Legal Mapping Information

Boundaries and Irish Law

The non conclusive Property Registration System finds its roots back in 1876. The English attempted to implement a cadastral system in 1864, whereby land boundaries would be mapped and recorded accurately. This caused so much consternation amongst land owners, that the general boundaries rule was implemented as a means of loosely recording boundaries, for the purposes of registering ownership of property in Ireland.

Where is my boundary? On the Land Registry website/ FAQ section. "I have a dispute with my neighbor over where the boundary lies. Can you tell me who is right? No. The Land Registry map is an index map and identifies property, not boundaries. Therefore, we are not in a position to advice."

No State Guarantee; Within the non conclusive boundary system, our boundaries are not guaranteed by the state. For example: Your neighbour erects a fence 20 feet into your land, you come out and destroy the fence. Your neighbour calls the Gardai and they caution you for criminally damaging the fence, and they will say nothing to your neighbour for grabbing your land. We live in a state which has no punishment for Land Theft.

Squatter's Rights; Otherwise known as adverse possession, this pertains to the occupation of land, against the interest of the registered owner. If your neighbour builds a fence on your land and uses the land as it were his own for a period of 12 years or more, he may be able to a legal claim on that land. The legal onus is on the landowner to prevent willful encroachment on his property, failure to do this may result in the loss of title over the affected land.

Repossession of squatted land: This is not to be taken lightly. Careful consideration should be given to your approach to this and all actions should be extremely measured in temperament. First, get a professional Surveyor's opinion on where the boundary actually lies and if there is encroachment then ask your solicitor to write a letter to the adverse possessor.

Easements; A most commonly used easement is one that permits underground services of one property (dominant tenement) to pass beneath the land of another property (servient tenement). Right of way, right to light and right of support are all further examples of easements.

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