Thu | Jan 27, 2022

A matter of land | I want to paint my neighbour's wall

Published:Friday | November 11, 2016 | 12:00 AMCraig Francis

Good day, readers. Thanks for your continued support. Today we again have a question from a reader and my subsequent response.

Good evening Mr Francis,

I recently moved into my new home and I am trying to ascertain how to proceed on a matter. My neighbour already had a wall at the back separating our properties. Since I moved in, two or three more rows of blocks were added to raise the level of the wall. Now because of how long this wall was there, it is unsightly and my clothes line is right next to it. So I am asking if I am at liberty to render this wall or add trowel on to it for the aesthetics, and also to ensure my clothes do not go against this dirty wall.


D. L.

Good day D.L,

Thanks for contacting A Matter of Land on this very important matter to you. I recommend that you get a land surveyor to check the boundary to ensure that the wall as constructed is in the correct place and that there is no encroachment. He will also determine if the boundary line runs down the middle of the wall or along the face that you see. Once he has verified that the wall is in its correct position, then on to the next step. If, however, the wall is incorrectly built, then you and your neighbour will have to rectify the boundary wall before you continue with anything else.


Boundary fence


The Dividing Fence Act requires that the boundary fence erected between two adjoining properties be constructed at a cost shared between the two registered owners. So then, my next advice to you is to engage your neighbour in settling the cost for your half of the wall that's already erected. He should give you the actual cost at the time he had the wall erected and then you would pay him 50 per cent of that amount. When you do that, you can go ahead and paint and trowel on as you please to make it more aesthetically pleasing to you.

It is important that you and your neighbour live in harmony as best as is possible, so what I have suggested to you is the best way to go about ensuring that the harmony between you and your neighbour is maintained. You may choose to paint without first consulting your neighbour, especially if three inches of the wall is on your side of the boundary line. However, it may cause problems between you and your neighbour.

I hope you are able to very soon paint the wall and make it more pleasing to the eyes and also have and maintain a healthy relationship with your neighbour, as it ought to be. Please keep me updated on the matter.

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