Sat | Aug 19, 2017

A matter of land | Help! I have no access to my property

Published:Sunday | April 23, 2017 | 4:00 AM
Craig Francis
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Good day, readers. Today I will respond to another question from a reader.

Hello Mr Francis,

I read your column every week and it's quite informative. I have an issue I need help with and I hope you can assist me.

I was issued with some land as a gift and I would like to build a house on the property but there is no main road access to the section that I have been given.

The easiest access to the plot is via a private road which was recently widened by the owner as he will be selling a number of lots on his property.

My grandfather, who gave me the piece of land as a gift, has an access road to his house which I could extend reach to the plot he has given to me.

This would mean accessing my land through his property by extending the road, but my grandfather is against this. What can I do?

- James M.

Good day James M,

Thanks for reading A Matter of Land. We appreciate it, and the fact that you find it informative is quite satisfying as this is the aim, to inform and educate.

You have put forward a situation that is all too common and should not be so. Every property has to have a means of access to it.

Of late, several persons are finding themselves with landlocked properties. Landlocked simple means that they are bounded on all sides by other properties with no roads or means of access.

The first thing I would recommend you do is visit a commissioned land surveyor and have him come in and conduct a cadastral survey of the plot of land that you have been gifted by your grandfather so that he can provide you with an approved diagram.

When the surveyor comes in to conduct his survey, he will explain to your grandfather that he cannot gift you property devoid of access.

The surveyor will ensure that your property has access by talking with all the concerned parties to arrive at a solution.

He may extend your grandfather's road to your property so that you can have a means of accessing your property. He can either provide a reserved road or maybe a right of way.

Either way, you absolutely have to have an access and anything else is not legal.

a property without a means of access will not be able to get an approved diagram from the National Land Agency and no land surveyor would prepare any such diagram.

The road of which you speak as a private road is quite possibly a reserved road, as if the owner is planning on selling lots, as you suggested, then it is quite likely that the road is a reserved road.

So unless it's a gated community, or the road is so designated, then it may very well be a reserved road.

If it is indeed a reserved road, then this may be able to be used as your means of access and no other road has to be created to give you access. This is what your commissioned land surveyor will determine for you to solve your access problem.

All the best, J.M. I hope your matter is resolved soon, and since you know what you need to do now, you are halfway there.

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 Precision Surveying Services