Original title deed vs Land registry map

Original title deed vs Land registry map

Postby dialallama » Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:15 pm

I've not been able to find an exact precedent online for my problem (sorry if it is a repeat). Apologies if I've got the terminology wrong.

I live in a terrace property and the end of my garden backs on to a tidal creek. There is a wall at the end of the garden beyond which is an area of sand and then the creek itself. The high water mark on the local OS map is approx 5m away from the wall. There is no footpath (on the OS map) along the strip of sand but people do regularly use it at low tide. Here is a rough diagram:


FORESHORE
-------------------- Mean high water line
SAND
-------------------- Garden walls
| | | |
| | | | Gardens
--------------------
| | | |
| | | | Houses
--------------------
ROAD

The house was build circa 1900 and the original title deeds show how the area of land was divided from a larger estate and leased for 99 years. The house and garden walls were built by the original lease holder.

I have measured the original title deed map and my garden and by my calculation the plot extends beyond the garden wall by 1.5m. In addition along the boundary line on the title dead is the word "FORESHORE". However when the property was registered (not sure when - we moved in 3 years ago) there appears to have been an assumption that the wall is the boundary- the wall appears on the OS map as a line and this is what the boundary has been drawn along.

My presumption was that this was a simple mistake and indeed the land registry themselves state their maps are only guides and not legal definitions of boundaries. My solicitor missed this when we bought the property (we bought the freehold) and I have been slow to deal with it because of time and money. I did however put a small area of decking (3m2) over the sand as many of my neighbours have done.

I can only assume someone has complained as the council got on my back stating I needed planning permission for the deck - they stated it was outside the curtilage and was a change of use to "domestic" no less. Despite my protests (what had I changed the use from ??) I decided to apply for PP and was granted it. At no point did they dispute my ownership of the land.

A year later the council are at me again. They have found a deed (dated 1992) for an area of council land on the opposite side of the creek that (bizarrely) includes the area of sand at the end of my garden. They are now telling me to remove the deck. I invited their surveyor around and stated my argument to him : The title deed measurements show that the wall was not built on the actual boundary and the word "foreshore" confirms the boundary is actually the high water mark (the legal definition of the foreshore is the area of land between low and high water). In addition the area of sand has increased due to sedimentation over 100 years and so the "law of accretion" should apply such that the exact boundary would remain along the foreshore.

They have just replied in a letter stating that they disagree (no justification), that I am blocking access to the "beach" and they want me to remove the deck.

I fear that I have a fight on my hands and so would appreciate any advice. I don't think the council cares about the land (its a liability to them and they have denied ownership in the past when asked to remove rubbish). I have no intention on blocking access, and in practice I am not do so.

My questions are as follows:

1. What has greater legal status - the original title deed from 1900, or the current land registry deeds for my property and the councils "neighbouring" plot.
2. What is considered more important - the measurements on the title deeds or written descriptions on it.
3. Does the fact that the land registry map was undisputed for years disadvantage me? (the very elderly previous resident had no interest in such things)
4. Does the fact that the lease hold expired in 1999 and I bought the freehold in 2013 impact on the relevance of the original title deed.
5. Does the fact that there is sand on the disputed land give it any special status as a "beach". The land is above the high water mark.
6. Is this essentially a "boundary dispute" - in which case would this proceed to a tribunal if I cant convince the council of my argument?
7. Any tips dealing with councils over boundary disputes? Do they hold an special status or do the land registry treat them just like anyone else?

Thanks in advance!
dialallama
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:24 am

Ads are not endorsed by www.gardenlaw.co.uk or the staff thereof and visitors should perform their own due diligence on the product or service offered.
 

Re: Original title deed vs Land registry map

Postby jonahinoz » Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:37 pm

Hi Dialallama,

I don't know, but here are some thoughts ...

Have the LA also contacted your neighbours with decking, or are they just picking on you?

The Land Registry told me that their maps show topographical features (eg: walls, streams, etc) which may, or may, not be boundaries. This statement may have been influenced by me challenging them about them altering a neighbours boundary to include an area of back-lane that I was responsible for.

You say that the lease expired in 1999. I understand that there are complications when Adverse Possession is claimed on Leasehold land, as the Freeholder may be unable see what is happening on his land, until the lease expires. I believe the AP expires simultaneously with the lease.

One for Pilman ... the Law of Property Act 1925, says that you bought everything that was, or appeared to be, part of the premises that you bought. I'll leave Pilman to comment on whether that applies to your beach.

