Court ends high-voltage neighbours’ feud

It was a row over the fence between neighbours, but it became so bitter that after three years the Cape High Court had to step in to resolve it. Court ends high-voltage neighbours’ feud By Estelle Ellis © Independent Online 2004 It was a row over the fence between neighbours, but it became so bitter… Continue Reading

Dog bites from a different angle

Serious dog bites are common causes for Court disputes. Apart from intent to cause harm and obvious negligence, two principles are usually used by the defense in these cases, namely accountability without any negligence by the owner of the dog and whether the dog acted contrary to its nature. Dog bites from a different angle… Continue Reading

Fences between Properties

Whose responsibility is the fence? Source: Reader’s Digest’s You and Your Rights If there is no proof that a boundary (party) wall is entirely on one of two adjoining properties, the law will presume that half of the wall is on one property and half of it on the other. On the question of ownership, some… Continue Reading

Problem with pigeons

I live in a sectional title townhouse complex. My neighbour feeds birds once a day that attracts pigeons that roost in our eaves and mess all over our roof.  Is this a problem I must tackle with my neighbour or can I call upon the body corporate to sort it out? Roy Bregman responds Whilst we… Continue Reading

Property Rights: My Neighbor is a Nuisance

The actions of my neighbour are interfering with my enjoyment of my property. What are the general principals applying to the doctrine of nuisance? Source: Findlaw This article has been written for Americans but applies equally to South Africans. In the early days of this country, land was abundant and neighbors were distant. As the population… Continue Reading

Encroaching trees, branches, leaves and roots

Citizens need to be more tolerant of the inevitable problems caused by the shrinking size of properties and the greater proximity of neighbours and their trees. Problems arise with overhanging branches and encroaching root systems that block gutters and the sewage system, shed leaves in the swimming pool and surrounding areas and also damage the dividing… Continue Reading


Loud or vexatious behaviour, noise, breach of the peace What do you do if your neighbour is unreasonable and refuses to tone down his stereo system or generally behaves in an obnoxious manner to you and your fellow neighbours. In appropriate circumstances you may approach the court in order to obtain an interdict. This measure… Continue Reading

Court sentences nuisance neighbours to 30 days

You can do something about unpleasant neighbours. In 2008 an elderly couple got an interdict against their unruly neighbours and their children. When they ignored the court order the High Court sentenced them to 30 days imprisonment for contempt of court, suspended for three years. An elderly couple, Mr and Mrs Viviers, were subjected to… Continue Reading

Remedies for Noise Nuisance

I am often asked what a person can do about excessive noise coming from a neighbor’s property. The term “nuisance” is derived from the Latin word “nocere” which means “to harm”. A person may sue his neighbour for damages suffered as a result of excessive noise caused by the neighbour. The person must show that that… Continue Reading

Dealing with hate speech or harassment

Equality Courts hold inquiries into alleged unfair discrimination, hate speech or harassment Equality Courts were established in terms of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, 4 of 2000. They hold inquiries into alleged unfair discrimination, hate speech or harassment and its order has the effect of a civil judgment. For example, a complainant… Continue Reading

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