Fencing dispute - what would you do??

(13 Posts)
DorsetLass Mon 04-Feb-13 18:05:57

We bought our house a year ago - at the time the fences between us and one of our neighbor was not great (her fence not ours) but is now fallen down. I have got four quotes, and offered to pay half on the cheapest one (out of good will - and so we can actually get the fence fixed!) She has flatly refused, and feels the fencing that is fallen down is not a problem. She does not feel that replacing the fence (5 panels worth) should cost anymore that £80!!!!

I know we should be diplomatic to maintain good neighbor relations etc - but I feel really annoyed. I am fully aware that in the grand scheme of all thats wrong in the world this is a small problem - but what would you do??? We can't quite afford to just get the project done ourselves.

LynetteScavo Mon 04-Feb-13 18:12:06

Not seeing my neighbours is a priority for me, so I would feel the threat of legal action coming on.....

But of course putting up the fence myself would be the sensible thing to do, and is what DH would do...(in fact he has replaced 2 panels for the old lady next door, just to be nice).

If you can't afford the £80, what makes you think your neighbour can?

FrameyMcFrame Mon 04-Feb-13 18:15:59

How much is your quote fir the fence?
It's not hard to put them up yourself.
Just need to dig a hole fir each post and fill with post mix and put each post in.
BnQ or Wikes have all the stuff you need.

DorsetLass Mon 04-Feb-13 18:16:42

The quotes are for £400 - we have offered to pay £250 of that. It is quite a large amount of work due to the trees she has put in making it quite complicated! If it was jsut £80 we would just pay for it our selves!!!

She is quite elderly, and we have already done a quite a huge amount of work for her (clearing her garden, salvaging all the front fencing from coming down etc).

LIZS Mon 04-Feb-13 18:20:41

For whose benefit would the fence be ? Perhaps a different sort of fence or boundary would suffice - chicken wire, 3ft panels , shrubs, post and rail ?

RustyBear Mon 04-Feb-13 18:25:10

From Which's legal Service website:
Q
My neighbour owns the fence between us. It’s falling down, is he obliged to fix it?
A
In general, there is no legal requirement to do so, though there may be a covenant in the deeds requiring the boundary to be maintained. However, if a fence is neglected, the owner could be liable if it causes damage or injury.

If there's no covenant, then if you want a new fence and they don't you'll probably need to put one up yourself.

DorsetLass Mon 04-Feb-13 18:28:33

The fence is between our two back french window doors then extends down top thrid of garden - so privacy for all concerneed- and she has a very unchild friendly dog that now has free access to our garden.

PigletJohn Mon 04-Feb-13 18:28:34

I'd consider doing about two panels, closest to the house. that will give you most of the privacy you need. If there are dogs you can put up cheap chainlink for the rest and maybe sweet peas wil grow up it.

If you have ever had to dig out a vast lump of concrete where a wooden post has rotted away, you will vow never to use anything but concrete posts and concrete gravel boards in future. I put dark brown masonry paint on mine so it blends in with the dark fence stain.

I doubt you can use legal action to force anyone to put up a fence. Even covenants on the deeds generally give the right of enforcement only to the original developer who is long dead.

Fizzylemonade Mon 04-Feb-13 18:28:53

Unless it specifically states in her deeds that she has to maintain the fence and not allow it to fall into disrepair (like my deeds do) then she doesn't have to put a fence up at all.

Personally as you want the fence then you should pay, I know it sounds harsh but I would take photos now of the fence and its position as the last thing you would want is to install a fence and she then complains about its location.

If you pay for it then it is yours, no longer hers. Theoretically she then can't touch it, paint it, stain it or grow anything up it.

£400 sounds a lot for a fence, maybe these companies are cashing in on the strong winds we have been having.

Have a look at gardenlaw fences to show you how bad these things can get when neighbours don't agree.

Fizzylemonade Mon 04-Feb-13 18:32:20

Oooh just seen she has a dog, so again, in theory it is her responsibility to keep her dog within her garden.

Still, I would put the fence back as I wouldn't want a scarred child just because a fence fell down and no-one could agree on how much it should cost to put one back in.

The legal route only ever makes solicitors richer and is fraught with issues. Again, I refer you to garden scare law grin

DorsetLass Mon 04-Feb-13 18:41:40

Doesn't sound harsh - I appreciate the advice! Thank you all - will ponder a course of action. Sadley doing it myself not an option - husband curently in afghanistan and dont think I could quite manage it alone. I think I will get some more quotes to x

PigletJohn Mon 04-Feb-13 18:45:46

wire fencing is much quicker and cheaper, and would sort the dog problem.

LIZS Mon 04-Feb-13 19:19:34

If you want privacy go for a couple of tall panels by the house and then wire fence for rest. in time plant some shrubs or bushes your side of and let them grow up against fence for screening.

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