You are entitled (well, I was) to ask the LA for a copy of the conveyance relating to the purchase of the land on the other side of the river. My council charged me about £6, but that was about 15 years ... it related to 35 acres, adjacent to my house, bought for council housing, in 1952. The conveyance may give you more background than the Land Register, but maybe best to get both.

I am aware of one LA that examines LR maps of beaches, and claim anything that is not registered

Good luck.

John W
jonahinoz
 
Posts: 1342
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:15 pm

Re: Original title deed vs Land registry map

Postby dialallama » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:13 pm

John,

Thanks for the reply.

No they do not appear to be "picking" on my neighbours. I'm not sure why I have been singled out but can only presume someone has complained - I can't believe the council would go to the bother otherwise. Whenever anyone on the street has tried to get the council to do anything relating to this area of land they have denied any ownership/responsibility.

I'm not sure this is a case of adverse possession - at least not on my part anyway. My argument is that the original deeds indicate that I own an area of land that has subsequently been included in the deeds of land owned by the council. If anything they have "land grabbed" from me. However, for adverse possession to apply don't you have to have some material presence on the land? I can't see that the council could claim this.

I assume that when the councils plot opposite was conveyanced they did indeed include all land up to where they thought my boundary was. Hence grabbing land that wasn't actually un-owned - even if it was unregistered.

I half wonder that the reason they are fighting this is because if they agree with my stance they would potentially have to revisit the situation for 10 or so of my neighbours. This would involve a lot of red tape for them. Interestingly none of my neighbours have their original deeds to contest the current land registry maps. None of them seem interested as the council aren't causing them bother (at least not yet)
dialallama
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:24 am

Re: Original title deed vs Land registry map

Postby ukmicky » Tue May 02, 2017 1:21 am

Their deeds showing they own land on your side is evidence of their claim to the land on your side but not the exact position or dimensions.
The wall being there since the 1900s is evidence that it marks the boundary.

Does your register of title say your boundary is fixed, it needs to for your measurements to mean something.. If you have a general boundary permanent features such as walls generally provides the evidence as to the boundary is.

The reason why measurements on title plans mean very little If the boundary is classed as a general boundary is because .
How do you know the measurements on your title plan are correct.
More importantly how can you prove they are correct.
How do you know where to measure from.
How do you know the size of your plot has never changed since the measurements were taken.

Fixed boundaries have measurements but also have permanent markers set in various places that legally cant be interfered with so surveyors can measure accurately from various locations to determine the exact location of a boundary. Fixed boundaries have to be defined precisely and comply strictly with the procedures set out in the Land registration act 1925 or 2002 for any measurements to be deemed reliable.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
ukmicky
 
Posts: 4544
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:13 pm
Location: London

Re: Original title deed vs Land registry map

Postby dialallama » Tue May 02, 2017 8:36 am

Thanks ukmicky,

Just to clarify a few points:

The council's deeds cover a very large area including land on the opposite side of the creek, the creek itself and then the small strip of sand on my side of the creek. It would appear that when the original land owner (of the foreshore/river bed) gave this area to the council (presumably in 1992) they drew the boundary along what they considered to be the edge of the creek - presumably based on how our properties had their boundaries registered - I can't see why else they would draw it as such.

Is this not a parallel analogy? : Imagine there was an area of land between me and my neighbour that was not registered. I could ask the land registry to include this in my deeds and if there was no other claim to the land on their database then they might agree to it. However, if in fact the original deeds of my neighbours house included this land, have I not effectively stolen it from them. Would they not be able to claim that, whilst the land was not registered, it always belonged to them. I know there might be issues of adverse possession, but not so in my case.

As to the position of the wall; I can think of hundreds of cases where people have walls built at the end of their garden but not on the boundary - for example where there is an embankment, a parking area, or in my case a tidal waterway. Why would the position of the wall be relevant - particularly given that it was built after the 1900 deeds (this can be inferred from the deeds as they make reference to the building of the house and I know the land was empty before this).

Any thoughts on the legals here?
dialallama
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:24 am

Re: Original title deed vs Land registry map

Postby ukmicky » Wed May 03, 2017 1:14 am

The council's deeds cover a very large area including land on the opposite side of the creek, the creek itself and then the small strip of sand on my side of the creek. It would appear that when the original land owner (of the foreshore/river bed) gave this area to the council (presumably in 1992) they drew the boundary along what they considered to be the edge of the creek - presumably based on how our properties had their boundaries registered - I can't see why else they would draw it as such.
Because some people would consider controlling both sides of a watercourse to be an asset and also maybe because they boundary is where they drew it.

