Lee v Barrey: CA 1957

The registered proprietor of land argued that he had become owner of a larger plot of land after a transfer plan showed regular boundaries but the markings on the ground showed irregular ones: ‘as we are concerned with a general filed map or plan, the sole question for us is whether, notwithstanding the transfer and the facts I have mentioned, the effect of the statutory provisions, sections 19 and 69 in particular, is that as matters stand what the defendant has, and is entitled to say he has, is a piece of land identified by reference to the map on his certificate; and the argument is that, if you look at that map, it is as plain as possible that there is no question of an angled division; the piece of land of which the defendant is certified as proprietor is regular in shape.’ As to which: ‘You are, therefore, told that this document does no more than indicate the boundaries, and – what I think is far more significant – that what they are intending to do is to show what you would find on the transfer plan. When all that is added together, I am for my part left in no doubt that this plan cannot be set up to overturn the plain effect of what otherwise would have resulted from the bargain made between the defendant and his vendor as had been recorded in his contract and in his instrument of transfer.’
Registered title plan boundaries are only indicative and the general boundaries rule allows revisions to be made to the filed plan at any time. The general boundaries rule is confined to the effect of the filed plan only.
. . And: ‘It is true that a property dispute may, and frequently does, involve boundaries, and that a boundary dispute involves in some degree a property dispute; and if the divergence is very great indeed, you may say that the matter has passed from any sensible use of the phrase ‘boundary dispute’ and becomes something else. But applying the common sense test, if, as Mr. Plowman invited us to do, you put the question here: is the plaintiff saying in truth that the defendant got the wrong property by the land certificate? I would answer the question negatively. I think, for my part, that there is no doubt that the certificate purported to give him, and gives him, the right property. What, on the evidence, it has failed to do is to indicate its boundaries with sufficient correctness and precision.’

Lord Evershed MR
[1957] Ch 251
Land Registration Act 1925 19 69
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedGeoffrey Allan Chadwick, Sylvia Joyce Chadwick, Edward James Chadwick v Abbotswood Properties Ltd, Gordon Leonard Hauser, Pamela Ann Hauser, Rectory Pump Ltd ChD 18-May-2004
Between to new houses was a steep bank. Who owned it? Before the transfer there had been different plans and much correspondence.
Held: Where there was doubt as to the extent of land transferred, the court could look to the physical boundaries . .
CitedDrake and Another v Fripp CA 3-Nov-2011
The parties disputed the location of the boundary between their properties. An appeal against the adjudicator’s award altering the filed plan.
Held: The appeal failed: ‘there was no restriction on the adjudicator’s power to direct the Land . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Registered Land

Leading Case

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.197731