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Another 'fencing with the neighbours' one...

(38 Posts)
boschy Fri 08-Nov-13 14:47:57

Sorry, it might be a long but dont want to dripfeed!

Earlier this year we replaced 15 out of the 20 fence panels and posts between the back of our house and the side of the neighbours (all in one straight line). Technically, only about 7 of the panels are directly out the back of us, the rest are out the back of the neighbours, kind of diagonal between us and them, but for the sake of a good fence/relations etc, we shelled out for the whole lot. It is a beautiful fence, job very well done, and not cheap. They didnt feel able to contribute anything, as they were having some decorating done, and they dont think its their responsibility anyway.

In the recent storms, the remaining 5 panels have come down. These are to the right of the back of our house, so technically not to the back of us at all, it's more diagonal, as it is to their house. As a result, their dog can and does get into our garden, but our dog not into theirs (ours doesnt wander, theirs does; also on our pile of the fence there is a big pile of wood which deters my dog. FWIW, the wood is from two trees in our garden which we said they could have cut down if they wanted - I'd have preferred the trees, but it was taking their light, they didnt like the falling leaves etc). If I'm in, it's not a problem, because our gate will be closed and therefore their dog cannot escape. If I'm out though, the gate will be open so their dog could get onto the road.

Mrs Neighbour has been round to ask when we will renew the fence. I have said that we wont be renewing it any time soon as we cant afford it, however we will do out best to bodge something together as and when DH is not working 6 days a week and its not raining/blowing a gale on his day off. She said her DH doesnt think this is good enough, because a) the gap in the fence is unsightly and b) they are bored of looking out of their window to make sure their dog is still in their garden.

So, AIBU to think their dog is their responsibility? that in the meantime they could put some chicken wire or something up to retain their dog?

Brucietheshark Fri 08-Nov-13 14:51:43

Is it your fence or their fence on the plans/deeds?

This is what you need to know.

If it's yours, you need to fix it but they can't really dictate when you get round to it - it might take you a few weeks. If it theirs, then they need to fix it.

If you have already paid for what was in fact their boundary and now this bit is yours, then that's rather bad luck for you.

Methe Fri 08-Nov-13 14:52:59

Their dog, their responsibility. Tough shit!

ceebie Fri 08-Nov-13 14:54:31

Who is legally responsible for that fence?

Whoever is legally responsible will need to fix it, irrespective of any favours in the past. Or if joint responsibility, you should pay 50:50.

Methe Fri 08-Nov-13 14:57:52

They don't have to fix it at all if they don't want to.

boschy Fri 08-Nov-13 15:05:29

ok I need to find our deeds then. I do think we have bent over backwards in the past though (probably far too much), so am not inclined to rush into action at the moment - DD1 and I tried to prop some panels up the other day, of course they fell over straight away, and DH is totally knackered, so fence repair not top of his list.

LackingEnergy Fri 08-Nov-13 15:08:27

If its their fence YANBU and they should fix it themselves. I'd do a botch job to keep their dog out though even though the onus is on the dog owner to keep their animal contained as I wouldn't want our dog and theirs fighting or their dog getting out into the road

If its your fence then YABU and need to fix it

Is asking them to go halves on cost since I assume they aren't still decorating out of the question?

FuckyNell Fri 08-Nov-13 15:12:31

Ooh I love a fence thread!

boschy Fri 08-Nov-13 15:15:13

haha fuckynell me too! if only it wasnt our fence...!

Debs75 Fri 08-Nov-13 15:20:32

Could you string some wire up to keep their dog out. Easy cheap job and hen tell them you have no money for proper nice fencing but this is where we bought the majority of the fence from so knock yourselves out 5 panels isn't much to protect the welfare of their dog.
Or tell them to put dog on a line to stop it wandering

mercibucket Fri 08-Nov-13 15:33:10

you dont need a fence at all, unless it says you do on the deeds

Oldraver Fri 08-Nov-13 19:47:44

If you dont want to replace the fence then dont. Though I would be wnating to keep their dog out so would maybe put something in place.

