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What Is A Land Lot Line

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  • 18-07-2022
What Is A Land Lot Line

As a property owner, you may ask what is a land lot line. Find out more about hoe property boundaries are defined and legally applied.

What Are Lot Lines?

The real estate definition of a 'Lot', or 'plot' states that it is a patch of land owned or in the process of being owned by proprietors. Technically the plot of land is considered a single parcel of property in the real estate market or, similarly, an unmoveable piece of property.

Moreover, a plot or lot can also be described as a small empty area of land that may retain some metalled road surface or equivalent developments. Often, the plot of land will be used for a singular purpose, for instance, a public park, garden allotments or a car park. A plot of land can have one or multiple owners, including various legal entities from corporations to government bodies, as well as private landlords.

This type of freehold ownership is quite common and is referred to as 'fee simple' in many countries. Also, depending on your location, the word Plot may be less used in favour of the word Lot, although this is just a technicality. Plots of land are also subject to annual real estate taxes owed to the local government, similarly to any other type of property. Taxes are determined by assessing the current value of the parcel.

If you are planning to build a house or any other type of dwelling, the value of the plot will increase, and the owner or owners will be liable for an 'impact fee'. Impact fees are there to offset any financial impacts put on local infrastructures such as roads, sewage systems and schools from the new property. When you plan to transfer ownership or sell the property, you'll be eligible for further taxes and fees.

There are a few additional fees to consider, including government fees for any possible improvements like pavement or curbs. 

Where are My Property Boundaries?

How To Find Property Lines

Determining and locating the exact property lines for a lot can seem laborious, especially for the larger or stranger shaped plots. Listed below, we offer four ways to find the various plot lines.

Simply referred to as a 'Plat', a property line map can be drawn to display your property lines and include other aspects such as elevations, existing structures or bodies of water. Neighbouring properties line maps should be available to you as you share property lines.

All necessary property paperwork generally includes the Plat or property line map within it. All the necessary paperwork is available from local assessors and can either be accessed in person at the offices or online. 

When purchasing a property, you should receive an official property deed. The property deed will include the designated property lines for your plot. In addition, a detailed worded description of the newly determined borders is included.

As a legal document, the property deed must contain information regarding the various types of property lines, including The Legal Boundary, The Physical Boundary and The Land Registry Boundary. In the case that the old boundaries and new boundaries don't match, check out the older versions of the deed to update the property border details.

Also, owners should consider that older versions may be prone to displaying structures, features and aspects that may no longer exist or have been significantly modified. For example, a tree that has been cut down owing to ill health or a pond that's been dried out. 

To get an exact measurement of plot lines, the owner or owners can entail a professional property line surveyor; alternatively, the property plotlines should already be included in the Plat. The surveyor will measure where your property ends and where neighbouring plot lines begin.

Using a professional surveyor can be beneficial as they're more likely to research the property history to identify easements, subdivisions and any relevant ecological restraints. Furthermore, in most cases, mortgage lenders and insurance companies will often require an updated survey to be completed before or upon purchase of the property.

Often with newer built properties, you can find old property line markers from when the plot was first divided. These markers are often stakes, and if you walk along the estimated property line, you may see some of the old stakes still sticking out of the ground.

The owner, surveyor or person completing the survey can use these existing markers to help determine the new property boundary lines. New owners should check the older property lines against the ones produced from a newly completed survey, as over time, the boundaries may have been modified or moved. 

3 ways of defining property boundaries

Property lines can be defined and categorized into three aspects these include the Legal Boundary, the Physical Boundary and the Land Registry Boundary.

Each line is required for a separate reason or by a different authoritative body. These property lines are included in or produce important documents for the owners, local councils and neighbouring properties.

The Land Registry Boundary

The HM Land Registry produce title plan map's to distinguish a rough property boundary. This new line is drawn along the Ordnance Survey boundary using a red marker to distinguish the extent of property ownership. Older properties will have paper versions with the information, whilst newer homes will have an electronic version.

The Physical Boundary

The physical boundary line is regarded as the easiest property line to specify. It's identified on ground level, and the line is included in the property's various maps and deeds. Existing physical features like walls, fences, hedges and rivers are often used to determine the physical boundary line for your plot of land.

The physical boundary can be distinguished from the hypothetical lines as it has a tangible thickness. However, the thickness of the physical boundary line can alter as hedges and rivers grow. In some cases, it's required that physical boundary lines are either described as running along the centre or one side or the other of a physical feature. 

The Legal Boundary

Legal boundaries are non-tangible boundary lines for your plot. 

It's difficult to precisely define the Legal lines of property; even when examining key documents, the legal boundary lines are hypothetical and retain no thickness, often meaning they are disputed by neighbouring properties or future developers.

Even an investigation on ground boundaries wouldn't give a clear distinction of the legal boundaries. What's more, the boundary isn't included in Ordnance Survey mapping.

The Legal Boundary line is vital during any disagreements between neighbours, this could maybe be when a new building plan sits too close to a border, restricting their Right to Light, or maybe a tree has fallen over a boundary line.

Either way, any noticeable or impactful changes to the plot should be noted in the new survey. An imaginary or invisible line dividing one person’s property from that of another.

It is an exact line having no thickness or width and is rarely identified with any precision either on the ground or in conveyances or transfers and is not shown on Ordnance Survey mapping. 

Ultimately, if disputed, the exact position of a boundary can be determined only by the court or the Land Registration division of the Property Chamber, First-tier Tribunal.

What Is A Land Lot Line

Do you have questions about  resolving Boundary Disputes in Kent or the surrounding areas? Would you benefit from the advice of a qualified RICS surveyor? Follow the link below to find out more.