Categories:Europe,Real Estate

A problem hanging over you?

One of the things which may seem bizarre about the Jersey conveyancing process is the apparent obsession with boundaries.

Conveyancers acting in property purchases go on site to make sure that no part of any building or other construction encroaches on any neighbour’s land. Encroachment covers not only building on a neighbour’s land but also building on the 16 ½ inch offset of a boundary structure or having a window or other opening less than 2 feet 9 inches from the boundary. Arguments about actual or alleged encroachments are one of the main things that can hold up completions.

So what, you may ask, if the roof overhangs the next door property by a couple of inches or one of the windows in the nice new extension is only 2 feet from the boundary; surely this couldn’t put you at risk? The problem, though, is the traditional approach of Jersey law to encroachments, which has been that the party whose property has been encroached on is entitled to a court order requiring removal of the offending items. For technical reasons of Jersey property law the courts have up to now found themselves unable to award damages as an alternative to removal of the encroachment…

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