Wed | Feb 21, 2018

A matter of land | HELP! - How do I correct these breaches?

Published:Sunday | December 11, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Craig Francis

Good day, readers, and thanks for the continued support of this column, I ask that you exercise some patience with us as we try to get to all your questions in a timely manner. This week I respond to another reader's question.

Good day Mr Francis,

I want to know how, or what can I do, to correct breaches on a property. In my case, there are three main breaches. One is the distance from the centre line of the road. It's slightly off. The other is that there are three buildings on the property which the titles states should be one. My parents did not know this. One of the buildings is just a small zinc storehouse with a concrete foundation. The other two buildings are residential houses. The third breach is a trench that was dug across the back of the property to take the water off the land.

- J.J.

Good day J.J.

You have a problem that is not unique but one that causes much consternation, anxiety and trepidation for persons who find themselves in similar situations.

There are three options available to you. I will highlight the three and offer my advice as to which I think will suit your situation best.

The first option is a removal of the additional structures that are causing the breach.


first breach


You state that the first breach is that one of the buildings is too close to the centre line, in breach of the setback distance stipulated by the restrictive covenant. Depending on what part of the structure is causing the breach, that may be removed so as to satisfy the covenant distance and hence correct that problem.

In the same way, the removal of the other two structures would bring the property into full compliance with the stipulations of the restrictive covenants of the registered title.

The second option is to have the restrictive covenant on your registered title removed. You would, through your attorney, make an application to the courts to have particular covenants removed from the title and this would resolve your problem as you would no longer have any breaches, as there would no longer be those restrictions.

The third option, and the one I recommend, is that you, through your attorney-at-law, make an application to the courts to have the restrictive covenants on your registered title modified.

First, you will need a detailed Surveyors Identification Report that itemises each breach in a detailed way.


addressing the problem


This will help the lawyer to modify the breaches in a very specific way to address your problems. For example, if the distance to the centre line is to be 25" and it is only 23, he can state the number 23 specifically on the title to address your situation.

He would also address the number of buildings that are supposed o be on the property. This application can be made and, depending on the input from the local authority, can take as little as six months.

The drain at the back, however, should be removed and another means of dealing with the storm water found, as the local authority will almost definitely have a problem with you putting water on the roads.

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 or Precision Surveying Services