To expect next door's landlord to fix their bloody back garden fence.

(90 Posts)
FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 16:47:32

Their fence has been broken for a year now. I thought they'd fix it themselves and tbh didn't worry because my dd was old enough to know not to go near their garden.

Now my younger son has started walking I can't stop or keep running after him to pull him back in our garden. Towards the end of the garden their side is completely overgrown with thorns and brambles. It's dangerous for my children. Now it's summer they'll be out more. Dd knows not to go to that side, but ds obviously is too small to understand.

I just phoned the letting agency and they attempted to fob me off telling me the fence is MY responsibility! This house has been our family home for about 35 years. We know what side is ours! When I told the agent she was being rude trying to fob me off when she hasn't even seen which property it is and told her I want it fixed ASAP before one of my children get hurt, she told me she couldn't authorise it without the landlord agreeing to fixing it.

I'm thinking I'm going to have a problem trying to get them to fix it. Could I threaten them with contacting the council or something if they don't fix it within a week or two weeks?

cozietoesie Thu 02-May-13 16:50:25

I have a funny feeling that there's no legal requirement to have a fence between properties so it may not be as straightforward even as that. I'll look with interest towards other posts because I have a similar issue.

LIZS Thu 02-May-13 16:51:04

Why the council ? confused They are not actually obliged to have a fence or clear the garden unless a health hazard , you could plant/put something up your side of the boundary though.

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 16:51:10

Also another reason why I think I'll have a fight on my hands is because when I spoke to the tenants on Monday they told me they've asked for the fence to be fixed for ages and hopefully I'll have more luck convincing them. Why aren't they getting the fence fixed? Surely it's not that expensive?

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 16:52:07

I don't know why the council! Just assumed they'd help somehow! I have no idea who could help me regarding this.

cozietoesie Thu 02-May-13 16:53:12

A decent fence isn't cheap.

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 16:53:33

Sorry, LIZS it is a health hazard. They have thorns and brambles that my baby could walk into.

Why is their side of the garden dangerous for your children?

alienbanana Thu 02-May-13 16:54:45

Annoying as it is, you're probably better off just fixing it yourself, even if it is with chicken wire or trellis or something. If they're garden is a mess and overgrown it doesn't sound like they're going to get to fixing it anytime soon.

Cravey Thu 02-May-13 16:55:04

Several issues here. First is they don't have to have a fence at all if they don't want one. Secondly how did the fence break? If the tenants broke it they have to fix it. Thirdly there would be no reason for the council to step in at all. You may find that if you want a form of boundary that you have to foot the bill for it.

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 16:55:06

Really cozie? They'd only have to replace about 4 of them.

LIZS Thu 02-May-13 16:56:05

No a health hazard would be rubbish , rodents and other nasties . Thorns on their property are not. To get a basic fence put up could easily be £40 a panel.

Cravey Thu 02-May-13 16:56:27

Regarding brambles etc no actual health hazard in fact it is your responsibility to make sure your child does not walk into them etc.

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 16:57:28

I really didn't know you didn't have to fix your side of the fence! So that's why they're not doing anything. Hmm

cozietoesie Thu 02-May-13 16:58:09

It depends on its general condition, FunHouse. I guess I'm thinking about my own situation where parts of the fence are down but the rest is thinking pretty hard about it. Maybe they could cobble something together for the time being.

I reckon, though, you'd be better doing something yourself. They would likely argue that the protection of your children is your responsibility and not theirs.

LIZS Thu 02-May-13 16:58:47

You could get a quote then approach the owner.

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 16:59:04

Cravey if my child did go into their garden it would be trespassing, surely they have a responsibility to stop this from happening?

It's your responsibility to keep your children out of there.

There are hundreds of plants they could grow that would cause an unsupervised toddler harm (foxgloves etc)

Annoying though it is they don't have to do anything.

TerrysAllGold Thu 02-May-13 16:59:49

The fence is only the tenant's responsibility to repair/replace if they broke it - and even then their responsibility is to their landlord via their contract, not to you. If the landlord says don't worry about it the tenants need do nothing. There is no law saying you have to have a fence between your garden and the neighbours and it has nothing to do with the council either.

