :

Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help with any further?

Customer:

It seems to me that for the former extension part, I can't lose as in any doubt, I own it under adverse possession. I can't register an adverse possession though as there is literally no change in the title plans really. For the 'boundary wall' I could just build around it to avoid lengthy arguments I guess. Should the party wall surveyor be able to grant the award on the basis of adverse possession if he feels unable to establish ownership?

Joshua :

No a party wall surveyor cannot award adverse possession. Only the Land Registry can determine adverse possession applications though on the face of the initial evidence I would not think that adverse possession would be in question though obviously limited by what I can see on here. On the face of thie would appear to be a boundary dispute rather than an adverse possession question

Joshua :

I hope the above is helpful. I am about to log off to travel home.

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though.

Customer:

OK thank you.

Joshua :

If you have any further questions I will be around a little later this evening.

Joshua :

I hope you achieve a successful outcome.

Customer:

thank you

Joshua :

Best wishes

Customer:

Hi, please could you clarify two things for me. Do T marks on a plan only define responsibility for boundary structures such as hedges, fences, garden walls etc or does it also include structures such as buildings? Does each 'stretch' of different 'boundary structure' have to be defined individually e.g. a fence which is continued by a wall needs a 'T' mark for each to be defined or do you simply need one 'T' mark for each junction with another property regardless of the types of structures involved? Is there any assumption that buildings such as houses are exempt from a 'T' mark boundary definition along a stretch?

Customer: Hi, please could you clarify two things for me. Do T marks on a plan only define responsibility for boundary structures such as hedges, fences, garden walls etc or does it also include structures such as buildings? Does each 'stretch' of different 'boundary structure' have to be defined individually e.g. a fence which is continued by a wall needs a 'T' mark for each to be defined or do you simply need one 'T' mark for each junction with another property regardless of the types of structures involved? Is there any assumption that buildings such as houses are exempt from a 'T' mark boundary definition along a stretch?
Joshua :

My sincere apologies for the delay in reverting to you. I have been away over the weekend. May I continue to assist with the above?

Customer:

Hi Joshua,

Customer:

please could you clarify two things for me. Do T marks on a plan only define responsibility for boundary structures such as hedges, fences, garden walls etc or does it also include structures such as buildings? Does each 'stretch' of different 'boundary structure' have to be defined individually e.g. a fence which is continued by a wall needs a 'T' mark for each to be defined or do you simply need one 'T' mark for each junction with another property regardless of the types of structures involved? Is there any assumption that buildings such as houses are exempt from a 'T' mark boundary definition along a stretch?

Joshua :

Certainly.

Joshua :

T marks do not normally define ownership. Rather they normally define responsibility. i.e. a transfer deed will often contain a provision that party A or B will be responsible for those boundaries marked with an inward facing "T". It is necessary to refer to the document attached to the place to see what the T marks refer to but this is almost always what it says. A further issue is that positive provisions - i.e. to do something as opposed to negative provisions, not to do something, only bind the initial parties to the deed and do not automatically carry to future owners. Therefore the T mark provisions are often of limited effect after one of the initial parties to a deed move on.

Joshua :

They can however demarcate responsibility for any boundary structure subject as above. It would be highly unusual for there to be a provision that made a structure comprising a dwelling to be anything other than the owners responsibility to maintain.

Joshua :

Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help with any further?

Customer:

Hi Joshua, many thanks - I think we are getting there. My apologies but please see enclosed my neighbours deed plans highlighting in black the nearest relevant 'T' marks, in red the boundary area in discussion and yellow markers pointing to changes in boundary from building to wall to building again. This wall/boundary bears no T mark of its own. I thought I had already included this diagram. The deed (addressed to the previous owner of their property from a body that has no rights or history with our property (we have approx. 200 years of continuous registers and conveyances to prove) bears the content "IT IS HEREBY AGREED AND DECLARED by the Society and the Transferee as follows:-(a) the boundaries marked with a 'T' mark inwards on the sale plan shall from and after the date thereof be the property of and the responsibility of the Purchaser".which is dated 1995. Our former extension was built between 1901 and 1911 and altered in the 1950s on the same footprint (we have 'architects' drawings which appear to be contemporary to 1950s)

