Marking boundaries: What you should know

Wednesday July 3 2019

Establish actual boundaries before setting up

Establish actual boundaries before setting up any structures on a property. Photo by Shabibah Nakirigya 

By Shabibah Nakirigya

A boundary review is a method for determining the exact borders of a piece of property. Usually, land owners have a general idea where their property lines are, but have no exact knowledge.
It is important to accurately establish where these lines lie.

Unestablished lines
Mr Allan Kakeeto who bought land in Kakiri Wakiso District says land boundary conflicts are now the major problem among land owners and buyers.
He reveals that it is because of this that it was hard for him to get a land tittle for his 100 x100 piece of land.

“I bought my land from a very old man. We agreed that I would make an initial payment at first then follow that up with equal installments for a period of six months. After paying the whole amount, I struggled to acquire the land tittle because the seller’s measurements didn’t match what was on ground. Some people had already encroached on the land,” he says
Mr Kakeeto adds that these unscrupulous people took advantage of the old man’s age and seeming ‘helplessness’ and encroached on his land without his consent.

He says it was a tug of war to get them off the land because they had already put up some business like houses and crops.
“We tried to negotiate with them to get proper measurements for my piece of land. It took us one year to get them on with the measuring plan,” he said.
Ms Sheilah Namwanje, a property manager, says if you have bought a piece of land and you have to mark your boundaries, consider this;

Hire a land surveyor
Ms Namwanje says when you’re buying land the seller usually states the land measurements however there’s no way of knowing if those measurements are accurate unless you hire a surveyor.
“A genuine land surveyor will determine the exact location of your land lines through the required procedures,” she says.

Ms Namwanje adds that a surveyor is required to carry out research on the real ownership and measurement of the land.
“The surveyor will go to the field and talk to different people to ascertain if that land is up for sale and if there are any conflicts of ownership especially among family members,” she says


Boundary Survey Process
Ms sheilah says that the main reasons of having a land boundary survey is to expose any borders on the property based on available information and legal regulations because some people are ignorant about land ownership.

“Land surveys will show the extent of any encroachment or easements on the property. An easement, such as a public utility line passing through a property, and here the authorities are supposed to ask for permission before putting them in place and pay for that piece of land they have used,” she says
Ms Namwanje adds that a surveyor must visit the property and also inspect the historical records related to the property.

This involves any transaction which was made before the present.
“The more documents the surveyor gets the more accurate the results of the boundary survey will be.
This research allows the surveyor to obtain more evidence because sometimes individuals encroach on other people’s land without permission,” she says

Prepare to negotiate
Ms Florence Nambooze from Buganda Land Surveyors says if a surveyor completes the required research process, identifying boundaries begins and this may involve negotiations. It is easier if during your fieldwork, you built some networks with people on the ground.
“Here the fieldwork seems to be the most important aspect because that’s when you realise that the boundary lines are accurate. The surveyor will then get a final report that will be presented to Land Board for the land tittle,” she says.

Ms Nambooze adds that after filling the report, you have to find documents from the land owner and follow local laws related to the land transfer.
Before any payment is made, ensure that you have all the required documents related to the transfer for instance surveyor reports and referees.