Thu | May 28, 2020

A Matter of Land | Help! I am faced with conflicting surveys

Published:Friday | August 31, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Craig Francis

Good day, readers. Today, we respond to another question from a reader.

Good day Mr Francis,

A new neighbour bought the property next door to us 'as is' in a sale. He had the property surveyed and survey markers were placed on our property.

The survey of our property was done several years ago and updated four years ago when we bought it.

He will not give us a copy of his survey and has not filed one with the municipal authority. He says his surveyor is correct and ours is wrong. I am told the survey companies need to work out the details but he is not cooperating. Can you give us any advice?

- Ma.E


Good day Ma.E,

Having read your question, there are several things that appear to have gone wrong with the process.

First, you said his surveyor placed marks on your property and the owner is the one insisting that his survey is correct.

But you should have been given a notice of survey that would have allowed you to be there at the date and time the survey was being conducted to safeguard your interests.

A notice of survey is exactly what it says, a notice served on you by a commissioned land surveyor to indicate his intention to conduct a survey on a property to which you have a common boundary or is separated by a reserved road.

It has to be served giving no less than 10 days' notice to the start of the survey. Note that the 10 days begin at the date of the issuance of the notice and not when it is received by you.

The notice may be served in several different methods:

1. by personal service by the surveyor or his agent;

2. by prepaid registered post, or;

3. where the owner or occupier of the adjoining land cannot be found, by causing the notice to be:

(a) affixed to some conspicuous object on such land, or,

(b) exhibited at the nearest post office.

Where a notice of survey is served by prepaid registered post, such notice shall be deemed to be properly addressed if it is addressed to the last known p1ace of abode of the person to be served.

Second, if you had a survey done four years ago and a plan generated, the marks on ground would form the basis of the common boundary line and would be normally adhered to by a subsequent surveyor unless he had compelling reason to deviate from them.

If the diagram was done by a commissioned land surveyor, he will entertain a call from you and discuss the matter with you as to why the pegs were placed where they were placed.

You are allowed to know what is happening as it affects you directly and causes you to be losing a section of your property.

I will suggest that you find out from your neighbour the name of the land surveyor who conducted the survey on his behalf, and contact him about the matter.

He will more than likely speak to you to explain the reasons for his decisions to place the pegs where he did.

Another approach would be to acquire the services of a commissioned land surveyor to do some independent checks for you to determine the true position of the boundary between you and your neighbour.

He would also be able to

dialogue with his colleagues on the matter for you.

I hope that you will have this matter resolved in a timely manner.

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.