Sat | Nov 17, 2018

A Matter of Land | Wrong boundary leads to problem with my neighbour

Published:Sunday | October 21, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Craig Francis
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Good day, readers. Today, we respond to another question from a reader.

Greetings Mr Francis,

I have a problem I encountered last week that has left me wondering.

I was served a Notice of Survey that was to be done last week. When the surveyor came to survey my neighbour's property line, that is the common boundary with me, the surveyor discovered that we were wrong in where we thought the boundary was.

According to the surveyor, the boundary was about 10 feet over on his property, which did not sit well with him.

My neighbour became boisterous and told the surveyor to stop working and that he would not be paying him any more money. The surveyor packed up and left without placing the pegs, and since then my neighbour and I have been having problems concerning the boundary.

First, how do I sort this sordid matter out, and why didn't the surveyor put the pegs in? Is it because he was contracted by my neighbour?

Help me, Mr Francis, and tell me what to do to fix my boundary so I can live in peace.

Note, I have a registered title with the plan and my neighbour has none.

Regards,

- AC

Good day AC,

I am sorry to hear about the fuss you and your neighbour are having concerning your property boundary.

The reason the land surveyor left had nothing to do with him not wanting to do what is correct because he was contracted by your neighbour. It was more with the fact that your neighbour, who contracted him, asked him to stop working and told him he would not be compensating him for his efforts.

The commissioned land surveyor is not an advocate of any one person, but of the land laws and Land Surveyor's Regulations of Jamaica.

He has to abide by what is the truth, and the laws of the land dictate. He is an ex officio officer of the courts and has a fiduciary duty to uphold the laws and regulations of Jamaica.

So he is not an advocate of your neighbour even though he was contracted by him.

The land surveyor still had to point out, and peg, if he was allowed, the position of the boundary, even though it showed that his client was not in the position he thought it was.

So the surveyor, though contracted by various persons, does not control what the outcome will be.

As to how you go about fixing the situation, I suggest you contact a commissioned land surveyor to survey your property and repeg the boundary.

At that point, you can construct your fence and have peace with your neighbour. The surveyor will serve your neighbour with a Notice of Survey to ensure that he is present at the time of the survey.

Your neighbour can make as much fuss as he can, but the placement of the pegs by the commissioned land surveyor will go ahead as you hold a registered title and that is indefeasible.

So I encourage you to contact a land surveyor as quickly as possible, explain the nature of the situation so that he will be aware of what to expect when he gets there, and sort out your problems so that you can live in peace.

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.