Neighbour disputes and land ownership – how to get copies of legal documents

Neighbours can fall out over boundaries. Where was the original boundary? Was it straight? Has a fence or wall been replaced? Is there a hedge or trees on the boundary? Has the boundary moved? Is there a trespass? Restrictive covenants (legal restrictions on the use of land) are another problem. Can my neighbours build another house in their back garden? Can they run a business from home? Can I?

To understand your rights you will need to get the documents showing your land ownership, and your neighbour’s. Ownership of land is called “title”. If you have a mortgagee your bank or building society (your “mortgagee”) may have the title documents.

But whether they do or not a starting point is getting hold of the titles registered at the Land Registry. There are different registers. The property register identifies the property by name or description and location. The proprietorship register shows who the owner (“proprietor”) is. The charges register shows mortgages and restrictive covenants. Also there is the “filed plan” which identifies boundaries with a red line. It is easy and cheap to get copies of these. Just follow this step-by-step guide by Paul Ashwell.

  1. Go to the HM Land Registry website
  2. Enter property name and post code
  3. Click Search
  4. Select Buy Title register and Title plan
  5. Click Purchase
  6. Click Create Account link
  7. Click Agree [terms]
  8. Enter name details,  address details, contact details and Login details.
  9. Click Create Account
  10. Click on link in activation e-mail
  11. Return to Buy Documents page
  12. Click Checkout
  13. Select Payment Page
  14. Enter Card details and Cardholders details
  15. Click Make Payment
  16. Click Continue
  17. On Download documents Select documents and click
  18. Click Save
  19. Click View downloads
  20. Open title documents

Paul Ashwell offers expertise across the full range of commercial and property law, including probate and planning. He is recommended as a Band 1 practitioner by both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500. He lectures frequently on the development of law in his practice areas.

If you require the services of Paul Ashwell to help deal with your neighbour dispute, get in touch with the clerks in our central Brighton office who will be able to put you in contact with him.

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