World Fence News

February 2013

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50 • FEBRUARY 2013 • WORLD FENCE NEWS THE HUMAN LINK by Jim Lucci Management Motivational Associates Are you going over the line? A discussion regarding property boundaries For this month's column, I have been asked to address some issues surrounding property lines and the determination process that can be used when there is uncertainty about where they lie. We'll talk about some basics that will hopefully educate newer contractors and serve as a refresher for the more established ones. TILT-A-WAY RESIDENTIAL & INDUSTRIAL OPERATORS Compare our quality! You will see there is a difference! Commercial Residential All operators meet UL-325 and CSA-247 (800) 523-3888 Visit Us At Booth No. 1909 But remember, these are guidelines only, and all property boundary disputes must be resolved under the laws and regulations in effect for the area where the property is located. For the most part, fence contractors are up front in pointing out in their contracts that the responsibility for identifying and verifying property lines belongs squarely with the residential, commercial or industrial customer. In order to reinforce this point, I generally recommend that, prior to starting the installation process, the contractor get a copy of the plot plan or final survey or deed description from the customer, particularly if he or she is the actual property owner. While this might not always be practical, it should be requested with the signing of each contract and covered in the verbiage of the contract. At this point, I want to briefly touch on some thoughts regarding deed descriptions. Keep these in mind if you receive one and are going to be using it. First, the only way to locate legal boundaries is to obtain a deed description or a registered survey map that accurately includes angles and distances for each boundary line. Many deeds contain only vague descriptions of corner markers and abutting lands. This type of deed, referred to as a "metes and bounds" survey, may give boundary descriptions according to streams, old trees (or tree stumps, as in a deed my wife once held for some country property), rock walls and/or roads that almost certainly have changed over the years. On some properties, the corners may be clearly marked, or long-time residents may be able to help determine corner locations. Surveyors often use wooden stakes for reference purposes during a survey; however, the wooden stakes do not necessarily mark a corner. With some experience, you will become familiar with the types of corner markers that are used in your area, and the identification process will become easier. I feel that the next logical point we should touch upon is the measuring of distance. Over the years, I have watched crews walk off distances, with some continued on page 52

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