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About my bloody neighbours?

(32 Posts)
VelvetSpoon Thu 14-Apr-16 20:20:00

So I've posted before about my neighbours - nothing appalling, but lots of low level stuff ie they let their kids chuck rubbish, toys etc into my garden all the time, their refuse bin is constantly overflowing meaning that their rubbish, quite often soiled nappies, gets dragged by foxes and cats all over my garden, and my favourite, they cut down lots of the overhanging branches from my trees (yes I know they can do that) but then rather than doing the token 'offering' me back all the branches etc, wedged the lot on my side of the fence...you get the picture.

Anyway, at some point over the last 7 days or so, one of the panels in the fence between our houses came loose, it's not fallen down but has come out of it's post, and is leaning against their house. I can't say 100% when it was, it definitely wasn't any longer than that - it wasn't like it last Weds, and I first saw it on Sunday.

I can't remember if it's our fence or not (I do vaguely recollect that it's the fence on the other side which is mine, but I'd have to check the deeds to be sure). However I'd thought it they hadn't fixed it by this weekend, then with my bf, I'd do a makeshift repair (as longer term I'm intending to get someone in to put up a new, taller, fence the full length of the garden). I've never had to repair a fence at all before, and I'm not particularly practical, so I'd rather he was there to lend a hand. So far as I was concerned it wasn't a priority - I don't use the garden much mainly because next doors kids are always making a racket in theirs and not at all at this time of year. Also I work ft, leave the house at 7.30 and this week have been out every night til 7.30-8 due to work, driving lessons, shopping, etc.

Anyway so I've come home tonight (half an hour ago as I was working til 7pm) to a properly PA note sellotaped to my door asking could I fix the fence as 'it's a danger to our little children' . According to my DS, someone was banging at the door at 5pm (he doesn't normally answer the door when he's home on his own).

AIBU to think it's really not that dangerous (it's a fence panel ffs) and in the time it must have taken to walk round to my front door, knock, get no reply, go home, write note, come back and stick it on the door, he could probably have fixed the fence himself (he works in some form of construction). and be very tempted to send some similarly PA note back?!

Oh, for completeness - the fence on the other side of their garden blew down at the start of the year, and broke into pieces. It was like that for weeks before they chucked it in my skip disposed of it, and since then there's just been a gap between their house and their neighbour....

Puzzledandpissedoff Thu 14-Apr-16 20:40:33

Perhaps this might help with finding out who's responsible for the fence - it seems to me you can do nothing until you know

www.gardenlaw.co.uk/boundaries.html

In particular note the bit which explains: If the deeds say nothing, as unfortunately they all too often do, then in the case of fences with posts or struts on one side, the law presumes that the owner on that side owns and is responsible for repairing the fence

VelvetSpoon Thu 14-Apr-16 21:00:56

I do seem to remember the deeds say which side it is. Can't find them though, they're somewhere in one of many old boxes of paperwork.

The posts are at the end of each fence panel, so not on either side iyswim.

Woobeedoo Thu 14-Apr-16 21:34:38

Most panels have a pretty side and an ugly side. If you have a horizontal lap panel (the panel will have thin-ish strips of wood running horizontally and they will be secured in place by three or four thin strips of wood running top to bottom on the panel). If all the horizontal strips of wood facing you are smoothly overlapping like roof tiles, then it's the other persons fence as they have the 'ugly' side because for some bizarre reason, the person who owns the fence gets to look at the ugly side (yes, odd but true).

If you have a fence panel that has a top, middle and bottom horizontal piece of wood and planks of wood which run downwards (I think these are called feather edge panels) then if you can see these horizontal supporting bars, you have the ugly side and you own the fence. If you can't see the horizontal bars, your neighbour owns the fence panel as he has the ugly side.

Normally if you stand in your garden with your back to your house, then the fence on your left is what you own.

VelvetSpoon Thu 14-Apr-16 21:34:57

Am so tempted to send them a really PA note back though. Should sellotape it to their bloody car!

Ihangmyknickersontheline Thu 14-Apr-16 21:47:58

All I know is that some neighbours like mine can be a right pain the arse! You're not alone....Good luck!

Poikjhvcx Thu 14-Apr-16 21:55:05

You can't rely on the ugly side/nice side of the fence convection. It's often true that the owner is the one with the ugly side but it's not always the case. You need to look at the deeds and, if possible, it's good to check your neighbors too.

If it's your fence then just drop them a note that you are fixing the fence at the weekend.

sepa Thu 14-Apr-16 22:01:45

Just tell them you can't afford to have the fence fixed yet but it will be done soon as you are putting money aside for it!
If they left the fence on the other side for months then they can't really have that much of a safety issue

RandomMess Thu 14-Apr-16 22:07:22

"oh I've decided not to bother, if you want to put up a fence on your land, go ahead"

VelvetSpoon Thu 14-Apr-16 22:15:16

The fence is to the right.

Not sure which side faces in - we have the 'ugly' side of the fence to the left, but I can't see the one their side in the dark. But as has been said, it's not a 100% guide.

I do think it might be 'their' fence. Mainly because in the front garden, many years ago the previous neighbours had planted a hedge - we then built a retaining wall on 'our' side - leaving the hedge in place.

I'm so pissed off with them, all the crap I've put up with in my OP and they have the cheek to moan about 1 fence panel which possibly isn't even mine to repair.

Tossers.

And yes the 'safety issue' is total bollocks. It's not even in the main part of their garden. I'd have thought more 'risk' to their kids is the fact there's no fence at all between them and their other neighbours.

Poikjhvcx Thu 14-Apr-16 23:26:15

How old is your house? Can you look at other neighbors fences and work out from theirs which side is probably yours?