Trifle Fri 08-Nov-13 20:27:26

Even if the fence belongs to you, you are under no legal obligation to replace/fix it. If they have a dog it is their legal responsibility to ensure the dog is contained in their garden and as such they have to ensure this is the case, not you.

ceebie Mon 11-Nov-13 13:03:01

Hey boschy, did you find out who is legally responsible for the fence? Interesting that you don't have to fix it unless it says so in the deeds, I thought you did.

boschy Thu 28-Nov-13 22:35:04

an update: I checked our deeds and it makes no mention of this particular fence.

neighbour came round the other day and asked when we were going to have it replaced. I said not in the immediate future, as there are other things we need to do. so she said she was worried about her dog getting into our garden, that she could get into ours but not get back into theirs, plus her sister's dog is coming to stay shortly and she is afraid that dog will kill our chickens and/or rabbits. I said it would be best if they put some wire up on their side of the fence (much more accessible, and because of position of the fence actually safer for her dog, their responsibility to keep their dog in etc) but that we would not replace the fence any time soon. so she stomped off in a huff...

anyway, having done some more research; their house was built much later than ours, as part of a new estate so the fences were provided as part of that building activity ifyswim. therefore that apparently means it is THEIR fence. I dont care about what we've spent so far, but am not going to be railroaded into another £600 to keep their dog in. and if her sister's dog ventures in - the chickens are surrounded by an electric fence, which will be a nasty shock, and if it attacks DD2's rabbits I will be expecting vets bills paid and/or compensation for death/trauma etc.

they dont want to pay anything because they are having a new front door... honestly I would laugh at that, because our house is practically falling down!!

TalkieToaster Thu 28-Nov-13 23:21:44

Did you tell the neighbours that the fence was their responsibility to maintain? Or did you find that out after you told them you weren't doing it? Details, OP, details! grin

VivaLeBeaver Thu 28-Nov-13 23:27:44

Their dog their responsibility and I'd start complaining about their dog coming in. Is bound to be shitting in your garden!

My neighbours tried to get me to pay half of their fence replacement once. They'd spent loads landscaping the garden, new summerhouse, etc. seemed surprised when I pointed out it was their fence and they could pay if they wanted a new one!

PeriodFeatures Fri 29-Nov-13 00:14:47

they are twats. you are definitely not being unreasonable.

Joysmum Fri 29-Nov-13 08:14:04

Let me put it this way, I have ponies and even if my neighbours have fenced their border as per the deeds they are under no obligation to fence in such a way to meet MY needs as a horse owner so I fence suitable too on the land I rent.

Unless your deeds dictate it must be fenced and the type of fencing (if that border is your responsibility) then you've be within your rights to either not fence or put up a chain link fence if that's what you wanted! If they feel this is unsuitable for their needs then they'd be at liberty to fence to their specifications on their land.

Of course, that isn't very practical though you are neighbours and ideally want to find a compromise which allows you to live in proximity without tension.

diddl Fri 29-Nov-13 08:31:00

YANBU-but please make sure the bunnies are safe!

They don't deserve an awful death to prove a point!

intitgrand Fri 29-Nov-13 08:57:05

I don't understand your logic
If your house was there first, then your house must have had to have a fence before theirs was built?

intitgrand Fri 29-Nov-13 08:58:01

unless it was built on your garden?

intitgrand Fri 29-Nov-13 08:59:13

Another thought who put the fence up? It shouldn't blow down at the first bit of wind.I would get them to come back and sort it out

Felyne Fri 29-Nov-13 09:06:12

initgrand the recent storms which the OP said caused the panels to topple weren't really 'the first bit of wind', but yes the deeds should say whose responsibility the fence is.

GhostsInSnow Fri 29-Nov-13 09:15:24

It's worth reiterating what Trifle said as she had it spot on:

Even if the fence belongs to you, you are under no legal obligation to replace/fix it. If they have a dog it is their legal responsibility to ensure the dog is contained in their garden and as such they have to ensure this is the case, not you.

Have a look at Gardenlaw if you need clarification of Trifle's post, the fencing section forums are insightful.

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