Conflict between plan ‘for identification only’ and other objective factors at the time of the transfer

Brown v Pretot ([2011] EWCA Civ 1421, CA (Eng)) arose out of a boundary dispute. The court had to interpret the transfer of a newly built house from the developer to Mr and Mrs Pretot. There was a conflict between the boundary as it was shown on the plan attached to the transfer, on the one hand, and the written description of the land transferred. This stated that the garage would be built within the land transferred (the garage that was built by the time of the transfer would be outside the land transferred if the plan were to take precedence). Further, there was a conflict between the plan and significant physical features that were present at the time of the transfer (the garage and the boundary fence). These physical features were better guides to the parties’ intention than the plan taken in isolation especially as it was said to be for the purposes of identification only.

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