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Trainee Solicitor Hannah McIntosh discusses property boundaries

Over the past five months, I have been involved with three cases that have dealt with issues around whether or not the client actually owns the garden ground, and how best to deal with these issues when they have been raised.

The first example I have is where the client owns and occupies their garden, but their Title Sheet does not reflect this. This was an error on the Keeper’s part when first registering the property more than ten years ago. Our client assumed the Title Sheet they had was an accurate reflection of what they owned, but it was not. When our client went to sell their home, the issue was raised by the Purchasers’ solicitor who noticed that the Google Maps image of the property showed a larger garden area than on the Title Sheet. This involved a lengthy process of investigating what deeds were submitted for First Registration as there was no plan submitted. The outcome here was a happy one because the issue with the Title Sheet was rectified by the Keeper because it was a mistake that she had made.

Next is an example where a deal had been agreed between our clients and the farmer who owned the field next to our clients’ property over 20 years ago. This allowed them to move their fence a few feet to make the garden bigger. Some money changed hands, and the farmer handwrote an agreement, but the property remained in the name of the farmer. In this case, when our clients went to sell their home, they were under the impression they could sell their property including the area they got from the farmer many years ago. We had to approach the farmer to get him to agree to transfer the property to our clients. This was a very lengthy process and delayed the settlement of our clients’ sale and onward purchase of their new home.

The last example is where we were purchasing for a client and noticed that the Sellers did not own all of the garden that they were occupying. When we received the Title Deeds for the property that our client was going to purchase, after examining the title we noticed that the plan on the Deed did not cover the entire area that the Seller’s were occupying. The Sellers had agreed with the neighbouring farmer that they could move their fence and park their cars on the area that the farmer owned. In this case, our client was happy to accept that they did not own the area that was being used by the Sellers.

These arrangements with neighbouring farmers to move the boundaries of a garden are very common. But they cause a lot of stress and sometimes money when trying to deal with them should you wish to sell your home. If you believe that your property may be affected by this, please speak with one of our specialist solicitors here.


Hannah McIntosh

Trainee Solicitor

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