A fence of 4 wooden panels circa 5 foot high = about £60 plus the cost of someone to erect it.

janey68 Thu 02-May-13 17:00:25

You need to put up a fence on your side of the boundary if you want one. Meanwhile it's your responsibility to ensure your child doesn't go into other people's gardens. You can't insist that someone else keep their fence repaired- or even has a fence at all

Cravey Thu 02-May-13 17:00:29

No obligation to fence at all if they don't want to. It's a matter of choice. If it was me I would pay for the fence myself if I wanted it that badly. Also ask the tenants how the fence broke as if it was down to them they will have to sort it out anyway.

confused at your last post. Are you serious?

it's not their responsibility to stop trespassers - it's trespassers responsibility to not trespass.

TerrysAllGold Thu 02-May-13 17:01:20

Funhouse, no you have a responsibility in law to prevent your child from trespassing on someone else's property. They are not responsible for your child's movements.

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 17:01:38

Cozie I've been thinking about planting a fir tree or hedge or something there for ages. Then I worry they might complain about it. Maybe it's time to do something like that.

LIZS that would be an option. Thanks.

specialsubject Thu 02-May-13 17:04:20

remember that all this is nothing to do with the tenants. It is the landlord's responsibility to look after the garden.

as others note - no-one has to have a fence. If you want to keep your child in a certain space, you build one.

cozietoesie Thu 02-May-13 17:06:07


By the time a hedge provided a proper barrier, your children wouldn't need it. They are not instantaneous. If you want separation, get a fence.

Cravey Thu 02-May-13 17:08:02

It is actually everything to do with tenants if they broke the fence. Landlord could insist they replace it. If not it is the landlords choice as to replace it or not.

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 17:09:24

I'm actually quite miffed about this. Oh well. I'll see what the letting agency say. They've taken my number and will call back when they've contacted the LL.

Just out of curiosity, if I choose to erect a 7ft or 8ft fence for complete privacy can they complain about it?

Cravey Thu 02-May-13 17:10:53

It depends on the fence and where it is situated ie light locking etc.

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 17:11:01

The fence broke because they didn't fix it properly the last time they fixed it, which was about 4 or 5 years ago. They just got the broken fence and put it back up again. Now it's fallen because of bad weather and winds.

Cravey Thu 02-May-13 17:13:27

Ask the tenants for the landlords number nd call them direct. It's the only way to see if they want a fence or not. If the tenants are to blame then tell landlord and he can insist they replace it.

sparechange Thu 02-May-13 17:15:04

Funhouse, you can erect a fence up to 2m in height, including trellis
Anything higher than that, and you'll need planning permission

CloudsAndTrees Thu 02-May-13 17:30:13

Could you clear the brambles off your side and put up your own fence? If you don't think it will be that expensive, then there's no reason you can't do it.

garlicyoni Thu 02-May-13 17:31:01

You keep saying it's so easy to fix a fence, doesn't cost much, etc, so I'm wondering why you don't do it? Presumably the posts are already in so you could just nail some trellis to them.


LifeofPo Thu 02-May-13 17:34:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

quoteunquote Thu 02-May-13 17:35:07
Cloverer Thu 02-May-13 17:38:00

I really don't understand why you don't put a fence up if you are the one that wants one to stop your children going across into their garden?

SoupDragon Thu 02-May-13 17:45:12

It is indeed your responsibility to keep your children out of their garden, not theirs.

It cost me £1800 to replace the 16 panel length of fencing in my garden.

gazzalw Thu 02-May-13 17:50:36

we have the same issue - no one knows who owns which boundaries so all a bit difficult. Our previous neighbours did the fence and asked if we'd pay some towards it but it now needs replacing again. It looks really untidy but we have an 80 foot garden and I reckon to do it properly it will cost over £1000, It's a lot of money to spend on 8 panes of fencing and concrete posts ;-(!

Does the fence actually form the boundary? You need to check your deeds.

There is, as others have said, no legal obligation to have a fence at all, and as to them having a responsibility to make sure your child doesn't trespass - words fail me.

ReculverTowers Thu 02-May-13 17:53:40

landlords fixing things ?
shock you are obviously BU wink

quoteunquote Thu 02-May-13 18:21:46

If you put tall concrete posts in you can slide any standard size fence panels in, makes it easy in the future if you ever need to replace any, tall concrete fence posts are more cost effective , they don't rot and they don't need replacing.

treas Thu 02-May-13 18:26:44

As long as the boundary is defined between the two properties there does not have to be a fence. The LL could just replace with wire mesh.

