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To not want to pay (or at least not as much) towards the cost of the neighbours fence?

(58 Posts)
addictediam Thu 30-Jun-11 18:18:31

This is a bit complicated so i apologise, i also don’t want to be unreasonable by stealth so please bear with me.

Just over 2 months ago we moved in to a new house, it’s the first house we’ve owned so I’m not really sure how these things work anyway!

In the back garden the neighbour that backs on to us is responsible for the back fence. He has recently come to us and asked that we pay half the cost of replacing his whole fence (so the side that backs on to us plus the two sides that have nothing to do with us.)

There was nothing in the legal pack but he claims to have had an arrangement with the previous owners that they would do this every 2 years.

And here is the reason - the bottom of the fence is rotting, flaking away and it looks bad on his side. Around the whole of our garden we have a raised bedding plot and he claims the fence is rotting because the soil is against the fence.

BUT having had a closer look at the bedding plot and fence we have noticed there is a brick wall at the back (as there is at the front) along with a 2 inch gap so no soil is actually touching his fence from our side.

Here is the other thing. The fence is rotting on all 3 sides, not just ours. They have a dog that uses the fence to urinate. I think this is the reason for the rotting.

I have reluctantly offered to pay half of the back fence (we really can’t afford it right now, but to keep peace i will find the money!) but don’t want to pay any money towards the rest of the fence. He says this isn’t fair and i need to keep to an agreement that was made by the previous owners

So should i suck it up and pay what he wants, pay for half the back fence or just refuse to pay anything?

strandedbear Thu 30-Jun-11 18:21:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SuePurblybilt Thu 30-Jun-11 18:21:55

Course you don't need to pay for the whole fence or stick to any mad agreement, unless it's in writing as a condition of your house purchase? Pay for half of the back fence (as in what touches your garden) and he can lump it.
What a chancer grin

MummyTigger Thu 30-Jun-11 18:22:13

Errr.. tell him to stick it up his arse, and if he wants to pursue it further then you have no problems consulting a professional and then a solicitor.

Cheeky twunt.

Are you the previous owners? No. Does he have their previous agreement in writing? No. Is ANY of this your fault? No. Tell him if he wants to start things off on a bad foot, then that's his prerogative, but since it's HIS dog that is pissing all over everything like a cathetered pensioner, then it's HIS responsibility to replace the fencing.

He's trying to take advantage of the fact that you're new. Git.

pingu2209 Thu 30-Jun-11 18:23:54

I would not pay it. I would say that you will pay for your proportion of the fence in your garden but to approach the other homeowners re paying for their proportion. Say that you expect to see all receipts too.

coccyx Thu 30-Jun-11 18:24:47

NO NO NO.
Tough titty. Every 2 years they change the fence???? He is responsible so he can pay for it

pingu2209 Thu 30-Jun-11 18:25:45

Thinking about this, we lived in a house before we had children and our neighbour had 2 boys who kicked a football against the fence for at least an hour each day and for far far longer during the summer months. The fence became weaker and weaker until it was falling apart.

Our neighbours asked if we would pay 1/2 of the replacement cost. We said no because we believed it was because of their boys kicking the ball against it. They were really pissed off but could do nothing about it. We were happy to have a shoddy fence.

anonacfr Thu 30-Jun-11 18:25:57

Complete BS. He's totally trying his luck. I can't believe the previous owners would have agreed to re-fence his WHOLE garden every 2 years for no reason. I also don't believe his fence would have rotted that much in 2 years.

I think he's having you on and I can't believe you agreed to anything. I'd consult a legal someone to double check but if the agreement is not mentioned in the contract (and I can't imagine in a million years it would be) he has no hold over you.

CurlyBoy Thu 30-Jun-11 18:26:22

If there was nothing in writing in your legal pack then you have no obligation to pay for anything. Paying for half of just the back is being neighbourly. Tell him to take your offer or blow.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 30-Jun-11 18:26:43

YANBU. Previous agreements with previous owners have no bearing on anything. You could even check directly with the people you bought the house off - he could easily be spinning you a yarn. I think your neighbourly offer to pay half towards the fence you share with him is very generous. But stick to your guns on the rest.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Thu 30-Jun-11 18:27:11

You do know he's trying it on, don't you?

