Demarcation is about definitively fixing the limit of two adjacent sites and marking these limits through marker materials known as “bounds”. Demarcating a land is not compulsory (with exceptions). However, it is highly recommended.

Why resort to demarcation?

Demarcation makes it possible to avoid all conflicts of property boundaries, and mainly encroachments (plantations or constructions at the neighbor's house, for example). It can only be undertaken if the concerned funds constitute private property (impossibility to demarcate when the land is adjacent to the public domain for example). In terms of roadways, this shall be an administrative procedure known as alignment. On the other hand, rural roads, falling within the private domain, are liable to demarcation.

How to go about it?

  • Amicably, if the two owners agree on the dividing line of their adjacent land. This agreement must undergo a demarcation report, which is carried out by an expert surveyor. Signing this document gives contractual value to the demarcation, which is carried out at shared costs. To make the demarcation definitive, it is wise to publish the demarcation report, in the real estate file. Therefore, no dispute on the boundaries of the land shall be possible by the current owners of the concerned land but also by the ones after. You must turn towards a notary.
  • Legally speaking, if the two owners cannot agree on the dividing line, or if one refuses to carry out an amicable demarcation. The procedure must be taken to the district court of the land’s location The judge appoints an expert surveyor who carries out the demarcation operations. The latter prepares a project. If one of the parties objects, the judge takes the decisions.

Are there situations in which demarcation is obligatory?

Theoretically speaking, demarcation is not obligatory, except in two cases:

  • when the demarcation request is made by a neighbor (article 646 of the Civil Code).
  • when the land is destined to construct a building for residential or mixed purposes (residential and professional) forming:
  • a batch in a subdivision, subject to prior declaration or planning permission.
  • land as the outcome of division in an Urban Development Zone.

Do not hesitate to contact your notary. Not only will the latter warn you in advance, about regular demarcations but also if a damage were to take place, you avoid taking the dispute to court, either through conciliation or mediation. You will save time and be more efficient. This process will also cost you less than a trial.

Frequently asked questions