Feeling bullied about a fence

(64 Posts)
supersue1969 Tue 07-May-13 22:08:53

I just wondered what you think about this situation.

We have lived in our semi 5 years,. Get on well with the neighbours - not friends but friendly.

It is unclear who is responsible for fencing on which side.

Anyway a few years ago a fence was needed on one side - the neighbour had just split up with boyfriend, so single mum with 1 child and pg. So we assumed short of cash so we just bought the fence. Anyway we were a bit peeved when the following month she had landscape gardens in to do work in her garden. This is not really relevant to the story but just a bit of background.

Last year the neighbour on the other side's son said his parents wanted a fence and would we go half. I said we thought the fence we had was ok (and luckily dd started whinging so I got away quick).

These neighbours (Couple in their 80s) said to dh they would like a new fence and asked what height we wanted it. Dh just said he was not that bothered they could get what height they wanted.

So tonight the old man came down are path when we were sat in the front asks about the fence again - we say again we are not bothered - but he continues 'so if I get a quote we'll go half on it'. We felt we had no choice. Dh really tried no to commit but how do you say no to a 85 year old with a walking stick that has always been very helpful and pleasant to us. We really do not want to fallout or upset him.

The bombshell moment came when he told us it would be about 1100 - so £550 for something that is not really bothering us.

By the way I obviously do not know but I do not think they are hard up pensioners - they have a gardener

supersue1969 Tue 07-May-13 22:45:56

I don't really want to get into the asking neighbours situation or even to be honest quoting deeds. I really do not want to upset them.

They have been helpful to us - taking in parcels when we are at work, letting us pick apples of his tress that overhang our garden, giving us advice about gardening and DIY.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 07-May-13 22:46:27

Nooooo, don't give him £200. If its on the left its probably his fence.

LemonsLimes Tue 07-May-13 22:47:05

Could you say "People are normally responsible for the fence on their right. We have recently paid in full for a new fence on our right side, so please do go ahead with buying a new fence on your right side, but we won't be contributing as we spent all our money on replacing the fence we are responsible for."

supersue1969 Tue 07-May-13 22:48:29

As mentioned before we are happy to offer a contribution of £200 as we can afford that - do you think I should go and offer that - or would just a simple - I am sorry we are not in a position to go halfs.

suebfg Tue 07-May-13 22:50:44

Don't get into a dispute about a fence - any disputes etc have to be declared when selling a house and can knock thousands off a price. If you can't afford it, get some quotes yourself - the price does seem steep.

SarahAndFuck Tue 07-May-13 22:51:43

I've just had a look at our deeds and I got my sides wrong. Our left side is our neighbours responsibility, our right side is our responsibility.

I got confused because a left hand side panel blew down recently and we paid to replace it because our neighbour is 85 and couldn't afford to. And it would have been our dogs and our child in his garden, so it seemed only fair.

supersue1969 Tue 07-May-13 22:53:01

I know what you mean lemons - but as said the deeds seem unclear. We did not replace the fence on our right as it was our responsibility we just did it because it needed doing and we would no have felt comfortable asking the neighbour to contribute for something we wanted but suspected with a baby on the way it was low down her list of must haves.

Kaekae Tue 07-May-13 22:54:53

Our deeds do not show any boundary so we are all responsible for the fence according to our planning department. The fence to our left was really low and we agreed to go halves with our neighbour for a new one. If we hadn't the she could have just butted the new fence up against the old fence and it would have look an eyesore on our side. We then decided to get a new fence on the other side and that neighbour also went halves with us. We have the nice side all the way round. But sometimes this is also an indication you own the fence.

supersue1969 Tue 07-May-13 22:55:24

He has not got a proper quote but he intends to use the company we used for the other side and is seen as a reasonable and good firm locally. The fence will be 98ft. (did say length of boundary on deeds!).

minibmw2010 Tue 07-May-13 23:09:01

If you don't want to upset them then accept you're paying half, or just have some courage and be honest and say no! Don't make excuses, just say no. It's quite simple.

Greenkit Tue 07-May-13 23:33:35

Just grow some and say no.

1) There's nothing wrong with the old fence
2) We cant afford it
3) You carry on if you wish

shineypeacock Wed 08-May-13 05:39:16

Check with the land registry, you can view anyones deeds online, ive had a dispute with my neighbours over a fence snd they are still insisting that the broken fence is mine, when it clearly states on their deeds that all fences and walls between our houses are party, ie shared, am prepared to pay half but at the moment they wont budge, trying to fob me off with we've lived here over 30 yrs etc, cost me £20 to chevk all details and get copies, cheaper than a fence!!

LittleMissLucy Wed 08-May-13 05:49:06

I would do the offering 200 quid thing and see if they can get a better quotation. Its not an unreasonable compromise.

BellaVita Wed 08-May-13 06:31:53

I would say no.

