British Columbia

Couple blames Langley Township for decision to build home on neighbour's property

A couple is fighting Langley Township, B.C, after they bought a two-acre property and discovered part of the house on that property was on their neighbour's land.

A Langley couple's $82k claim with Langley Township was rejected.

Elizabeth Pett and her husband bought this house and the surrounding two acres with plans to build a new home on top of the existing foundation. (Elizabeth Pett)

A Langley couple claims they are out $100,000 after they bought a two-acre property and then discovered the house on that property was actually on their neighbour's land.

Elizabeth Pett says they bought a run down home and two acres for $605,000 with assurances from Langley Township they could build on the old concrete foundation.

She says they received a note from the township saying "we have no problem with you building on an existing foundation."

With what they saw as the go-ahead signal, the middle-aged couple tore down the old house, and then hired surveyor who gave them a shock.

Dream house turned nightmare

"Then my surveyor came in and said that you're on the neighbour's property and you have to move the foundation," said Pett. 

Pett says she and her husband — a contractor by trade — moved the foundation at what they say was a cost of approximately $100,000.

Pett says she complained to Langley township that they'd made a mistake and launched an $82,000 claim to cover part of the cost of the misunderstanding.

The township rejected the claim in a letter, with Alex Campbell from the finance division stating: 

"While unfortunate you incurred unanticipated construction costs while building your new home, I find no evidence to suggest the Township of Langley was negligent or liable in any way with respect to those same costs incurred."

Pett and her husband have hired a lawyer to handle the claim and says she feels as though they did not consider the case seriously. 

"You don't sleep at night when your financial costs soar. And they have no regard for you at all," she said. 

Alex Campbell referred CBC's questions to Langley township's lawyers, who did not respond.


With files from Bob Keating