Responsibility for boundary fences question

  bumpkin 15:50 28 Jan 14
Locked

Hello all, had a bit of storm damage, nothing too serious to involve insurance but an unusual situation. Damaged fence between my house and left hand neighbour.

This was originally my fence but my neighbour at the time took it down and replaced it without asking me. The house has now changed hands and the new people have assumed that it is mine, any comments please.

  bremner 16:00 28 Jan 14

You will need to check your deeds.

The assumption that the leftside is the owners has no basis in law as far as i can see.

  wiz-king 16:03 28 Jan 14

As a rough guide - the posts are on the owners side.

  oresome 16:06 28 Jan 14

It's not necessary for either of you to maintain or replace it as I understand.

You can of course erect a fence on your land within any planning constraints as can your neighbour on their land.

Of course the usual scenario is that the single fence actually denotes the boundary and it's a matter of willpower as to who can keep their hand in their pocket the longest and live with the damage.

Sharing the cost would seem the sensible option, although the house deeds sometimes state whose responsibility the fence is.

I have a situation where we are bounded by several properties. If I didn't erect and maintain the fencing, we would be subject to several different designs of fencing and various states of disrepair.

  spuds 16:29 28 Jan 14

Agree with what as already been suggested, check the deeds, or perhaps consult the solicitor who had anything to do with the sale, if that wasn't all that long ago.

I have an ongoing dispute with the local council and a problem with one of their tenants, who placed a tree alongside a fence on property I own. This resulted in damage to my fence which the council will not accept any responsibility for. In fact they (the council) installed a chestnut type fence alongside my damaged fence, as a solution to the dispute, and suggested that I should take their tenant to court. Events are still ongoing.

Have you tried having a civil and friendly discussion about the fence, and possibly sharing costs, otherwise the problem might remain, and lead to further problems?.

  Forum Editor 17:43 28 Jan 14

Broadly speaking a fence belongs to the person who paid for it, provided it was erected on land owned or leased by that person, or with the consent of the owners or leaseholders of the land on which it stands.

The fence you refer to was erected by someone who no longer has any interested in it, and therefore it can be deemed to belong to the person who is shown as the person responsible on the land registry entry. In other words, it's you if that's what the land registry says. If your old neighbour put the fence on his side of the boundary the fence belongs to your new neighbour.

  BT 17:47 28 Jan 14

As has been said check your Deeds. Mine specify the left hand fence when looking from the road and the fence at the end of my garden.

  bumpkin 18:23 28 Jan 14

spuds, Have you tried having a civil and friendly discussion about the fence, and possibly sharing costs That would be my first approach but I rarely see him as he works shifts. Most of the fence is his side of the boundary as the boundary is the centre of some trees according to my deeds so a fence can only be erected on one side or the other. Where there are no trees the fence appears to be on the boundary, this is the damaged area.

I will attempt to speak to him about it, maybe a note through his door to start with. I don't even mind repairing it at my expense rather than create bad feeling. What I wish to avoid assuming responsibility for all of it forever more.

  spuds 18:46 28 Jan 14

"spuds, Have you tried having a civil and friendly discussion about a fence, and possibly sharing costs"

I sure have, and it ended up with the situation I explained at 4.29PM :O(

  oresome 19:05 28 Jan 14

It's early days yet bumpkin.

Some in our locality have fences in disrepair for years with both sides ignoring the damage, waiting for the other to do the repair and then take liability forever more.

By the way, it's most unusual for insurance policies to cover damage to fences.

Our fence was damaged in the recent gales by the fence panels from a property some distance away blowing across the footpath and verge and hitting ours. The neighbours eventually came and recovered their panels, but never apologised for the damage caused to our fence.

You could claim it was simply an accident, but their panels had never been secured properly from a previous gale. They are the type that simply slot between concrete posts and once the fence panels weaken there is sufficient give for them to spring out in a strong wind.

  bumpkin 20:13 28 Jan 14

oresome, They are the type that simply slot between concrete posts and once the fence panels weaken there is sufficient give for them to spring out in a strong wind. That is exactly what they are but some have broken. I do have insurance covering this but not worth claiming if indeed it is my fence in the first place. Had another look and think that they can be repaired and put back in place when it is not raining gusting wind. I can do that myself with a bit of help from my son so that may be the easiest solution for all.

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