Sat | Oct 21, 2017

Help! I have a neighbour from hell - Part 2

Published:Sunday | October 18, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Craig Francis

Good day, readers. This week, we will continue the response to a question from a reader that was part answered last week.

Good day, Mr Francis,

After long deliberations, I am seeking your advice. I recently moved into my unfinished house that has been under construction for more than three years. I have one immediate neighbour.

I bought the property some 16 years ago. Since moving on to the property, I have been having problems with my neighbour.

First, he has the waste water from his washing machine channelled on to my property. In addition, he has dug channels around his house that, when it rains, take the water on to my property. He also has a temporary garage made of wooden posts and a zinc roof which encroaches on my property and disposes water from the roof on to my property.

I am at my wit's end with my uncooperative neighbour. I have asked him to remedy the problems and he has done nothing other than curse me. I even wanted to erect a wall, and he has said he has no money to contribute to half the cost of erecting the dividing fence.

D.A.R

Last week, I spoke to the error of your neighbour in channelling his waste water on to your property. Today, I will continue with your next step.

My attorney has suggested that you should have a structural engineer assess if your building structure has been weakened and/or damaged. Then you need to find out if that damage is because of the water being channelled on to your property by your inconsiderate neighbour.

If there is damage, the structural engineer needs to prepare a report stating the amount of damage done and the money needed to correct/rectify same.

You should then take the report to your lawyer as this will form the basis of your effort to seek redress before the courts.

Legally, as per the Dividing Fence Act, your neighbour is required to stand half the cost of erecting the fence between his property and yours. However, seeing that he has made his intentions known that he doesn't plan to do so, I suggest you do not wait on him.

 

FENCE PROTECTION

 

You need the protection that the fence will offer you from the water that is coming from his property on to yours or the structural integrity of your building may be so compromised you end up losing more than if you constructed the wall by yourself.

So I advise you to erect a concrete wall or a stone wall dividing fence (along the boundary established by your land surveyor) immediately to mitigate against the water. However, in this construction exercise please keep all your receipts and document all expenditures you make on the fence to ensure that you can seek your half cost from the neighbour when you take him to court.

Next week, I will address the matter of the encroachment on your property by your neighbour.

Keep sending your questions and comments and let's continue to explore A Matter 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