What is my next step in the dividing fence fight Pt 3
Good day, readers. This week, we complete the response to the question from a reader about a dividing fence. For those who missed the first two parts, we repeat the question.
Good day, Mr Francis:
I would like some advice on the following issues:
1. When building the dividing fence, should the fence be in line with the boundary peg or some feet away?
2. If both property owners are living on their respective properties and one individual decides to erect the dividing fence without any consultation with the other owner, is there grounds for legal action?
This last part of your question is very interesting to me. You say that when you went to live at your current property, the neighbour (without consultation) went ahead and constructed the dividing fence after advising you that he contracted a commissioned land surveyor to identify/replace the positions of the boundary marks.
You now say that a contractor has told you that the boundary is 31 inches behind the peg. Firstly, I would have really appreciated knowing to which side of the peg is the boundary. Is it behind to your side or behind on his property?
Before I address that issue, let me make something clear. Only a commissioned land surveyor can determine boundary peg positions. Neither you nor your contractor can determine if there is a breach or an encroachment of the dividing fence on either property.
So my very first advice to you is to employ the services of a commissioned land surveyor to provide you with a Surveyors Identification Report, which will reveal the true position of the boundary wall and any other matters affecting the property.
You may also want him to 'repeg' the registered boundary for you. Your contractor's measurements are not sufficient to determine the true positions of the pegs or the fence, so engage your surveyor, who has the requisite expertise to determine that for you.
The surveyor will give you a document (Surveyors Report), which is a legal document that may be used in a court of law as evidence.
alluding to the police
On the matter of him alluding to the police that you were the one who constructed the wall is very unscrupulous of your neighbour, but don't put too much credence on that as he has no way to prove that while you will be able to prove that he did.
Also, if the wall as constructed is on his side of the peg by the 31 inches, then you have nothing to worry about. It's his property and if he chooses to construct his perimeter fence off the boundary peg, he is free to do so. You, however, must have the true position of the boundary pegged by your commissioned land surveyor and you can, if you so desire, construct a dividing fence on the true boundary. However, if the fence he constructed is encroaching on your property, you will need to have him demolish it. This may require legal action.
Keep sending your questions and comments and let's continue to explore A Matter Land. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or his Facebook page Precision Surveying Service