A Matter of Land | How do I help my landlocked neighbour?
Good day, readers. Today we respond to another question from one of our readers. Here is the question and the answer.
Season's greetings, Mr Francis
I read A Matter of Land all the time and now I have a question. My neighbour is landlocked by two properties, between mine and another neighbour. How do we determine who gives him access? I would also like to know if we can access be given 50/50 on both sides of our boundaries? Thanks in advance for your help
Good day, G.W. and thanks for reading A Matter of Land.
You have put forward a situation that is all too common even though it should not occur.
Every property has to have a means of access, but of late, several persons are finding themselves with landlocked properties. This means that they are bound on all sides by other properties with no roads or means of access.
But the answer to your question is yes, you or your neighbour can grant him an access to his property through either property or you can share the access 50/50 on either side of your boundaries.
I will ask, however, how did the landlocked neighbour happen to come by that piece of property that has no access?
Were the three parcels (you, your neighbour and the landlocked piece) all from a single property that got divided into smaller parcels?
If this is the case, it means an informal subdivision was conducted and the parcel that was left without access and it has to be rectified.
Or was the parcel without access a part of one of the two parcels that's owned by yourself or your neighbour?
If that is the case then the parcel from which the landlocked piece is from should provide access.
However, what you have suggested is actually the most equitable way to provide an access for the landlocked neighbour.
I recommend you contact a commissioned land surveyor and have him/her come in and conduct a cadastral survey for the plot of land.
The surveyor would provide you with an approved diagram and determine the best way to provide the access. He/she will demark the means of access and also the type whether it be a reserved road or a right of way.
Either way, you absolutely have to have an access; anything else is not legal and a property without a means of access will not be able to get an approved diagram from the National Land Agency, and no land surveyor would prepare any such diagram.
I hope your matter is resolved soon, and now that you know what you need, you are halfway there. Until next time, traverse well.
- Craig Francis is a commissioned land surveyor and managing director of Precision Surveying Services Ltd. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or Precision Surveying Services.