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gather round, It's a neighbourly fence dispute!!!

(105 Posts)
adsy Sun 01-Jun-14 16:11:46

Right, a few weeks ago the fence separating us fell down.
The next couple of weekends we have spent tidying up the shrubs etc. that had grown up round the fence and removing rotten wood etc.
last week neighbour came round to tell us to replace fence ASAP as he is dogsitting and needs it secure.
I told him we needed to check the deeds to check ownership and I'd get back to him. Cue lots of shouting along the lines of it's definitely your fence, I've never repaired it in 20 years, if the dog savages your DC it will be on your head etc.
So.. got the deeds from land registry and it says all fences are party fences and to be repaired and maintained as such.
Been to tell him it's fifty fifty and he says he's never heard such nonsense and why should he pay half.
We showed him the deeds but he still wasn't having any of it.
Left it with him saying as it's not on his deeds he's paying nothing and he's going to his solicitors.
We gave him a copy of our deed plans and the relevant section that says all fences and walls are party.
So, AIBU to expect him to pay half?

Earlybird Sun 01-Jun-14 16:16:55

At this point, he seems to be the one most bothered about having the fence put back up quickly.

Do you need/want the fence - other than to separate yourself from this unpleasant man? grin

In the meantime, why don't you gather some figures on cost to replace the fence so you can have a conversation about specifics.

Final question: do you think the expense will be manageable for both of you (split 50/50)? Just wondering if part of his outrage is due to the fact that perhaps he can't afford to contribute his share?

HecatePropylaea Sun 01-Jun-14 16:17:05

I am sure his solicitor will cost him far more that 50% of a fence. Are you sure that the error is not on your paperwork though?

I'd point out that a fence costs less than a court fight and tell him to do what he pleases but make no mistake, if he doesn't ensure the dog is secured, it will not end well for him.

adsy Sun 01-Jun-14 16:18:53

We're quite happy to have no fence. there's a couple of shrubs there so it blocks us. He wants it doing for the dog.
I said we'd get a couple of quotes but he said that as he's not paying for it there's no point.
He wants us to get it fixed NOW and pay for it all

diddl Sun 01-Jun-14 16:20:07

My first thought would be that as he needs it secure due to dog, then it's entirely his responsibility.

We've got chicken wire our side (that previous owner put up) & our neighbours have lovely fence panels.

So, we've both got our own!

adsy Sun 01-Jun-14 16:20:44

We were going to just put up more shrubs to completely screen it but he says he wants a fence ( but not to pay for it).
As for is it an error on our deeds; I've no idea! but I would guess a solicitor can only go on what is written in black and white. ( I hope)

Youdontneedacriminallawyer Sun 01-Jun-14 16:21:51

How WOULD you feel if the dog got into your garden and bit a DC?

But if you're not bothered about having a fence, you don't have to put one up. There's nothing to stop neighbour from erecting a fence on his own side of the boundary.

chockbic Sun 01-Jun-14 16:22:45

I would be tempted to put a cheap wire fence up.

Then he has a fence but maybe not the one he wanted.

Earlybird Sun 01-Jun-14 16:23:52

How long would you guess the old fence had been up? Wondering if he simply doesn't realize he legally bears part financial responsibility because it hasn't come up previously?

But whether he knows what is on the deeds or not, there is no excuse for getting aggressive and attempting to bully/intimidate you into paying full replacement cost.

Walkacrossthesand Sun 01-Jun-14 16:24:14

Stand your ground - if your deeds clearly and unequivocally show shared ownership of fence ( might be worth getting free half hour with solicitor to show them deeds and check you're right), then he can approach you to discuss sharing cost of repaid/replacement if he wants it done. Let him threaten solicitor - I suspect he'll change his time once he's been. NB him saying 'I've been to solicitor and (s)he says you have to repair fence' will not be sufficient! grin

CottonbudCatastrophe Sun 01-Jun-14 16:25:03

It sounds like one of you had a lazy solicitor when you bought your house, ie they didn't clarify the rights & responsibilities over boundaries. What do your deeds say about any party walls you may have, have you asked him what his deeds say? Might be worth asking, just in case.