Poikjhvcx Thu 14-Apr-16 23:28:56

Also the left hand side fence Vs right hand side fence may indicate ownership but it is not reliable.

fatmomma99 Thu 14-Apr-16 23:34:54

I thought it was to do with the nails..... As in the person with the nail heads on their side would have hammered them in, the person on the pointy side (sorry, not being technical I know) is the reciever of the fence. Does that make sense?

It sounds logical to me as the owner will have had to do the nail insertion in the first instance.

If I were to send a PA note back (and I'm not suggesting or recommending it), I would add something along the lines of "and yes, I would like my garden to be secure to prevent the accidental spread of your litter on my property". but I'm properly a PA cow on line and in fantasy land.

SistersOfPercy Thu 14-Apr-16 23:35:17

Doesn't really matter who's it is, you're under no obligation to fence your garden. They can't force you.
Leave them to it for a bit. If they ask tell them you're thinking of either doing it over the summer or maybe planting a hedge instead. Let them sweat a bit.

Poikjhvcx Thu 14-Apr-16 23:39:24

Doesn't really matter who's it is, you're under no obligation to fence your garden.

It's unusual but there may be a legal obligation for you to fence your garden (covenant or whatever)

All that matters is what is says on the deeds although they may be annoying vague.

notapizzaeater Thu 14-Apr-16 23:46:01

Can you just lift the panel out and lay it in your back garden whilst you find out whose it is ?

DropZoneOne Thu 14-Apr-16 23:55:49

We own the fence to the right, when you stand with back to the house. There was some confusion over this though as when our neighbours moved in (before us), their neighbour the other side had repaired the wrong side!

We did have to leave one panel down for a while as I wasn't working and we had no money. Neighbours were nice and understood though, and we both put large plants there to offer a bit of privacy. When a panel came down the other side, we agreed with neighbours to leave it over the summer as the children would use it to come and go which was lovely and reminded me of growing up. Would have been a mare if we hadn't got on though!

ADishBestEatenCold Thu 14-Apr-16 23:56:24

Can't wait. It's only midnight, Op. Go and rake through all the old boxes of paperwork until you find the deed, then (if it's their fence) we can help you write them a lovely note before morning.

starfishmummy Fri 15-Apr-16 00:01:04

Ask the neighbours on your other side which their fence is. Then you can work out which is yours

Lazyafternoon Fri 15-Apr-16 00:24:27

Oh god we had a fences issue when we moved in. Both sides half fallen down fences. Although neither side cared, only us! One side is rented to singletons, the other a big family with teenage kids not enough time to worry. Tried to work it out from fence panels and who had 'good' side etc. Nothing in deeds - just something about all responsible.

We agreed on halves. Rented side the landlord begrudgingly paid half that was it. Other side the dad (in construction so very handy) paid half and helped DH do both sides of our fence as long as DH ordered and arranged delivery of the panels.

Is there any sort of friendly token gesture you can do with next door - you and BF offer to fit them if they pay half?!

Collaborate Fri 15-Apr-16 00:40:57

* If all the horizontal strips of wood facing you are smoothly overlapping like roof tiles, then it's the other persons fence as they have the 'ugly' side because for some bizarre reason, the person who owns the fence gets to look at the ugly side (yes, odd but true).*

If you have a fence panel that has a top, middle and bottom horizontal piece of wood and planks of wood which run downwards (I think these are called feather edge panels) then if you can see these horizontal supporting bars, you have the ugly side and you own the fence. If you can't see the horizontal bars, your neighbour owns the fence panel as he has the ugly side.

This is simply incorrect. Only the deeds can tell you who ought to own the fence, and even then, it is always possible that at some point one side or the other put up a new boundary fence wholly on their side.

It is correct to say that no one can make you repair your fence. Even if there is a covenant saying you must keep it in repair, that is known as a positive covenant and will only bind the original purchaser of the property.

Get the fence panel back on your side of the boundary (in case they decide to use it to repair their fence on the other side, and work out what you want to do with it. Take as much time as you want. They can't force you to lift a finger. If they want a fence (and it's yours) they'll have to put another one up wholly on their side of the boundary.

Collaborate Fri 15-Apr-16 00:42:36

If the deeds are silent, the Land Registry guidance is that it is likely to be a jointly owned fence. Here too, no one can make anyone else pay for a repair or replacement.

CheshireDing Fri 15-Apr-16 02:29:25

Go on to the Land Registry website, order a copy of your deeds (Official Copy Entries and a copy of your plan (£4 each). If there are "T" marks on the inside of your land on the plan then you are responsible for that boundary.

The the deeds (Official Copy Entries) may elaborate further (hence purchasing the deeds and plan).

If neither say anything then it is "joint and equal responsibility with the respective neighbour". In a nutshell you need "officially" to pay half each for the repair. In reality on those occasions usually someone just pays for the panel just so it's dealt with.

Basically as Collaborate said. With getting the documents online as they will be instantly available and give you the answer one way or the other.
.
HTH

MrsSkeletor Fri 15-Apr-16 03:17:33

Didn't someone complain on here (or in _Chat) the other day that their neighbour's fence panel had come loose and was touching their house? They said it was blowing in the breeze and making them feel agitated due to the repetitive banging noise it was making.

elementofsurprise Fri 15-Apr-16 03:27:53

in the time it must have taken to walk round to my front door, knock, get no reply, go home, write note, come back and stick it on the door, he could probably have fixed the fence himself

In the time it's taken you to get annoyed and write this post on MN, couldn't you have fixed the fence? wink
Sorry...

YANBU

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