Mon | Mar 27, 2023

A Matter of Land | Will the landowner receive justice?

Published:Tuesday | July 11, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Craig Francis

Good day, readers. This week we will respond to another of your questions.

Dear Mr Francis,

I would like to ask your opinion on a case. There is an empty lot whose neighbour built five feet into the empty lot next to his.

Time has passed by and because lawyers where involved it dragged on without a solution. Is the owner of the lot out of luck as far as hoping to get back his piece of property?

Hoping for fairness in this land ... that we live.


- A Sunday Gleaner reader

Dear reader,

Thank you for continuing to read the column. I appreciate your continued support and the question you asked.

The person who built on the section of the vacant lot is encroaching on the neighbour's property.

Encroachment is a term which means 'advance beyond proper limits'. Essentially, it means that one person advances or violates his boundary limits by building something on the neighbour's land or allowing something to hang over the adjoining property boundary.

This usually happens when an owner is not aware of his property boundary or wilfully chooses to encroach. Note that the encroachment can be either a building (or its eaves/cantilever) or even a dividing fence incorrectly constructed.

So an encroachment means that you have violated a property that is not yours. You do this by overstepping your legal boundary and advancing beyond your proper limits.

That being said, because the neighbour has been in dialogue with the persons who encroached on his/her property then he/she will be able to recoup his/her interest in their property.

The property owner being encroached on will either be able to get a judgment that the neighbour who has encroached on the property remove what they have constructed or the property owner will be able to get compensation for the amount of land that they have encroached on.

So all is not lost, the property owner whose land is being encroached on has recourse in law to receive justice. So you don't have to hope against hope for fairness, the law ensures it. I hope the matter is resolved soon after going for so long now.

Until next time, traverse well.




Next week, mortgage specialist Cassandra Francis will be our guest columnist.

The A Matter of Land island tour, which is a series of free presentations, has started with the second staging taking place in Montego Bay recently. On the tour I am joined by a valuator/realtor and a mortgage specialist. If you are part of a company and wish for us to make a presentation to your organisation, please contact me for details.

- 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