Earlybird Sun 01-Jun-14 16:25:21


diddl Sun 01-Jun-14 16:25:43

"How WOULD you feel if the dog got into your garden and bit a DC?"

Well I'm sure OP would feel shit!

But neighbour needs to keep the dog fenced in.

Which would be of no comfort if the above happened, but it's obviously not OPs responsibility to put up a fence to keep her neighbour's dog out-that's up to him.

And doesn't it show what a nasty/unreasonable shit he is that he's trying to make OP reasonsible by threatening her kids.

adsy Sun 01-Jun-14 16:25:47

I'm happy to believe he didn't realise he had responsibility, it's the fact that I have now shown him the deeds and he still refuses to share the cost.

officelady Sun 01-Jun-14 16:25:47

Regardless of who is responsible for maintaining/replacing the fence, it is 100% his responsibility to ensure his dog does not stray into your garden, let alone "savage" your children. He sounds like an unreasonable twat - good luck.

diddl Sun 01-Jun-14 16:26:13

responsible for a fence

adsy Sun 01-Jun-14 16:28:54

Our deed say that all the land bordered red ( showing our bit) any fences or walls are party fences adjacent to neighbours' houses.
I think it's pretty unequivocal I just want to check I'm not getting the wrong end of the stick.
He actually said that he needs us to get the fence done as if the dog hurts a child he's not sure who would be responsible as we are not erecting a fence in time for his dogsitting. - well, that would be you then, wouldn't it?

HecatePropylaea Sun 01-Jun-14 16:31:33

Well , you need to be very clear with him that if the dog hurts the child then it will be 100% HIS fault and furthermore, he needs to consider his words carefully because that sounds very much like a threat.

I really hate bullyboys. Can you tell? grin

Earlybird Sun 01-Jun-14 16:33:17

I can't imagine this will be resolved (or fence erected) before his dog sitting job commences. So, perhaps he'd best be thinking of a way to secure the dog when it is outside in his garden until this issue is resolved.

Last suggestion - you've shown him your property deeds. Maybe ask him to check his deeds (and show you relevant bit), so you can compare what is there?

HolidayCriminal Sun 01-Jun-14 16:35:57

He is responsible for keeping the dog on his property.

I think I would send him a registered letter to that effect.

adsy Sun 01-Jun-14 16:37:28

he won't show us his. Just keeps saying it doesn't mention about party walls on his.
Even if that's true, if it's mentioned on ours that must be the position??

HecatePropylaea Sun 01-Jun-14 16:40:15

tbh, I'd just say go to your solicitors then and we'll deal directly with them. Call his bluff. But make sure that you won't tolerate any threats or bully boy crap and that if that dog gets into your garden, you will be calling the dog warden.

AuditAngel Sun 01-Jun-14 16:45:07

It is quite unusual to gave this for fencing. 2 houses ago my fences blew down in a storm (couple of panels bod side, one the other). I was seeing the solicitor to sign some papers so asked the same question re ownership, saying I understood them to be 50/50, solicitor said it couldn't be the case, checked my deeds and it was correct.

Fortunately I had lovely neighbours, happy to share the costs.

Earlybird Sun 01-Jun-14 16:49:44

Maybe it has never come up before, and he is unaware of his obligation to share costs.

wowfudge Sun 01-Jun-14 16:50:24

I'm guessing he's seen you tidying up and was hoping you would simply replace the fence. He's annoyed he's going to have to put his hand in his pocket and he doesn't know what it's going to cost. The dog sitting could be a fib to push you replace the fence without his input.

One of the most clear cut fence cases seen on MN given your deeds show the joint responsibility!

As you are not too bothered about replacing the fence, why not get quotes for like for like replacements and also for posts with coated wire mesh, which I imagine is cheaper, and won't show as much and give him copies.

Give him a few weeks and see if he comes round. I definitely wouldn't give him the satisfaction of bullying you into replacing it quickly.

Just keep the lines of communication open with him. See what happens.

I'd be very surprised if he goes to a solicitor.

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