Land Surveyor Property Lines

Whether you want to build a fence, build an extension on your home, or simply confirm that you and your neighbours aren’t encroaching on each other’s land, it’s important to know exactly where your property begins and ends. Not understanding the property lines is often the main issue behind a range of lawsuits and legal disputes between neighbours. Thankfully, a surveyor can help you determine where your property lines are whatever the issues are or whatever projects you have planned for the future, to help you avoid any problems.

If you are looking for a way to find your property lines, it’s likely that you might already be facing an issue such as a lack of maintenance on a joint driveway, the construction of a new addition to your property, a dispute with a neighbour on where the property lines are located, or issues with an easement to name a few. Maybe you are just curious to know where the exact property line location is so that you can keep it in mind when carrying out any projects in the future. Property lines should never be assumed or estimated – it can be easy to look at existing structures like landscaping or fences and assume that those are the edges of your property, but this is not always the case since many structures are built without the proper knowledge of property lines.

How Do Surveyors Determine Property Lines?

Land surveying is a very technical service that requires a specialised surveyor with an extensive set of skills, including a solid understanding of land law, engineering, trigonometry, geometry, and even meteorology. Chartered Land Surveyors will be involved in the majority of engineering and construction projects, and they are also often tasked with determining and marking out the exact property lines and boundaries of a residential or commercial property.

Hiring a surveyor to find the property lines and dimensions is the most reliable way to find out where they are exactly. A surveyor will make accurate measurements to provide you with information on where the plot begins and ends legally. Only a surveyor’s measurements will be accepted in a request for a survey from a lender or insurer, or in the case of any legal disputes about property lines with neighbours.

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The legal description of the property from the deeds will be used by the surveyor to determine the legal boundaries of your property. Any past survey pins that have been removed will be replaced with new ones.

Common Boundary Disputes That Might Require a Survey:

Boundary disputes can become incredibly contentious, particularly when you and your neighbours are both convinced that you own a certain part of the land and have no way to tell which one of you is right. Both of you could be forgiven for thinking that the boundaries of your land should be clearly marked out in the title plan in red. However, this is not often the case since the Land Registry uses the Ordnance Survey mapping system to create title plans. In turn, the OS use the General Boundaries system, which shows the boundary of the property in relation to other physical features on the ground nearby rather than the marked legal boundaries of the land. If you are in a boundary dispute with a neighbour, it is for this reason that you cannot rely on a Land Registry Title Plan alone to solve the issue.

How Do Surveyors Find Property Lines?

A surveyor will refer to the deeds of your property to get as close to the marked property lines as possible. They may also use a special type of metal detector that is referred to as a magnetic locator, designed for property surveyors to use. They are designed to easily find ferrous metals. Ferrous metals are used in the four long rebar stakes that will be driven into the property corners by the builder or developer or a past property owner to mark the boundaries of the property and land. The maps of your property will show the surveyor exactly where the land developer or previous surveyor drove the corner markers into the ground.

How Do Surveyors Measure Property Lines?

If markers are not present or have been removed in the past, the surveyor will use a range of different methods to determine where the property lines are situated, including checking the plat map, inspecting the deeds to your property, and researching the property’s history. Information on easements, subdivisions, and ecological restrictions can be useful to help the surveyor determine where the property begins and ends.

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How Surveyors Measure Property Lines:

A surveyor might check a map or title plan that outlines the boundary lines of your property. It may also include any details on structures, bodies of water and elevations. If you have shared property lines, your surveyor may also be able to look at maps of neighbouring properties, which can be useful for settling a property line dispute with your neighbours. You can contact the Land Registry to get maps of your property or another property for planning permission.

Getting a Land Surveyor to Determine Property Lines in a Dispute:

Most properties will have defined boundaries that are easy to determine such as walls, hedges, fences, edging stones or the sides of buildings. However, if some of the boundaries between your property and a neighbouring property are not clear, it is important that both you and your neighbour understand which parts of the land each of you owns in order to prevent disputes in the future. You can do this by coming up with an Informal Boundary Agreement with your neighbour, although in some cases, a formal agreement might be required – for example, if you are required to have a land survey carried out for mortgage or insurance purposes.

If a boundary disagreement arises, it is important to deal with it quickly since minor disagreements, such as issues regarding a neighbour storing items on your property, can quickly become a huge legal dispute with threats of court action. Ultimately, the cost of fighting your right to the land in court could be more trouble than it is worth, so it pays to hire a surveyor to help before you rush into any legal disputes.

Seeking advice from a surveyor as soon as possible is key to dealing with a dispute with neighbours. You can get the advice from a chartered land surveyor. When looking for a surveyor, make sure that they have received specialist training in property boundaries and are experienced in land surveys and mapping. It is also worth asking them about their experience with interpreting aerial photographs and how familiar they are with the latest civil procedure rules. In some cases, you might need your land surveyor to act as an expert witness in court on your behalf, so it’s important to ask about any experience of this that they might have.

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How Do Surveyors Mark Property Lines?

In the case of a boundary dispute with your neighbours, a surveyor can settle the issue by clearly marking the property lines and providing you and your neighbours with clear information on where each property begins and ends. A chartered land surveyor who is trained and experienced in boundary disputes will survey the land itself, check the deeds and any plans attached to them, and refer to any historical documents, aerial photographs, and other key paperwork to determine where the property boundaries are exactly. The information that they provide you with after the survey will often be more accurate than information shown on the Land Registry title plan since this will only usually show the general boundary and does not define exact legal boundaries of the property. It is also worth bearing in mind that boundaries can change over time for several reasons, so the information that you and your neighbours have might be outdated, and a surveyor can make sure that you have access to the most up-to-date information about where your property lines are.

Land Surveyor Property Lines

If you want to settle the issue outside of court with your neighbour, or you go to court where a boundary line is defined and an order is written, your chartered land surveyor will use markers and maps to mark the property lines. If you or your neighbours are planning to construct your own boundary markers such as fences, walls or landscaping, the surveyor may also supervise any building or fencing contractors to ensure that the boundary markers are placed accurately and there are no further disputes after the work has been carried out. They will also prepare a new plan that meets the required specification to show the agreed boundary line and submit it as a Boundary Agreement to the Land Registry.

Understanding where your property boundaries are can make it easier when planning construction or extension projects in the future and help you settle any boundary disputes that you might be having with a neighbour. A land surveyor can help you determine exactly where the legal boundaries to your property lie.