A fence is not a boundary. This is a concept that many people struggle with. A fence is simply a physical structure to provide privacy between lots, which in most cases is located in the general vicinity of the true boundary position (cadastral boundary). Was a Licensed Surveyor engaged to define / establish the position of the cadastral boundary before the fence was originally erected?
A client had entered into a contract to purchase a property and advised that the measurement (by tape) was 3.05m between the side wall of the house they wished to retain and the fence (the minimum access leg requirement for a subdivision is 3m).
Where a tape measurement is less than 3.20m we recommend a Licensed survey to determine the true separation from the boundary (in most instances fences are located within 0.2m of a boundary).
Type of Survey
Surveyors do not need to physically install a survey mark (typically wooden peg) in order to determine a true boundary position. This type of survey is referred to as a boundary reestablishment (re-peg) survey.
If the purpose is to determine the true separation between a house wall and the side boundary we recommend a Licensed ‘Identification Survey’ (basically a re-peg survey without physically installing survey marks and therefore slightly cheaper).
Our survey (see plan overleaf) found that the subject wall was located 2.83-2.85m from the side boundary and that the side fence was out of position by ~0.15m-0.2m (thus why the client measured 3.05m).
Our client was not comfortable with the risk of future subdivision being refused and therefore did not proceed with the purchase of the property.