A MATTER OF LAND: Boundary-wall issues
I have good news for readers who have been requesting back issues of A Matter of Land. A book will be published with all the articles. The publication date will be announced soon.
This week I will respond to questions from some of our readers.
QI want to erect a wall, but is it mandatory that my neighbour stands half the cost? Suppose he cannot afford to assist and on my own I can foot the entire bill, can I lawfully go ahead?
AYour question is unique and really a breath of fresh air. I have been getting a flurry of questions about the opposite; questions as to how to recover or how to get your neighbour to stand half the cost. You, however, go in a different direction. The answer is, you can stand the full cost lawfully, if you so desire. There is nothing legally or otherwise to stop you from standing the full cost of erecting your boundary wall. I am sure your neighbour would be grateful.
Q Based on your column, as it pertains to perimeter fencing, say you haven't encroached on anyone's property; however, the fencing is built on your property but not at the perimeter, in essence giving up a part of your land (someone didn't have the property pegged before fencing). Would this be a breach on your property? Taking into consideration that the restrictive covenant says the distance from house and erected perimeter walls are not infringed.
A This is a good question and the simple answer is no. The property being yours, you are free to erect a wall anywhere you so desire as long as you don't 'violate' your boundary. You can only encroach when you overstep your boundary; as to the distance of your house to the boundary as per the restrictive covenant, it's exactly that, to your boundary. So the distance of your house to the boundary would not be affected by your fence.
However, it may cause a problem if your neighbour is having a surveyor's report done and the wall is not on the boundary but close enough to have the land surveyor determine that the neighbour has encroached on your property by constructing his wall incorrectly.
My advice, therefore, is to try at all times to construct your boundary wall/fence on the boundary. This would mean getting your land surveyor to identify/set out your boundary lines before you construct. This will prevent you giving up land or any problems for your neighbour or between you and your neighbour.
Keep sending your questions and comments and let's continue to explore A Matter of Land.
Craig Francis is a commissioned land surveyor and managing director of Precision Surveying Services Ltd. He can be contacted for questions or queries at email@example.com or his Facebook page Precision Surveying Services