Make certain you know which stand is yours
This dream-turned-nightmare is by no means unheard of in real life and illustrates the need for the increasing number of consumers who are buying vacant building stands at the moment to insist on accurate information regarding boundaries, beacons and stand numbers.
Frankly, most property buyers are not in the habit of checking on these “technicalities”, because properties in established suburbs are usually very clearly demarcated by boundary walls or fences – and often described by street address as well as their original stand numbers.
And actually there is seldom any reason for real concern in such instances, or even when you are among the first buyers in a newly-proclaimed estate or township, where the developers or their agents have erected clear stand markers.
The trouble usually occurs during the second phase of selling in a new area – quite possibly by a speculator who snapped up a block of stands at the outset and believes the time is right to resell them.
By then, the original stand markers may well have been taken down, or moved or lost as a result of construction work on surrounding land, leaving a site plan as the only indication of where stands lie and their boundaries fall.
It is all too easy, in such cases, to mistake one piece of vacant land for the one next door, or to visualise a stand being bigger than it really is, or to write the wrong stand number on a sale agreement – and for you to end up owning the wrong stand and even building on it.
However, most property sale agreements do contain a clause saying the buyer has familiarised himself with the location and extent of the land he is buying, and in these circumstances you really should insist that the developer or agent make it possible for you to do this before you sign the agreement – even if it does mean calling in a surveyor and having new beacons put up.