Is this not a parallel analogy? : Imagine there was an area of land between me and my neighbour that was not registered. I could ask the land registry to include this in my deeds and if there was no other claim to the land on their database then they might agree to it. However, if in fact the original deeds of my neighbours house included this land, have I not effectively stolen it from them. Would they not be able to claim that, whilst the land was not registered, it always belonged to them. I know there might be issues of adverse possession, but not so in my case.

All land has an owner registered or not and the land registry will not simply hand over title to land just because someone has asked for it. Without real evidence you owned it they would turn down your application even if it means potentially the land will remain in unknown ownership for ever.


As to the position of the wall; I can think of hundreds of cases where people have walls built at the end of their garden but not on the boundary - for example where there is an embankment, a parking area, or in my case a tidal waterway. Why would the position of the wall be relevant - particularly given that it was built after the 1900 deeds (this can be inferred from the deeds as they make reference to the building of the house and I know the land was empty before this.


The wall is very relevant with general boundaries should it go to court ,the court would consider it as evidence as to where your land comes to an end because the legal presumption is that a land owner secures his boundaries and walls are such a permanent feature they carry a lot of weight as to where the boundary actually lies . Someone who has land unsecured beyond a wall is potentially running the risk of losing control and ultimately ownership.


In the end they have a deed showing that some of the land on your side is owned by them and the legal presumption will always be that their deed is correct .It has to be like that or our conveyancing system would be in a state of permanent chaos. It is possible to argue that a deed is incorrect but your evidence of ownership would not be anywhere good enough and due their deed the onus would be on you to your to prove your case ,not them. All you have as evidence against what they've got is a title plan showing a general boundary with measurements that carry very little weight legally.

They also don't have to fence to the fullest extent of their land because they have a deed showing they own land on your side of the water course and your wall showing the edge of your property .

Pilman will probably come on at some stage ,he has more knowledge on this subject than me ,wait for his reply
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
ukmicky
 
Posts: 4544
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:13 pm
Location: London

Re: Original title deed vs Land registry map

Postby Clifford Pope » Wed May 03, 2017 5:26 pm

" I decided to apply for PP and was granted it. At no point did they dispute my ownership of the land."

Is this point of any weight? I appreciate anyone can apply for planning permission on any land, regardless of ownership, but is it acceptable for a council to take someone's money for a grant of planning permission on land they themselves own such that that permission is worthless?
Clifford Pope
 
Posts: 400
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:18 pm

Re: Original title deed vs Land registry map

Postby Collaborate » Wed May 03, 2017 7:24 pm

Clifford Pope wrote:" is it acceptable for a council to take someone's money for a grant of planning permission on land they themselves own such that that permission is worthless?


why on earth should it be the responsibility of the planning department to advise an applicant for PP about ownership of the land concerned?
Collaborate
 
Posts: 1122
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:17 am

Re: Original title deed vs Land registry map

Postby jonahinoz » Thu May 04, 2017 7:51 am

why on earth should it be the responsibility of the planning department to advise an applicant for PP about ownership of the land concerned?

Hi Collaborate,

Why? Duty of care? But perhaps only in a case like this, where the LA own the land, and presumably, should have looked at the relevant maps to see who owns adjoining land, and needs to be informed.

In this case, the Planners (who act for the LA) granted Dialallama permission to develop "their" land, and collected their fee. I can foresee lots of "egg on faces" at best, and expense for the LA if the Ombudsman gets involved.

The LA were aware of what Dialallama was doing ... he told them, and that will be documented. Does Estoppal apply?

John W
jonahinoz
 
Posts: 1342
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:15 pm

Re: Original title deed vs Land registry map

Postby jonahinoz » Thu May 04, 2017 8:02 am

Hi,

I "done a Google". Here is just one result. It seems they have difficulty with the spelling too.

John W

ESTOPPEL
(estopped) A bar which precludes someone from denying the truth of a fact which has been determined in an official proceeding or by an authoritative body. An estopple arises when someone has done some act which the policy of the law will not permit her to deny.
In certain situations, the law refuses to allow a person to deny facts when another person has relied on and acted in accordance with the facts on the basis of the first person's behavior.
There are two kinds of estoppel.
Collateral estoppel prevents a party to a lawsuit from raising a fact or issue which was already decided against him in another lawsuit. For example, if Donna obtained a paternity judgment against Leroy and then sued him for child support, Leroy would be collaterally estopped from claiming he isn't the father.
Equitable estoppel prevents one party from taking a different position at trial than she did at an earlier time if the other party would be harmed by the change. For example, if after obtaining the paternity judgment, Leroy sues Donna for custody, Donna is now equitably estopped from claiming in the custody suit that Leroy is not the father.
An example of the slowly disappearing tendency of the legal profession to speak in secret code. All it means is 'stopped,' 'blocked' or 'not allowed.' Not only is it bizarre but the term does not appear to originate in any known language. Our research indicates it started either as a legal fraternity's drunken prank or was the result of an unknown Judge's severe speech impediment.
jonahinoz
 
Posts: 1342
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:15 pm

Re: Original title deed vs Land registry map

Postby dialallama » Thu May 04, 2017 9:08 am

Thanks all for your replies.