Re brambles you can cut them back to the boundary if the encroach your property and then return the cuttings for disposal so that you don't get accused of taking LL's property - you may think I'm joking but it does happen

treas Thu 02-May-13 18:27:50

Re cutting brambles on cut back to were the plant overhangs into your garden

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 18:28:03

garlicyoni I've never had to replace a wooden fence so only assume its not expensive. No need to make sarcastic comments. We spent £3000 for our side for a brick wall. I assume it would be peanuts compared to that. I don't see why I should have to pay for my side and theirs? But obviously they're under no obligation to put up the fence so we'll see what happens.

Another problem that I think is going to be a problem all summer is that some neighbours a house away are sitting on their extension roof confused to sunbathe. They've been there for about 4 hours now and can peer right into our garden and into our kitchen if our door is left open. Who the hell sits on their roof to sunbathe and have drinks?! angry.

Jesus Christ.

You need to go and live up a lane. With no neighbours.

ComposHat Thu 02-May-13 18:31:43

Surely it is your responsibility to keep your children in the garden? If you can't keep your child out of next door's garden, pay for the fence yourself. This is nothing to do with your next door neighbours.

Take this as an insight into how private rental tennents get treated by their landlords, repeated requests to fix stuff repeatedly ignored by the landlord/letting agents. It is less than amuising when you are waiting for three months to get a washing machine fixed.

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 18:31:58

Thank you for all the replies, I I think if they don't anything, the wire mesh is a good idea and we have some in the shed so we can put that up without any cost. Maybe we can plant some ivy or something underneath it?

Cravey Thu 02-May-13 18:34:08

Composhat don't lump all landlords in with yours. It's bloody rude I know there is a hatred of landlords on here but I have had the same tenant for seven years he needs things fixing he gets them fixed.

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 18:35:26

Freddie, I really dream about buying a detached house in the middle of nowhere. Before meeting dh, I used to have a dream about living in a wooden house in the middle of nowhere in the woods. I don't like people peering into my house. Maybe I'm a bit weird like that.

ReculverTowers Thu 02-May-13 18:37:50

maybe people hate their landlords because they don't get things fixed cravey confused I am sure you are not part of the hated landlord gang and you need to get angry with crappy landlords, not the tennants who pay £££ to be left sitting in the freezing cold in winter because the boiler broke 3 months ago

But they have an extension they can sit on and drink wine. Why on earth wouldn't they????

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 18:41:34

They have a 160ft gardennconfused why would they neglect all that space and sit on their roof?!

Because they want to and it's a free country and they're allowed? hmm

Also, the extension roof won't be as shaded as the garden, will it? Better sunshine for sunbathing.

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 18:44:26

I think it's rude and anti social to sit on your roof and drink and laugh loudly. Yes it's summer, but do I really want to SEE the people aswell as hear them? No, I don't.

Fluffypinkcoat Thu 02-May-13 18:44:40

You sound like a fun neighbour hmm

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 18:46:02

It's nothing to do with being fun. I just want some privacy for my family and myself.

ComposHat Thu 02-May-13 18:46:06

Composhat don't lump all landlords in with yours. It's bloody rude I know there is a hatred of landlords on here but I have had the same tenant for seven years he needs things fixing he gets them fixed

I don't doubt you are good landlord/lady. But in my experience of about 5 or 6 private rentals, the good landlords are very much a minority.

I've had precisely one decent landlord and the rest have either been lazy or greedy shites, whose first and last concern is lining their own pockets and don't give two figs for those paying considerable sums to live in their homes.

Rude and antisocial to sit on your roof and drink and laugh loudly??!!

Was your humourectomy expensive or was it done on the NHS?

Legally they do not have to fix the fence. We had this with a stuck up pompous arse who lived next foot to us whose brick wall fell into our garden. He cleared it up then left it. We ended up putting a fence our side of the boundary as he wasn't entitled by law to do anything. Our responsibility to stop dog and kids going over there.

ComposHat Thu 02-May-13 18:47:46

What bastards they are? They'll be bloody smiling next if this continues unabted.

It shouldn't be allowed ComposHat, there should be laws against it. Smiling. Drinking wine. Words fail me they really do.

caramelwaffle Thu 02-May-13 18:50:32

Awww. Come on Funhouse When you win the Euro lottery you won't be so poor as to not be able to afford a detached house with surrounding 50 acres.

