Fri | May 26, 2017

What is my next step in the dividing fence fight Pt. 2

Published:Sunday | July 26, 2015 | 7:00 AMCraig Francis
Craig Francis
A dividing fence under construction.
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Good day, readers this week we continue with response to a question from a reader about a dividing fence.

For those who missed part one we repeat the question.

Good day Mr Francis,

I would like some advice on the following issues:

1. When building the dividing fence, should the fence be in line with the boundary peg or some feet away?

2. If both property owners are living on their respective properties and one individual decides to erect the dividing fence without any consultation with the other owner, is there grounds for legal action if the fence is not built in accordance with the Dividing Fences Act or with the agreement of the other party?

I thank you for your response.

Regards

- V.Y.A

As we continue this week on this question, I dealt with the position of the fence two weeks ago. This should be on the registered boundary as determined or verified by a commissioned land surveyor.

This week I will look at the second part of the question. You asked if a neighbour can unilaterally construct a dividing fence. The simple answer is yes he/she can.

You are allowed to construct a dividing fence to secure your property boundaries without consultation with anyone. However, the fence must meet the requirements of the Dividing Fences Act. This states that a fence must be high enough, strong enough and close enough, to prevent ordinary animals, other than pigs and goats, of the kind kept on the one holding from trespassing on to the other. So, as long as the person meets that standard then they can erect that dividing fence.

However, because you are liable for half the cost to erect the dividing fence then you should have been consulted to see if what is to be erected is something that 1) you could afford 2) you think is okay aesthetically and 3) what you had intended to erect in the first place.

If your neighbour had no intention of asking you for a contribution to the wall then he can go ahead unilaterally. However, being a good neighbour would dictate otherwise.

That's all the space for this week. Next week we will conclude this question and response.

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