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Understanding Legal Property Boundaries

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The scope of services offered by a boundary surveyor provides clarification for defining property boundaries. A surveyor will survey the property and make a map specifying the physical features of the area on the ground at the time of the survey.  

If a person wishes to find out the name of the legal owner of a property or the legal boundary of the property, it is advisable to contact the HM Land Registry. 

This land registry defines the legal boundary of a particular plot of land, and it is an invisible line which is legally specified. Often this legal boundary coincides with physical features like a wall or hedge, which are used to demarcate a property.

If you need help defining your property boundaries, you can get advice from a surveyor.

However, it should be noted that often there is no physical feature to indicate the legal boundary and in some cases, the physical feature like the wall may be rebuilt in another location. A surveyors base maps are used by the land registry to create a title plan to match the title deeds. 

Typically a red box or red line will be used to denote the legal boundary of the property. If the boundary does not coincide with any physical feature on the Ordnance Survey map used, the land registry may provide additional information to define the legal boundary.

Hence if anyone has queries regarding a specific fence, wall or hedge, or legal boundaries, they should contact the land registry. 

Using QuitClaim deed to define boundaries 

To define the boundary between their properties clearly, property owners whose properties are adjoining each other can mutually decide the location of the boundary. 

They can then legalize the boundary by signing legal deeds which specify the boundary. If the property owner has a mortgage it is advisable to consult a local attorney, before making the legal boundary deeds. 

The mortgage terms may specify that the mortgage holder should be notified if even a tiny part of the land is transferred. 

While some mortgages may not be affected by the boundary change, property owners should be aware that some mortgage companies specify that they can demand immediate and complete repayment of the loan if the borrower transfers any part of the property. 

Some property owners may prefer to draw their Quit Claim deed, using reference books like the Deeds Book, written by Mary Randolph and published by Nolo Press.

However, even if there is no mortgage, it is advisable to get an attorney to review the deed, or provide legally valid property descriptions. Spending money on these legal services can help prevent confusion and disputes at a later date.

Quitclaim Deed

A quitclaim deed is signed after the property owners mutually redefine the legal boundary between their properties. In this deed, each of the property owners will transfer any right he may have to the property on the other side of the dividing line to the neighbour. 

The deed is then recorded and filed in the land records office for the county, which is usually located in the courthouse. This ensures that there will be no dispute about the boundary at a later date. 

All buyers who wish to purchase the property in future will be able to find the deed easily and find out the exact boundary of the property, avoiding disputes in future.