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T Marks The Boundary-Or Does It?

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Do you have a boundary dispute with a neighbour? Are you unsure of exactly where the boundary line is?

Boundary disputes are a major drain on both your time and finances and are best avoided. Sometimes, however, you have to take a stand and it is then that you need expert help with determining the legal boundary.

It is a common misconception that a "T" marked on a map shows definitively the ownership of a boundary feature. This however is not always the case. Points regarding fights over boundaries continue to crop up in Court. In a recent case (Pennock v Hodgson) it was stated that when construing a conveyance in order to ascertain a boundary a permissible exercise is to stand with the plan in hand looking at the actual and known physical condition of the land at the date of the conveyance. This seems like common sense, although actually being able to stand on the land, with the plan in hand, is not always possible. In a second boundary dispute case (Lanfear v Chandler) it was argued that there was a presumption of law that the siting of “T” marks on the plan indicated ownership of the boundary feature. The “T” marks related to the repairing obligations from which it was argued that there was an inference as to ownership. This was rejected. It was factor to be taken into account and balanced with other relevant matters including the conveyance, features on the plan and evidence of the position on ground. In this case the plan was inaccurate and so the physical condition of the land was more important.

Finding the evidence can be difficult and often means extensive research and obtaining witness statements from previous owners or neighbours. Do not take these disputes on lightly. If you need to fight your corner, we can be there to help.

Contact a member of our Residential Conveyancing or Dispute Resolution teams for expert advice.