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Neighbour's Fence

(32 Posts)
ProfessorDent Mon 20-Jan-14 13:12:50

The fence on the left hand side of my 85-year old Dad's house is down. One portion came down a good many months ago, but in the Xmas high winds a whole section has come down and we can see into their garden. What's more, I noticed over the weekend that the sticky in posts that constituted a fence for the last 40 years in the rest of the 100ft garden are also pretty much gone.

Otherwise they have been good neighbours the last 30 or so years. Married couple with kids, that kind of thing.

But I have come to realise our neighbour on the right can also see into their garden, it is unsightly for them too.

Guess I have to have a word, but if they act up (and they should have done it by now) what is the next position, a stiff legal letter? It does seem a shame when a family who we have had no problem with over the decades just start taking the piss like this.

PeterParkerSays Mon 20-Jan-14 13:21:01

Is the fence definitely theirs to replace and not your dad's?

lougle Mon 20-Jan-14 13:25:38

Is there a legal requirement to have fences? I thought as long as the boundaries are marked there isn't a requirement to have them. So the most you could do is ask them to clear any fences that have fallen into your DF's garden.

prh47bridge Mon 20-Jan-14 13:26:50

Are you sure it is their fence? Contrary to popular belief you can't tell who is responsible for maintaining a fence by looking at it. The posts may be on their side but that doesn't necessarily mean it is their fence. You need to check the deeds to your father's property. If they don't say anything you need to talk to the neighbours and see if you can figure out between you who is responsible. You certainly shouldn't go in with all guns blazing until you have established the facts.

poshfrock Mon 20-Jan-14 13:58:50

Maybe they just can't afford to go out and replace it at the moment ? Perhaps offer to split the cost if it's not clear whose responsibility it is ? We did that at our last house and it was fine.

JRmumma Mon 20-Jan-14 14:04:20

A bit of my fence blew down a month or so ago and ive no intention of fixing it until the weather improves. Don't really see the point until its garden-using weather!

You cant ask them to fix it because its unsightly (not sure what that means anyway, how bad could it be?) but maybe if they have a dog or kids that are coming into your dad's garden then you could ask them to do something to ensure this didn't happen.

Otherwise, don't you think they will just get round to it later in the year?

eurochick Mon 20-Jan-14 14:05:59

There's no obligation to have a fence on the boundary in most cases so a legal letter won't get you anywhere. Is it definitely their boundary anyway?

DancingLady Mon 20-Jan-14 14:09:31

Check the deeds to your dad's property. With my house, we are responsible for the fence on our right, and ndn to the left of us are responsible for the fence on our left (their right).

ProfessorDent Mon 20-Jan-14 15:37:57

Traditionally, it is their fence. Just as, the fence on the other side that blew down in the very strong winds over Christmas is OUR responsibility. Both fences can't be, surely?

I didn't have them down as so hard up, they had a new boiler put in recently, both seem to be working in some capacity, and fence has basically been down for the last few months. Surely it isn't the case that they can drag it out so it comes down to whoever blinks first?

My Dad did mention it to them a few months back and got fobbed off, no sense of 'Oh no, it's not our fence' from them.

GirlWithTheDirtyShirt Mon 20-Jan-14 15:43:22

I wouldn't prioritise putting in a new fence at the moment. I don't look "hard up", have had a new boiler (paid for by PIL's) and we both work full time on decent salaries. I'd tidy it up, but would be unlikely to do anything about it until spring at best.

LIZS Mon 20-Jan-14 15:46:59

We have the fences on both sides and they are mess atm as have lost about 10 panels now in varying states of repair

Maybe they are looking at you and thinking 'wtf why don't they fix their bloody fence, it's been months. Think I'll post on Mumsnet and see AIBU?

LIZS Mon 20-Jan-14 15:50:23

Me? Most came down after New Year and we're thinking of planting hedging instead.

ProfessorDent Mon 20-Jan-14 15:52:34

Unlikely, LadyGardeners, as my Dad has broached it with them you see and that would have been the time to say 'It is your fence'.

On the other hand, our other neighbour is probably thinking that, as he can see it too and wondering why we haven't forced the issue with them.

Wait until Spring? So we will have been looking right into their garden for three-quarters of a year?

I am not talking battered panels. The whole stretch of 6ft-high fence is down. I posted this to ask about the legal situation.

LIZS Mon 20-Jan-14 15:58:20

The legal situation is that they are not obliged to replace or maintain the boundary, so not even replace the fence.

ProfessorDent Mon 20-Jan-14 16:25:50

Okay, well that's an answer LIZS. Surprising I guess, so that means that we don't actually have to replace the fence that has blown down on OUR side of the house this last month? It just comes down to whoever gets most irritated by the lack of a fence is the one who has to act.

Interesting, as we wanted to take down a large tree on the boundary at the end of the garden. They wanted it to stay up. If they are not playing ball, I guess the tree can come down.

JRmumma Mon 20-Jan-14 16:35:00

The tree is a separate issue and if it is a large and old tree then you may have to get permission to chop it down anyway.

Out of interest, why is it so offensive to you that you can see into their garden? I'm assuming they aren't lying out there sunbathing half naked at the moment? More likely that no one is using their gardens vey much at all at the moment.

What if they decide to replace it with a low fence? Then you will be able to see into their garden indefinitely.

eurochick Mon 20-Jan-14 16:39:06

The legal question was answered a while ago.

Whether or not "traditionally" it has been their fence is not the same as whether or not it is their boundary legally. The deeds to your father's house should tell you which boundaries as his.

The tree is a different issue. If it's on their boundary (if that turns out to be the case) and they want it left there, they can leave it.

DelightedIAm Mon 20-Jan-14 16:39:42

please take care of nesting birds if you take that tree down.

Poppy67 Mon 20-Jan-14 17:26:15

Not a "legal" response but mention in passing you might be getting a puppy!

holidaysarenice Mon 20-Jan-14 17:32:38

My neighbours tried to be twats and insist on a 2000 pound fence with fancy lattices etc, paid for by us. I would of happily had a sensible fence. They couldn't afford it apparently.


I borrowed some shitty old red fencing panels from my farmer friend and shoved them up. Amazingly 3 weeks later a lovely fence went up on their side. Plain fence. B and q job.

And so I took down the shitty red stuff.

How I laughed.

ProfessorDent Tue 21-Jan-14 12:05:16

It is actually hard to see whether the tree is on the boundary or not, seeing as the fence that would seemingly decide the issue by going around it one way or the other, is missing. We may just prune it back at the top, it is an ivy thing so probably no birds nests.

As for the fence and whether it is on their boundary, it seems irrelevant seeing as they can do what they like with it anyway ie it would be better if it were on our boundary so at least we would have the power to put up a fence. Very odd to my mind to have someone's garden running into another's with no demarcation line of any kind. A novelty, at least.

JRmumma Tue 21-Jan-14 12:26:38

You can put a fence up, just make sure it is on your land, so within the boundary on your side. Maybe a solution?

Spickle Wed 22-Jan-14 16:51:19

You can also phone Land Registry who can tell you who is responsible for the fence. If it is not on your deeds or on your neighbour's deeds , Land Registry will advise you to share the responsibility between you. May not be ideal but you'll know who is responsible for each fence as a fact, not just what has been done "traditionally".

Trifle Thu 23-Jan-14 08:16:01

Getting a puppy is no solution as it is your responsibility to ensure the puppy doesn't trespass into their garden, not their responsibility to prevent it from doing so.

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