<pours the Pimms>

It's the sudden two hours of British summer isn't it? Makes us all antsy...

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 18:51:41

Thanks Madame, nice to hear some first hand experience stories.

Yes, the bastards are sitting there and laughing. angry.

Is this a reverse AIBU?

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 18:52:45

With sunglasses on. angry.

Hope they enjoy watching my dh cook dinner.

caramelwaffle Thu 02-May-13 18:52:55

MN is an education however: I never knew about the legal aspect about having no fence. Cheers all.

<thinks of ones own pretty to look at but overgrown with ivy fence>

featherbag Thu 02-May-13 18:59:29

I was the tenant in this EXACT situation. NDN even got the deeds and sent them to the LA, who acknowledged that they did indeed prove the fence was LL's responsibility, and he STILL refused point blank to do it. He continued refusing even after the LA notified him in writing that he was legally obliged to install a new, safe fence, and that if any harm came to us, toddler DS or NDN because of it he'd be liable. Even after appealing to his 'better nature', sending him photos of how beautifully we'd totally re-done his skanky overgrown garden, and pointing out that NDN had cancer and her husband had just left her didn't work. He's just a total and utter bastard.

NDN eventually paid to have the fence replaced, after a year of hounding the LL and her and her mother throwing hints at us to go halfs. Incidentally, please don't approach your tenant neighbours to do this, under absolutely NO circumstances were we prepared to add actual money to the vast amounts of hard work we'd put into improving the LL's property, and it very nearly ruined the good relationship we have with NDN.

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 18:59:32

No this isn't a reverse AIBU. It's just a boring thread about fences.

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 19:02:00

Thanks featherbag. That sounds like hell. Glad it was sorted in the end.

You can't make anyone put a fence. The landlord could mark the boundary with a line of stones, or paving bricks or anything.

And people who have extensions with roofs they can sit on and drink wine in the sun are allowed to do that.

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 19:05:28

Thanks for making that clear to me freddie. I was confused about this all up until your last post. hmm.

Can I kindly suggest you catch a grip.

SoupDragon Thu 02-May-13 19:10:58

BTW, OP, welcome to MN.

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 19:11:00

hmm. Sorry. My hands are full with grip I'm already holding. Perhaps you should catch it instead? Why are you getting worked up about a crappy fence thread? confused

Why are you getting worked up about neighbours daring to sit and drink wine?

TerrysAllGold Thu 02-May-13 19:15:52

Because the OP thinks that they're interested in watching her husband cook dinner, Freddie? ;)

Well, to be fair, if looked like this and was cooking dinner I'd be over there shagging him be looking too

If he looked

Stiefeliblue Thu 02-May-13 19:26:29

Why don't you get a big tent to cover your garden.Then you Dc can't trespass and your neighbours can sit on their roof and drink and smile all they want.

HazeltheMcWitch Thu 02-May-13 19:32:03

Fun house, a whole lot of fun...

This is a joke, right? And you have changed your name specially?

Fluffypinkcoat Thu 02-May-13 19:37:43

Imagine how OP would cope with real problem neighbours grin

grin like mine who complained about my heating boiler coming on too early and shags so loudly at half past fucking four in the fucking bastarding morning that it wakes me up. And has all night parties. With wine. No sunbathing though, coz, well, it's dark at night.

Fluffypinkcoat Thu 02-May-13 19:50:39

I remember reading that haha! He likes his double standards doesn't he!

HazeltheMcWitch Thu 02-May-13 19:54:41

Yeah, but Freddie - does he laugh ?

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 19:55:23

Oh don't worry, I've had neighbours who shagged loudly using porn dialogue and I put a stop to that with a note through the letterbox.

Then I had the neighbours who had an animal deterrent alarm that went off at dusk and would stay on all night. Had to call the environment health for noise pollution.

Then I had neighbours who used to have fights and brawls during the night, and have all night parties every night with their 4 children screaming at 4am in the garden.

Dd has just informed me she was doing front flips on the trampoline and they were clapping for now my dd is their entertainment. Hmm. As if dh's backside wasn't enough grin.

Okaaayyyy <backs out of thread>

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 20:08:39

Oh don't leave now!

FunHouse Tue 14-May-13 15:35:58

To anyone who cares, the fences are currently being fixed. I will be able to have some privacy again by tomorrow hopefully.

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