So it would seem that in answer to my original question (current land registry deeds vs original title deeds) you all consider the current deeds to hold the most weight in this case. I still have a few questions though specific to my case.

1. People keep mentioning the inaccuracies of title deed measurements as a argument against their strength in a dispute. Im my case the difference between the title plan boundary and the wall is 2meters. This seems quite a large discrepancy. In addition the boundary is annotated with the word "FORESHORE ". Surely a written description like this is entirely indisputable as to where the boundary was intended to be (ie along the high water mark)

2. I still can't see why it would be assumed that a wall necessarily represented a boundary. Im my case if the land bounds a foreshore then the builder would have had to build the wall along the mean high water mark - ie across an area of muddy ground that is covered by every spring tide. This is not only practically challenging but also undesirable as it means there is no "beach" left to store boats etc on. So in most cases like this around the country walls are build above the high water mark not on it.

3. There appears to be an assumption that the council has some other evidence that backs up its possition and allowed it to "claim" the land in 1992. My understanding is that the whole area was once owned by a large estate. This estate gave over some land for the building of my terrace in the late 1800s. I presume that more recently in 1992 the estate decided to give the remainder of the land to the local council. It would have been at this point that the boundary of the land given to the council would have been determined. I wouldn't be surprised if the process used land registry data for the terrace to work out where the boundary was. Ie in my view perpetuating a mistake. Of course there may be documents I don't know about - is their any way to find out?
dialallama
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:24 am

Re: Original title deed vs Land registry map

Postby Collaborate » Thu May 04, 2017 11:39 pm

jonahinoz wrote:Hi,

I "done a Google". Here is just one result. It seems they have difficulty with the spelling too.

John W

ESTOPPEL
(estopped) A bar which precludes someone from denying the truth of a fact which has been determined in an official proceeding or by an authoritative body. An estopple arises when someone has done some act which the policy of the law will not permit her to deny.
In certain situations, the law refuses to allow a person to deny facts when another person has relied on and acted in accordance with the facts on the basis of the first person's behavior.
There are two kinds of estoppel.
Collateral estoppel prevents a party to a lawsuit from raising a fact or issue which was already decided against him in another lawsuit. For example, if Donna obtained a paternity judgment against Leroy and then sued him for child support, Leroy would be collaterally estopped from claiming he isn't the father.
Equitable estoppel prevents one party from taking a different position at trial than she did at an earlier time if the other party would be harmed by the change. For example, if after obtaining the paternity judgment, Leroy sues Donna for custody, Donna is now equitably estopped from claiming in the custody suit that Leroy is not the father.
An example of the slowly disappearing tendency of the legal profession to speak in secret code. All it means is 'stopped,' 'blocked' or 'not allowed.' Not only is it bizarre but the term does not appear to originate in any known language. Our research indicates it started either as a legal fraternity's drunken prank or was the result of an unknown Judge's severe speech impediment.


That's just simply a wholly wrong analysis of OP's situation. When the LA never at any stage intimated to OP that he owned the land by the definition you post above estoppel would not apply.
Collaborate
 
Posts: 1122
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:17 am

Re: Original title deed vs Land registry map

Postby ukmicky » Fri May 05, 2017 2:50 am

1. People keep mentioning the inaccuracies of title deed measurements as a argument against their strength in a dispute. Im my case the difference between the title plan boundary and the wall is 2meters. This seems quite a large discrepancy.


Firstly your measurements seem to be increasing ,it was 1.5 meters the other day ,so if I were you I would put that tape measure away . Secondly forgetting that the measurements maybe wrong 2 meters is not a large discrepancy. You think its large because you don't understand what a general boundary is. Under the law with general boundaries it's possible for the difference to be 3 or 4 times what you measured it to be. In fact with general boundaries the courts have said there is no limit under the general boundaries rule.

