Fence bastards (with diagram)(40 Posts)
I live in a terraced house. Gardens are long and narrow. I own the fence to the left, which is ancient, a crap DIY job originally (posts not concreted in or anything), covered in ivy, and largely came down in Storm Ciara, into my neighbour's garden.
I spoke to my neighbour to apologise for my fence landing in their garden, got permission to go onto their land, removed it all, and piled up the detritus as best I could given the garden was already full of garden waste from hacking back loads of ivy, brambles and years of neglect.
On the right, the fence is owned by the neighbouring property to the right. The house is owned by a housing association notorious for neglecting repairs, ignoring tenants and generally being crap. Two panels of their fence are upright, in the side return. Beyond that, one third of it overhangs most of my garden. The remaining two thirds came down in the storm. It's still there, a week+ later.
I had a fence guy out to quote the day after Storm Ciara, when we could still access the rear of the garden to measure up by walking along the housing association fence. It's rained so heavily since then that their fence is simultaneously beyond repair and too dangerous to walk on (no other route to the patio at the back), yet also still too intact and heavy to lift up and back to their land.
Housing association say it will take them "at least" four weeks to get round to repairing (it's beyond repair), they won't give me an exact date "for data protection" (never mind that I'll be able to look out of my kitchen window and see them retrieving it – the cat will be out of the bag! Possibly the same cat that's taken to shitting on it), nor clarify whether they'll repair or replace. I've sent photos but all their responses indicate they plan to just prop it up. Technically not my business what a neighbour does with their fence, up until the point it's in or overhanging my garden!
Our fence guy has given his quote based on being able to move around the garden and do the work, and destroy our old fence on site by burning it on the patio. Which we can't get to. No room for assembling a fence either (it's all got to be built in situ because getting panels through a terrace is a pain in the bum) because the entire garden is covered in fence. Fence fence fence.
So we made an offer to the HA: we'll pay for a new fence, same style, on the boundary line, they can have the good side, we'll take on responsibility for all maintenance from now on. We'll even pay for the labour to retrieve their knackered old fence from our garden and return it to their land. The only thing we won't pay for is waste disposal.
Their CF response: "if you install a new fence, waste disposal of the old becomes your responsibility". Even though they'd need to dispose of it anyway!
AIBU to think they should be biting my arm off at this offer? Free 20m of 6ft fencing, posts concreted in place, all maintenance taken care of, all they need to do is a quick tip run. And in the meantime their fucking fence is in my garden, not paying rent and demanding cups of tea. Bastards.
If he’s burning your fence and you’re willing to pay for a new fence on the other side, can he not just burn that fence too?
Sounds like council mentality through and through, some jobs worth is an office reeling out the standard policy line without actually logically looking at a situation.
Not exactly the same but my neighbour next door to me dragged her feet over fixing her broken fence that was in my garden (she didnt live there, and the renters didnt give a damn). In the end I applied to our local magistrates "pursuant to Section 82 of The Environmental Protection Act 1990". Completely free and scared her enough to sort it out/ seek her own legal advice which I hope cost her. You could possibly bring a case against the council but they would put up any old fence they like.
@PotteringAlong More labour/man hours. Ultimately I think it's what we'll probably do but the whole thing is massively increased in cost because their bastard fence is such a ballache to move. There's 20m of fence to burn on each side.
@PineappleTart Oh, we've tried. It's near impossible to do without multiple people on it. Again, it's the labour. Also I was told it was like overhanging tree branches: you have to offer them back but they don't have to take them.
I would also push the fence back into their garden. If you get a few friends you should be able to do it. Maybe wait a few days for it to dry up a bit. Try and do it when the neighbours are out and say it was the wind
Yes I would get your fence man to push the old fence into their garden, then put your fence up.
They're mad to ignore your offer - I wonder whether it's worth ringing them and hoping you get to speak to someone with half a brain. It's the sort of thing where once you get hold of the right person who realises it'a good deal, they will sort it out with the pen-pushers.
Just take one or two of your old posts and push/ prop the overhanging fence up to their side so that it will fall their way. Then lift the downed fence bit by bit and push it into their garden. Bet the tenants will then hassle the HA to sort it.
Yes, just push the fence back over their garden. It's their fence. If they dint do a nice job of repairing it, put up another inside your property.
If its beyond repair can itbe broken up and put into their garden. Dont burn 2 wet fence panels.
Agree with pp, I know you've said its too heavy to move, but would your fence guys take £20 cash, for example, to just get it shifted over?
They are not mad. Their systems prob just can't let them.
Do you have legal protection in conjunction with your buildings insurance? Might be time to invoke it? (Although that might leave you with a dispute that you have to declare when you sell).
They should not be leaving it there like that. Photograph it, then email it to your local councillors (maybe even your MP if you get no joy) telling them it is intruding on your land and they need to deal with it ASAP.
Tell them you fell over it and it’s caused you an injury and you wish to file a claim for injury. As they knew it was down but not fixed it then that makes them liable. As them who to send the claim too?
To! Obviously that will just get their attention. Don’t really claim.
When our neighbours fence was destroyed a few years back- their house HA, ours owner occupied they said 2 years! As it wasn't causing an obstruction to a public highway. We had not long got a dog and couldn't leave it like that so paid 3.5k to get it fixed. Now the other side (our side) needs fine 😳
Maybe the HA association might be more willing to negotiate and faster to act if you remind them that it is dangerous and has damaged your garden and you will be pursuing them for loss of use of your garden for the period it remains in situ and for restoration of any damage to your garden caused by the fence lying there for weeks.
Although whose ivy is it that has damaged the fence? If it is yours, they might try to pursue you for the cost of replacing the fence, which is likely to be whole lot more than using your own contractor.
I would get a load of people to help put it back on their side. I def would not pay for their side to be done CF
It's continued presence is a trespass on your land. Initially blowing over may have been negligent if not properly maintained but failure to action the obstruction promptly could mean it's an intentional trespass. You could try advising them that if not removed from your land within 7 days you will charge them rent of £30 per day thereafter.
Or tell them they are committing a criminal offence under Section 68 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 by obstructing a lawful activity on land. The way I read the Act (I'm not a lawyer) it is aimed at people not fences - but they might not want to fight a claim.
Disclaimer - I am not a lawyer, you may wish to post under legal.
I know this doesn't help, but I like your sense of humour.
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