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Accused of Encroaching on Land

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  • encroaching
  • Posted date:
  • 20-09-2019
Accused of Encroaching on Land

What to do if I have been accused of encroaching on my neighbours land

Conflicts with a next-door neighbour should not become issues that never reach a resolution. An understanding of who is responsible for the boundary and where it ends can offer long-lasting solutions. Many issues can be resolved easily and avoided altogether.

If you have been accused of encroaching your neighbours land, you need not worry. We have identified a number of practical ways to help solve this issue.

How To Resolve a Boundary Dispute


It is necessary to understand all the concerns your neighbour has about the encroachment and boundary dispute. ( An easy comprehension process helps resolve even the toughest of concerns).


It's necessary to work with a licensed surveyor. A Chartered Surveyor will ensure the accurate mapping of each person's boundary line and property.

What is encroachment?

Also known as land trespass, encroachment can be defined as intrusion/appropriation of someone's rights, limits, or territory knowingly or unknowingly. Encroachment will usually occur when a neighbour decides to farm, build, or construct a shed beyond his/her boundary limits.

Land encroachment is considered a fundamental ingredient in creating complications and misunderstandings. For instance, if it happens that your neighbour is not troubled by your encroachment, it is important to have goodwill in place to eliminate any future complexities.

Note that when leasing or selling your property, consider disclosing the relevant information about the encroached land before drafting the document.

What steps can I take if my neighbour has raised an encroachment dispute?

If your neighbour has raised concerns about land encroachment, there are two easy steps for you to try that can help solve the issue.

 Give notice to your neighbour.

 Contact a licensed surveyor.

How the above 2- steps guarantee effective solutions.

Giving your neighbour early notice helps create an understanding that comes a long way if you intend to repair/build/upgrade an existing barrier. With an agreement in place, workers can access the neighbour's compound during the construction phase without any unplanned developments.

However, you must understand that "under the law, fences are owned jointly though there are no jurisdictions that emphasise on the need for a neighbour to contribute resources ( labour, funds, ideas, and opinions) during the construction/repair of an already existing fence."

A Chartered Surveyor with the help of an auditor's map help distinguish conditional lines and locate landmarks to solve possible encroachment disputes. If an open line has been identified by the surveyor early, neighbours can proceed with construction of barriers and fences.

What the surveying process involves.

A surveying process/ boundary identification survey involves the following 4 high-priority steps.

  • Obtaining records of title abstracts by the surveyors.
  • Authorised access to neighbours property under the designated schedule.
  • Undertake comprehensive site surveys.
  • After the survey is complete, a signed plan is issued to the property holders.

How can I accurately establish my boundaries?

As a homeowner, the identification process will not come easy. Boundaries are often characterised by fences, walls, watercourses, and upcoming building that might have encroached boundaries unknowingly.

So, to identify your boundaries, contact chartered land surveyors who will follow all the steps mentioned above to accurately identify property lines and boundary marks.

It is not always that a dispute can be resolved by negotiation and mediation, sometimes legal assistance and measures help resolve complicated issues often.

Please note that: A surveyor's opinion is only a professional judgment of his basic understanding according to available records and it is not the final legal decision regarding boundary lines.

If you need advice on defining your boundaries of resolving a boundary dispute, consult a chartered surveyor to discuss your needs.