Fri | Nov 24, 2017

Simple breaches are still breaches

Published:Sunday | May 10, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Craig Francis

Good day, readers. After the publication of our article on surveyor's notice, many persons have been asking for notices for just about every survey that their land surveyor is undertaking.

There are several types of surveys that require no notices to be served. The surveyor is not required to serve a notice for any survey that doesn't affect your boundary. So things like surveyors' identification reports, topographic surveys, or any other engineering-type survey don't necessitate the issuance of a surveyor's notice.

This week, I want to address something that is of much concern. There are persons who are constantly breaching their restrictive covenants, and when the surveyor reports it, they are "livid" as they claim that these breaches are minuscule and can be overlooked.

There are some persons who operate a place of business from their homes, and the restrictive covenant explicitly states that no trade or commercial activity should occur at the premises. So once the surveyor visits the property and observes this type of activity, he is duty bound to report it and note it as a breach of the restrictive covenant.

In similar fashion, many businessmen have bought houses in particular areas where most of the activities are now of a commercial nature - examples, Richmond Park and Kencot in the Corporate Area - and have converted these houses into places of trade and business in breach of the restrictive covenants.

Despite the fact that an area may have, over time, become commercial in nature, you still have to address your individual title, which still has the restrictive covenant endorsed, that speaks to no trade or business. This means you have to consult your attorney to have him/her make an application for a modification or discharge of the restrictive covenants.

 

GATE BREACH

 

Then, there are the breaches where persons allow their gates to open outwards when the restrictive covenant explicitly states that this should not be done. These homeowners are usually very upset when the surveyor notes it.

Your land surveyor will have to note what he finds on the ground, so ensure that you are not in breach so you won't have to correct the breach at a time when you are trying to get a loan or trying to sell your property.

There is also a restrictive covenant that many persons seem to ignore or are not aware of. In most subdivisions, you are not allowed to build your wall above a certain height, especially within a certain distance of an intersection; however, persons continue to construct some very high walls that breach the prescribed height in the certificate of title and then are "shocked" when their surveyor's report states that it is a breach.

Readers, I implore you to take the time now, having read this, to look at your certificate of title, or duplicate copy, to ensure that you have not breached any of the restrictive covenants.

If you suspect you may have done so, then engage the services of your land surveyor to prepare a surveyors' report for you to confirm same. If you do have a breach, get it rectified as soon as you can and do not wait until you need to dispose of the property by sale or need a loan and find you can't do either until the breach has been corrected.

Keep sending your questions and comments and let's continue to explore A Matter of Land. Until next time, traverse well.

- Craig Francis is a commissioned land surveyor and managing director of Precision Surveying Services Ltd. He can be contacted for questions or queries at craig_r_francis@yahoo.com or his Facebook page Precision Surveying Service