Tue | Feb 25, 2020

A matter of land | Those annoying trees from next door (Part 2)

Published:Sunday | October 1, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Craig Francis
A goat uses this dividing fence to help itself to mangoes hanging from a tree in the yard.

Good day, readers. Today I continue with the response to a question from a reader. Here is a repeat of the question from last week and my response.

Good day, Mr Francis,

What options do I have to deal with a neighbour's tree which is causing much nuisance and annoyance?

Apart from the leaves and fruit falling off of the tree (actually two trees, one ackee and a breadfruit) into my yard, which I then have to rake up every day, they have grown so tall that they are now leaning over the dividing fence and starting to lean on my water tank.

Over the years, my requests to him to have the trees trimmed, as they pose a danger to my property, have fallen on deaf ears. In fact, the last time the branches which overhang my property were trimmed, I had to pay a man to go over there to do it.

This neighbour has been a perennial problem, as on two occasions when I raised the matter of building a proper fence between us, he told me point blank that he was only responsible for the fence on his left side when facing the road.

What are my options for dealing with this?

Thanks for your advice.



Good day D.W.

Last week, I dealt with the tree nuisance part of your question. This week, I will deal with the second part.

His response to you concerning building a proper fence between the properties is one steeped in ignorance and is not a tenable of defensible position. He has a shared responsibility for all the fences that bounds his property.

The Dividing Fences Act states, unlike his utterances, that: "Every occupier of land shall, as between himself and the occupier of the adjoining land, be liable to bear one-half of the expense of erecting and maintaining a sufficient dividing fence to separate their respective holdings" and;

"A fence shall be deemed 'sufficient' for the purpose of this act when it is high enough, strong enough and close enough to prevent ordinary animals ... trespassing on to the other."

This expressly states that he is liable to share equally the cost of erecting a sufficient fence between you and himself. So I suggest you point this out to him, show him this publication if you must, then start the negotiation process as to the type of fence to be erected between the properties.

I suggest that before you go about erecting the property fence, you ensure that your boundaries are in order. I suggest you employ the services of a commissioned land surveyor to re-establish your boundary pegs or to identify them so that the boundary fence will be erected in the correct position.

I hope you and your neighbour will come to an amicable resolution to your stand-off.

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