"I am not legally bound by any arrangement you may have had with the previous owners of this house."

addictediam Thu 30-Jun-11 18:28:55

i didnt think i was being unreasonable! there is nothing in writing weve been back through all the paperwork and everything.

i forgot to say our neighbours to the left of us and also some one across the street all have said that the previous owners used to pay because the soil touches the fence. but it doesn't!

MummyTigger Thu 30-Jun-11 18:30:34

YANBU. Tell him to accept your offer right now, or it gets withdrawn and he gets nothing. Though I'd happily not give him a penny of it,. and erect my own fence an inch or two away from his. That way, he can be responsible for his fence, and you can be responsible for yours.

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 30-Jun-11 18:31:39

I wouldn't even offer half of the fence that divides you.

He is a complete chancer, trying to take advantage of new neighbours trying to be polite/nice/neighbourly. Pay a penny and he'll soon be back with some other imaginary agreement that involves you giving him money. Nip it in the bud.

skybluepearl Thu 30-Jun-11 18:32:08

hes pulling a fast one. you were never told of any arrangements b4 you bought the house were you? you have no obligation to sort his fence out. whoose fence is it anyway?

going Thu 30-Jun-11 18:32:57

If the fence is his don't pay for any of it even the one backing on to your garden. I would ask his neighbours either side if he has also asked them to pay half of the cost of his fence every two years - he would be making a profit if so! Fences do not need replacing every two years!!!!

addictediam Thu 30-Jun-11 18:34:24

its his fence and no never told of any arrangement before we purchaced.

if he comes back around i will again offer half the back fence and if he doesnt accept then i'm not paying anything

going Thu 30-Jun-11 18:36:11

If it's his fence don't pay any of it, he probably asked for you to pay half for the whole fence expecting that you would bargain him down to half of the back fence. He will find ways to walk over you.

anonacfr Thu 30-Jun-11 18:36:12

If it's a 'soil issue' (which sounds absurd- we had a fence planted directly in soil in our previous house and it never rotted the fence) invite him over to check the bedding plot, or take pictures to show him.
The guy's really taking the piss. His fence, his responsibility.

I don't get why the previous owners had allegedly agreed to pay for the whole fence every other year, what about the other neighbours?

Jemma1111 Thu 30-Jun-11 18:37:45

I'd tell him to B***ocks !

thisisyesterday Thu 30-Jun-11 18:38:02

i wouldn't pay anything at all. if you're certain your soil is not causing damp to rise up through the brickwork and rot the fence

YellowDinosaur Thu 30-Jun-11 18:38:45

If the fence is his responsibility, you don't feel the need to change it, and you are sure that there is nothing you have done to cause (or contribute to) the fence rotting I'd politely tell him you are not paying anything.

If he quibbles invite him into your garden to show him that there is no contact between the soil in your raised bed and the fence. Explain that you are happy with the fence as it is, it is his responsibility (show him your legal pack) and that you can't actually afford to replace the fence.

If you do go ahead and pay half for the back fence make sure that you get a say in what he puts upand that you make it clear that this is a one off to be neighbourly and you will not be paying for this fence in the future.

kaid100 Thu 30-Jun-11 18:40:55

If he claims you are obliged to pay, why not ask for proof of this? That puts the ball in his court. Also, I think that if you are paying for half then you should get some say on which type of fence it is.

Gooseberrybushes Thu 30-Jun-11 18:42:23

if he had an arrangement with the previous people then the fence would not be really badly rotting after two years - it would be in really good shape

pay nothing - he is a liar

browneyesblue Thu 30-Jun-11 18:44:43

Please don't pay him anything. If you do, he will only keep coming back asking for more money every time he wants to replace the fence. Can you really afford that?

If you pay now, you'll keep paying. It doesn't matter what agreement he did or didn't have with someone else, he has no agreement with you.

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