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AIBU to say that it is neighbour's fence?

(22 Posts)
Stilton2000 Sat 23-May-20 09:37:14

We are currently selling a property that has been rented out to a tenant for 9 years. About four years ago, one of the neighbours replaced our fence. They didn't ask our permission and our tenants didn't tell us they had done it. We only discovered it when doing the annual inspection.

Needless to say, we were shocked but didn't raise it as an issue because new fence was lovely and a massive improvement on the one it replaced.

However, now we are selling house, I don't know what to put on the property information form about who is responsible for the new fence. By rights, the fence on the left side is our responsibility. However, is it now the responsibility of our neighbour as it is their fence?

Any thoughts would be gratefully received!

MRex Sat 23-May-20 09:38:59

Tell your solicitor and let them work it out, that's what they're for.

MrsExpo Sat 23-May-20 09:40:20

How about offering to "buy" the fence from them to save a lot of hassle.

BruceAndNosh Sat 23-May-20 09:41:08

The fence belongs to your neighbour.
The responsibility of the boundary still belongs to you.

Stilton2000 Sat 23-May-20 09:42:08

I will be speaking to Solicitor on Monday when open again, but was just trying to look into it in advance.

Stilton2000 Sat 23-May-20 09:50:07

@BruceAndNosh

Do I still put on the seller's form that we accept responsibility for maintaining boundary features on the left of the property then, even though it's not our fence?

superram Sat 23-May-20 09:58:12

It should be on your deeds.

BacklashStarts Sat 23-May-20 09:59:40

This should be on the deeds - do you have access to those? This is about responsibility for the boundary rather than that fence.

Stilton2000 Sat 23-May-20 10:01:42

@superram

On my deeds, the boundary on the left is my responsibility. However, as the neighbour has replaced the fence, I was wondering if they had taken over responsibility for repair of fence going forward.

user1487194234 Sat 23-May-20 10:02:59

It depends on what the title says not who actually built the fence
Most likely to be mutual but check the title or ask solicitor to do so

Cherrysoup Sat 23-May-20 10:05:21

Responsibility is yours as it says so on the deeds. Given you’re selling, why do you care? Surely the new owners will not really care? It’s on the deeds as their boundary, therefore they will need to look after it after talking to the neighbour who put it up, or the neighbour might just carry on. It’s not a big issue, the new owners will just talk to the neighbours.

Stilton2000 Sat 23-May-20 10:54:39

@Cherrysoup

I am hoping that it's a non issue, but I am keen to avoid being challenged at a later date for giving mis information, should anything crop up. I agree that hopefully, thing will be fine.

Gingernaut Sat 23-May-20 10:56:46

I was wondering if they had taken over responsibility for repair of fence going forward.

No. They have not.

You have responsibility for maintaining the boundary.

Pass on a small gift to your neighbour at least.

Stilton2000 Sat 23-May-20 11:05:07

I don't want to make it an issue if it isn't. I can just put on the property form that we are responsible for boundary on left side and leave it at that.

Tedgy Sat 23-May-20 11:07:10

Is the fence on your land or theirs?

johnd2 Sat 23-May-20 11:09:19

Ask the solicitor in writing eg email as you'll get all manner of responses from strangers online.
For what it's worth, the fence is the responsibility of the owner and the owner is the person who paid for it and got it put up, unless they have sold it since then or has otherwise been offered and accepted by someone else.
The boundary is noones responsibility, sometimes there's a positive covenant which applies to the first owner of the property to maintain a fence or other feature, but it isn't relevent to later owners anyway.
The purpose of the question in the information form is to guage who likely owns the fence, which is useful for the new owners.

Stilton2000 Sat 23-May-20 11:25:00

@johnd2

Thank you. Good advice. I will email solicitor Monday morning!

PigletJohn Sat 23-May-20 13:32:14

"On my deeds, the boundary on the left is my responsibility."

There you are then.

Unless it is built on the neighbours' land.

monkeymonkey2010 Sat 23-May-20 13:56:37

make sure your wording makes clear that only the fence belongs to neighbours, who took your fence out without asking you......
the new owners of your house might want to erect a new fence on their boundary.....

Stilton2000 Sat 23-May-20 14:47:22

@monkeymonkey2010

That's what I'm worried about really. I don't want to leave a situation where our purchasers fall out with our old neighbours if they remove the fence the neighbours put up. I worry that somehow we will be blamed if we have not dealt with this issue correctly in our sale.

monkeymonkey2010 Sat 23-May-20 18:45:55

your solc needs to put all this in writing after checking the legalities.

I'd also put it in writing that there was NO verbal agreement re the fence - in case they try that trick with the new owners.
i'd also write to the neighbours letting them know that their fence is on YOUR boundary - new owners will be made aware of this so there's no confusion in the future...and new owners will be within their rights to remove anything erected on their land.

LIZS Sat 23-May-20 18:53:00

Boundary may differ to the fence. Just put something like Responsible for left boundary but fence erected by ndn. They may have positioned it on "their" side.

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