Our boundary fence is to the right. If you want to be sure ring the land registry. I downloaded our plans (cost £3), but they were new and only the land registry could view the old ones or I could download a form and pay £11 and send it off and they would send me the original plan. Land registry lady was very helpful and confirmed over the phone what we thought our boundary was.

Boomba Wed 08-May-13 06:41:52

The fence to your right is your responsibility.
Is this one to your right?if it is, then toured onto a winner, because your neighbour is offering to pay half!if is not your elderly neighbours problem, that you made assumptions about the other neighbours financial position, and replaced that fence!

Also, how is he to even know you are not happy with the arrangement if you don't tell him????! And don't bother to get ant quotes yourself??!

Don't let him do all the leg work, and then moan about him because you and yous husband are unable to communicate effectively!

fluffyraggies Wed 08-May-13 08:28:48

In all three houses i have lived in the fence to the right, as you look out of the house, is the one that is yours.

The 'uprights' of a solid fence should always be on the side of the owner, and a decent fencing company will build it like this - a good tip for telling at a glance who owns a fence.

OP pleeeease don't start offering money to the neighbours just because they are 'nice' and 'old'. It's ridiculous. Grow a a pair! There's no need for a 'dispute' either. Formal or otherwise. For a formal dispute the neighbour would have to legally show the fence was your responsibility and prove that you weren't keeping it in good order. It doesn't sound like this is the case - so there's no problem there.

Bite the bullet, go round and politely say that you and your DH have considered their suggestion but you cannot afford to pay anything towards a boundary fence at the moment. However they are welcome to put up the fence of their choice. Smile.

If the guy finds legal proof the fence is yours and waves it at you then you can tell him thank you, you are in fact happy with your fence the way it is, and again, you cannot afford to replace what doesn't in your opinion need replacing. Smile.

fergoose Wed 08-May-13 08:32:20

I would be worried that they are being ripped off being given a quote for that amount - who on earth charges that amount for a fence - daylight robbery it sounds like.

That aside, do not pay them a penny - why would you pay them anything, they decided they wanted a new fence, not you. You mustn't offer them anything - they have put you on the spot, but tough, why can't you just say no?

CleverClod Wed 08-May-13 08:41:52

The fence to our left as you look out, with your back to the door belongs to us, it's different in different places. That aside, there is no law which says you have to have a fence, even if that side belongs to you. The fence on our right hand side (see above) blew down a couple of weeks ago. As I'm not liable for it, but I really appreciate my privacy, we are going halves with the neighbour for it. We got three quotes in and it's surprising the ranges of prices, with the most renowned company being cheapest (huge surprise there).

Tell them what you can afford/are willing to contribute and ask them to get at least 3 quotes. Apart from that, remember, you are not legally obliged to have a fence.

LIZS Wed 08-May-13 08:44:07

Depends how long the fence is, IME allow at least £50 - 60 per panel fitted. We own all rear fences in our garden. A surveyor could check your deeds against the physical reality and assess who should own what . If a fence is within your land rather than marking the actual boundary line it is yours. However legally you don't need to have one at all .

supersue1969 Wed 08-May-13 09:17:22

Having slept on the issue it seems dh and I have come to 2 different conclusions. I think this morning - oh lets just pay it and get it over with - we can afford it and it will give us more privacy and maybe our kids annoy them often chatting to them (re: another post on here about a child always chatting to someone in the garden - I dont think our kids are as bad as that child but they do often shout hello and ask them what they are doing).
I relayed my feeling to dh over breakfast and he said well i have come to the opposite conclusion - he thinks we now offer nothing and I should go round and tell them tonight!!!! (with the reason i should go being he is working late),

pinkdelight Wed 08-May-13 09:25:40

Your DH is right! As is the poster who said this:

"OP pleeeease don't start offering money to the neighbours just because they are 'nice' and 'old'. It's ridiculous. Grow a a pair!"

I have no idea why on earth you'd fork out even £200 let alone the full amount for something you don't want, need and are not responsible for. You say finances are tight yet you're up for giving them all this cash. It's bonkers. Just say a nice police no thanks, as many others have advised.

And fences are bloody expensive. That quote isn't the worst I've heard by far.

pinkdelight Wed 08-May-13 09:26:21

polite not police.

think what else you could do with the money. please don't waste it on this.

pinkdelight Wed 08-May-13 09:28:53

PS: I think he should go around to see them, not you. I think you'll cave. But if it has to be you, be brave. Just because they're nice about parcels doesn't mean you owe them this. No doubt you'll do lots for them over the coming years if they're in need.

fergoose Wed 08-May-13 09:29:45

I agree with your DH - but I think he should tell them, or maybe you can tell them together?

I am stunned the quote is reasonable - seems such a lot of money.

waikikamookau Wed 08-May-13 09:34:03

it is fine for your DH to say don't pay yet wont go there himself when in fact the reason you offered is because you were put on the spot and couldn't say no.

unclear from the thread, have you rung the council to ask who is responsible - I thought it was the fence on your left was their responsibility, the left being if you stand in the garden with yoru back to yoru house?

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