Judge's boundary warning to home buyers
A judge, who spent three days sorting out a boundary dispute between next door neighbours, has warned house buyers of the critical necessity to have experts check out what they are actually purchasing.
Mr Justice Raymond Groarke said former Cork publican Frank Fenton and his wife, Una, had bought at auction a €750,000 house in Dublin's popular Leeson Street area after a builder friend had used "a compass and ruler" to measure the back garden.
Judge Groarke said it was up to prospective purchasers to satisfy themselves as to such important matters which Mr Fenton had failed to do. His decision to attend the auction seemed to have been rushed but one had to exercise care and caution.
The judge said he would be astonished if an intelligent and successful businessman with the commercial experience of Mr Fenton would not have inquired into such matters as boundaries before buying No 155 Upper Leeson Street, Dublin 4, at a Receiver's auction.
Mr Fenton had said he owned rental and commercial properties in Cork and London. The court heard he had sold his business and was investing in property.
Judge Groarke said the map used in the sale had not properly outlined the back garden of No 155 and no warranty had been given by the vendor who had specifically refused to identify boundaries.
He was satisfied the vendors had agreed to sell and the plaintiff had agreed to buy the property as outlined to its rear by paint and tape attached to a cone. He did not accept that the Fentons, from Cork, had been misled in any way.
The Fentons had sued for trespass the couple who live next door to their Dublin property, Enda and Dorina Clarke, of 156 Upper Leeson Street, who, they alleged, had wrongly built a dividing wall four feet into the Fenton's back garden at No 155.