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Property, boundaries and trees

(3 Posts)
Sixtiesqueen Mon 31-Mar-14 13:54:33

Hoping somebody knows the answer to this!

We live in an area of detached sixties houses. Their are four properties along our western boundary (at a 90 degree angle) all of which are much older (1930s probably).

I'm not sure who owns the boundary along the western edge of our back garden - our western boundary (basically the side of our house) forms the back fence of these four properties. The fact that there are several types of fence suggests to me that the older houses own these fences (they must have had some sort of boundary fence at the back before our estate was built) but also, one of these neighbours just recently replaced a large section of fence without asking us to go halves.

I've looked on the deeds to our house - it's not very clear but there is an arrow which suggests we don't own it.

Anyhow - the problem! One of these sections of fence is in very poor repair. It's actually behind some of our bushes but it's collapsed almost completely and is hanging into our garden. We would like to remove these bushes because they are very thick and unsightly, but obviously when we remove them, this fence will collapse and need replacing.

We are not against the idea of paying to have the fence replaced, even though it's about 20 metres long and we probably don't own it. However, when we have looked behind the bushes, the neighbour who 'owns' the said dilapidated fence has actually planted four or five conifers slap bang on the boundary. They appear to have been planted to fill in gaps between larger, mature trees so it's not a full run of conifers, it's just 4/5 of them.

We had a fencing company out to look at replacing the fence this morning. The told us that basically they cannot replace the 20 metre run of fence because of these 4/5 conifers on the boundary. The trunks will grow and push the fence over. The only solution is to move the location of the fence, thus 'gifting' a proportion of our garden to the neighbour who owns the trees. We would have to gift him 20 metres of garden because the fence can't be built around the conifers.

Where do we stand on this legally? The trees were planted without our consent, though I'm assuming that he is entitled to form a boundary of trees if he so wishes. I ought to add that the neighbour to his right complained to me when we bought the house that she had been involved in a legal dispute with him after he had replaced a boundary fence and 'stolen' some of her land. I have no idea what the truth of this is, but I do know he has history of some quite 'sneaky' behaviour, e.g. trying to get planning permission passed by telling the council that the lady who owned this house before us had no objection (she had died).

nickymanchester Tue 01-Apr-14 10:25:25

I would suggest that you perhaps post this on another forum here:-

www.gardenlaw.co.uk/

You will be able to get advice from people that have been in a similar situation.

nickymanchester Tue 01-Apr-14 10:27:06

I've found the people on that forum generally very helpful and knowledgeable when it comes to things like boundaries and rights of way etc

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