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My lapa: and a boundary wall dispute PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 March 2011

The following question from one of our readers concerns an issue with a lapa and boundary wall dispute.

I have built a lapa in my yard against my neighbour's wall.  The wall in question is a small cottage built against my boundary.   They are now saying after two years that it's causing water damage and want me to pull down the lapa.

Please could you help with two questions.  

Can the cottage be on my boundary anyway and what should I do as the municipality are saying I must move it?

Les responded as follows:

The Zoning Regulations, which govern issues like the one that you have raised, differ from suburb to suburb and even from street to street in some cases. It is therefore difficult for me to comment on your problem without seeing the regulations for your specific area.

If your neighbour has constructed a building on the boundary of your property with plans that that have been approved by the municipality, then you have no recourse.

There may also historical reasons for buildings being on a boundary if it was built before there was a change in the zoning regulations, in which case, it would be allowed to remain but no new work would be permitted in accordance the old regulations.

The third issue is that if no plans were ever submitted to the local municipality and approved by them for the lapa that you built, then the structure would be illegal and they would have every right to request that you remove it.  Even more so, if it is causing a problem like water damage to their property.

Regarding your Lapa, you would firstly need to find out what the local zoning regulations say regardingsuch a structure and, if such a structure is permitted, submit drawings for approval.

If you are able to keep the structure, then you would need to take steps to rectify whatever is causing the water damage to your neighbour's property to their satisfaction.

I hope this helps.



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