House Boundaries: Everyone owns the one to the left, right?
A: There is no set rule as to which boundaries belong to a property. It is possible that your property is responsible for the left boundary, but it’s just as likely that all boundaries are yours.
Knowing which house boundaries to your property you own is something practical that people often don’t think about until any issues begin to arise.
A common misconception held by a lot of people is that you always own the boundary to the left of your property. Thinking about the practicalities of this leads to some questions; who owns the shared boundary to the rear? In a row of houses, surely someone must at some point own their right boundary in order for all boundaries to be maintained? What if the garden is an obscure shape with no defined ‘left’ boundary?
The truth is, there is no general rule as to which boundaries that a property owns. It is entirely possible that your property is only responsible for the maintenance of the left boundary but it is equally possible that you are responsible for maintaining all of the boundaries to the property.
It is likely that during the stress of a house move, your main concern is not which boundaries to the property you must maintain. In this respect, there are a number of ways in which you may be able to find out which boundaries to your property that you own.
- The transfer deed (or previous transfer deeds for the property) may contain some details regarding which boundaries belong to the property. This is more likely if you are purchasing a new build property.
- The official title plan for the property may show which boundaries are owned. This will be indicated by a ’T’ mark pointing inwards towards your property, as shown by the below diagram.
- If not indicated in the transfer deed or official plan, it may be that you have to rely on the information provided by the seller in the Property Information Form. Of course, this will be less reliable than the official documents at points 1 and 2.
- As a final resort, if no other information is provided in any of the above forms, it could be possible to infer which boundaries you own based on the surrounding properties on your street. This will never be a conclusive way of determining which boundaries are owned and should only be considered with the involvement of a conveyancer when all other options have been exhausted.
If you wish to find out anymore information regarding house boundaries or you need help with a boundary dispute, please contact our Client Service Advisors who will be able to assist you further.