Windy winter weather can often cause damage to fences and boundary features and homeowners are often puzzled as to who is responsible for their maintenance and upkeep. Ascertaining the responsibility for these costs is even more important when moving house.

HM Land Registry (HMLR) is the government agency responsible for registering title to land in England and Wales and they have recently updated a blog dealing with this important and practical issue.

An important limitation on the plans produced by HMLR is that they only show the 'general boundary'. The HMLR title plan does not give the precise location of the boundary. HMLR also cannot tell the owner of a property who is responsible for maintaining a boundary. This information might be contained in the documents of title which are available from HMLR – but HMLR will not be able to advise or comment on the documents. Many people often think that they are responsible for the left-hand boundary, but there is no legal basis for this assumption.

Avoiding arguments about boundaries is essential if a homeowner wants to sell their house. Apart from not wanting general unpleasantness with neighbours, this takes on a much bigger significance when trying to sell a house. Any complaints and disputes must be disclosed by a seller to a buyer and a problem with boundaries could be enough to deter many buyers.

Obtaining specialist legal advice to deal with boundary problems is a good idea – but essential if a sale is in the sights of a homeowner.

To discuss this or any other property matter, contact us.