Customer:

neighbours sale plan 1995
Full Size Image

Joshua :

On the basis the red edging if your property the T marks indicate that these boundaries were originally the responsibility of the owner of your property. You are not automatically bound by this provision so cannot be made to maintain them. They do not serve as conclusive evidence of ownership of the boundary but may be used as supporting evidence along with any other evidence you may have which may build up a picture that the boundary belongs to you as we have discussed above

Customer:

The red edging is on the neighbour's plan. My property is in the bottom left quadrant of the red circle south of the boundary. My title plan bears no 'T' marks and indeed there is no currently registered deed for my property.

Joshua :

Thanks for the clarification. The T mark therefore reflects that the boundaries so marked were originally the neighbours responsibility but as above they have little bearing today because they only deal with maintenance and this obligation does not carry automatically pat the first owner. On their own they are of limited value or evidence either way.

Customer:

even with the wording on their deeds 'the boundaries marked with a 'T' mark inwards on the sale plan shall from and after the date thereof be the property'?

Joshua :

Remember that positive covenants do not carry over automatically to successors in title. Positive covenants (to do something) tend to lapse once a property is sold on as they do not automatically bind future purchasers.

Customer:

I guess my point is that there is no 'T' mark in the stretch encircled in red which consists of my building and a garden wall. Regardless of whether the neighbour has a unilateral deed and plan, I fail to see how they could claim to own the land my former extension was built on 100 years ago. They claim I cannot even reinstate my old extension on its original footprint as it would be on their land and they would get an injunction to prevent it.

Customer:

Their register does contain a clause "The Transfer dated 1995 referred to above contains a provision as to light or air, boundary structures and other


matters."

Customer:

current registered title addressed to the current owner I mean

Joshua :

My view is that the T marks are largely a red herring for the above reasons. I cannot see that particularly assist either of you. Generally your neighbours claims would appear to be very optimistic as discussed above however if they intend to pursue them you have a boundary dispute which you will need to resolve using some of the approaches discussed above

Joshua :

I hope the above is of some assistance.

Customer:

Joshua, many thanks for your assistance. I'll see what we can do to proceed.

Joshua :

A pleasure. Best wishes.

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 24280
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
Joshua and 5 other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie USA
< Last | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie USA
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick Leeds, UK
  • I did not know a French Law service existed and I was very impressed with the speed of reply --- very professional. Many thanks! Ms. Baker Alfafar, Spain
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8154
    Specialist in UK Law with expertise in UK Employment Law
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/venkoj/2010-02-20_133027_ben_pic.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8154
    Specialist in UK Law with expertise in UK Employment Law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TO/touchwoodsden/JA.64x64.jpg Law Denning's Avatar

    Law Denning

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    4351
    PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CH/chathamchamber/2011-4-24_191833_1.64x64.jpg INC's Avatar

    INC

    Solicitor-Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    3849
    LL.B, Pg.Dip, LL.M, M.B.A (Pending), Solicitor-Advocate. UK Practising Certificate issued by SRA., DIFC Courts Registered (Dubai)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/taratill/2010-03-09_111600_phpsik04M_c2AM.jpg Jenny Mackenzie's Avatar

    Jenny Mackenzie

    Satisfied Customers:

    2581
    Over 10 years experience in general legal matters
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/matthewjones/2009-9-7_20342_picture_007.jpg Matthew J's Avatar

    Matthew J

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    321
    4 y PQE (Partner) - Commercial / Residential Property & Property and Civil litigation experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/Remus2004/2012-4-22_93111_2bigstockPortraitOfConfidentFemaleL6943985.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    24307
    Over 5 years in practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/Josh2010/2012-4-29_19490_GettyImages80121770B.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    6444
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice