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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

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

Even if you are responsible for the fence they are not doing you any favours going halves if your happy with the one already there!

What happens if they are responsible for it, you pay halves then it blows down or something? You could find yourself forking out again and again.

MoominsYonisAreScary Wed 08-May-13 09:54:11

*you're

Sallyingforth Wed 08-May-13 10:35:04

Tell them that when you agreed to half you didn't expect it to be so expensive. You can only afford a smaller amount.
Is it possible they intend to move somewhere more suitable to their age and want to make it look better for a sale?

LemonsLimes Wed 08-May-13 10:46:17

Could you find out the neighbour's phone number? Then your dh can phone them from work today. I'm sure he can spare 5 minutes to give them a ring, especially as it is his idea to tell them you aren't paying. (I think he is right to reach that decision by the way, but he can tell them.)

Hazelbrowneyes Wed 08-May-13 10:57:15

Hang on, it's not the same in all cases - in our road for example, the houses to the left of us all have the righthand side as their boundary and all houses to the right of us have the lefthand side as their boundary.

You need to check your deeds. We don't own any boundary fence which is actually sodding annoying as one side is broken and needs replacing.

Say no though, it's an awful lot of money to spend out.

MidniteScribbler Wed 08-May-13 11:01:29

Bullied? Seriously??? hmm

shewhowines Wed 08-May-13 11:02:41

I always thought you were responsible for the fences which are facing you "the wrong or bad side". You own the fence but the polite and done thing for new builds is to give the neighbours the good side.

Thats why you get some backs and some fronts in your garden. Depends who owns them

Maybe I'm wrong confused

shewhowines Wed 08-May-13 11:04:06

Be polite and say as much as you would like to contribute, it really isn't a priority for you just now. Sorry.

Oldraver Wed 08-May-13 11:05:56

If your DH has giving them a half assed 'okay' you need to tell them now that if you will not be contributing

PolterGoose Wed 08-May-13 11:12:48

When you bought your house you would have received a property information form completed by the vendors, maintenance of boundaries is a standard question.

If I was you and I wasn't bothered about the fence I would say 'we are quite happy with the existing fence, however, you are welcome to place your new fence on your side of the boundary and leave the existing fence in place'

Boomba Wed 08-May-13 11:22:57

Whether the quote is reasonable, surely depends on the size of the fence confused

lashingsofbingeinghere Wed 08-May-13 11:27:12
Jan49 Wed 08-May-13 11:43:46

I'm intrigued by all the posts saying the fence to the right is always yours. So who do you think owns the fence to the left in the first house in the street?hmm

The fence doesn't need doing and you don't want it done. If the old man wants to replace it, then that's his choice and he needs to pay for it. I'm amazed that you'd consider paying just because he takes in parcels and has given you apples and gardening advice! OP, you and your DH need to be firmer about this. All this muttering OK and telling the neighbour you're not bothered is putting you in an awkward situation. You need to state that you do not wish to replace the fence as it doesn't need replacing or because you can't afford it and you are unable to make any contribution towards it if he chooses to replace it. When my neighbour asked me to share the cost of replacing the fence I just said "Sorry, I can't afford to have it done".

I think the law with shared fences is that either you agree to share the cost or one neighbour wants it done and the other doesn't or can't afford it so the one that wants it done either pays the whole cost or doesn't have it done. It's optional. There doesn't have to be a fence. You only have a legal obligation if the fence is dangerous to other people, such as a fence at the front of the house which is collapsing onto a pavement and may endanger people passing by.

Sallyingforth Thu 09-May-13 09:40:23

Yes it is common practice for the fence on the right to be owned. But there is no legal basis to it and the deeds may well say something different.

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