What you probably have at best in an unclear boundary and to determine where the legal boundary lies the law says the courts will look at the relevant pre-registration conveyance or the transfer as a whole, including the plan and If the plan is insufficiently clear for the reasonable layperson to determine the position of the boundary, the court can then refer to extrinsic evidence and in particular to the physical features on the ground at the time. In other words your wall and yes just to let you know the courts use walls as evidence as to where the legal boundary lies all the time.

If this went to court and you based your claims on your measurements, because you have a general boundary the court will automatically adopt the legal presumption that comes with general boundaries that the legal boundary of your land could be anywhere . They wont ignore any measurement on your plan but the court will not legally be a position to trust them to be accurate because you have a general boundary and not a fixed or determined boundary. They will look at extrinsic evidence and as the land registry say ,actually what the courts have said ,they will look at in particular physical features on the ground at the time . Thats your wall . They will ask themselves if the decking wasnt there would a reasonable person walking along the foreshore believe that the wall was physically marking the legal boundatry of your property. Would someone in need of a rest walk or sit on the foreshore you are claiming to be yours.

In addition the boundary is annotated with the word "FORESHORE ". Surely a written description like this is entirely indisputable as to where the boundary was intended to be (ie along the high water mark)




No its not . You have your legal presumption but there are other definitions. The oldest definition is the foreshore is the land in-between the high water line and the cultivated land beyond ,or the developed land beyond . Legal presumption are also rebuttable . Do you know how high the water level came 100 years ago . The water levels of most rivers ,,streams etc has dropped over the last hundred years . Lets assume however your definition of the foreshore is correct and not taking into account with evidence to the contrary any legal presumption can be challenged the chances are the public have a right to walk across this area of land. Even though they may be able to walk on your decking your decking is causing an obstruction to the public even though you may not think so.

Im my case if the land bounds a foreshore then the builder would have had to build the wall along the mean high water mark - ie across an area of muddy ground that is covered by every spring tide. This is not only practically challenging but also undesirable as it means there is no "beach" left to store boats etc on. So in most cases like this around the country walls are build above the high water mark not on it .


Walls were used as defences against flooding from tides and still are. Many walls all over the country are placed at the high water line and some even lower . You come to my part of London and take a trip up the thames from Putney and there are hundreds ,probably thousands of privately owned garden walls that are placed on the high water line. Some of the walls have 2ft of water rising up them on the highest tides. There is a post box that had to be removed set in a garden wall on the banks of the thames that had to be removed because the water was rising so high the mail inside was getting wet.

There appears to be an assumption that the council has some other evidence that backs up its possition and allowed it to "claim" the land in 1992. My understanding is that the whole area was once owned by a large estate. This estate gave over some land for the building of my terrace in the late 1800s. I presume that more recently in 1992 the estate decided to give the remainder of the land to the local council. It would have been at this point that the boundary of the land given to the council would have been determined. I wouldn't be surprised if the process used land registry data for the terrace to work out where the boundary was. Ie in my view perpetuating a mistake. Of course there may be documents I don't know about - is their any way to find out?

Ignore the council and if they have the evidence and they really want your decking removed you may find out what they got if they take you to court. They also would have needed evidence deeds etc to register it and those deeds would have needed to show that they owned the land on your side. It takes more than a visit and a wall for someone to get land registered in their name. you seem to think theses things can be done without proof of ownership ,they can't,
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
ukmicky
 
Posts: 4544
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:13 pm
Location: London

Re: Original title deed vs Land registry map

Postby Clifford Pope » Fri May 05, 2017 9:49 am

Collaborate wrote:
why on earth should it be the responsibility of the planning department to advise an applicant for PP about ownership of the land concerned?



Perhaps because if an organisation sells you the right to develop a plot of land, and then after you have carried out the work, says "Oh, by the way, that's our land", their action might be seen as unreasonable and a little disjointed? It's not advice about land ownership, it's waking up to the fact that it's their own land.

I don't think other organisations can get away with hiding behind a myth of their different departments acting independently without overall responsibility. If you buy a product you have the right to use it, not be told by another department that you aren't allowed to.
Clifford Pope
 
Posts: 400
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:18 pm

Re: Original title deed vs Land registry map

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri May 05, 2017 10:58 am

Hi Clifford Pope,

said planning application will have cost the same regardless of the decision.

Kind regards, Mac
MacadamB53
 
Posts: 6023
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:13 am

Ads are not endorsed by www.gardenlaw.co.uk or the staff thereof and visitors should perform their own due diligence on the product or service offered.
 
Next

Return to Boundaries

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests