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Problem with Neighbours (lack of!) Fence

(19 Posts)
serenity Wed 06-Apr-05 10:31:29

The house next to MIL was bought two years ago by someone who is renting it out to short term tenants (we think!) We do see him occasionally, but are cordial rather than friendly, due to sporadic problems with noise and the whole fence thing.

Essentially, his first tenants toddlers pulled down the rather old chicken wire fence between the two back gardens. This wasn't a problem to start with, as he immediately said he had planned to replace it with a 6ft wooden fence anyway. He even took the name of the bloke MIL had had in to replace the fence on the other side (which had also been destroyed by crappy neighbours, but was hers so she replaced it and we all celebrated when they did a bunk closely pursued by the police! )

That was nearly 2 years ago........still no fence and I'm starting to get really p'ed off. MIL can't really deal with this sort of thing rationally, english isn't her first language, she's on AD's already and is prone to very hysterical paranoid rants. It's far better if we can sort it out for her. She hates it the way it is, she feels very vulnerable as there is a constant stream of people in and out of the house and they all have free access now to the back of her house. It makes all of us very uncomfortable using the garden through lack of privacy.

We can't afford to do it ourselves and chase him for the money. Does anyone know where we stand? Is there any way to force him to replace his fence? I remember a thread a long while back that had a link to a website that dealt with this kind of thing but I can't find it, please help!

I'm really worried about my MIL with all this as she does get so worked up. I'm worried she'll do something stupid and get herself into trouble. We keep asking, he keeps promising and nothing happens!

Thanks in advance, sorry it's so long

Sponge Wed 06-Apr-05 11:02:24

Yes you can force him. If it's his fence then it's his legal resposibility to keep one there and in good repair. Write to him telling him that you've tried being nice but he's ignored repeated requests so now you're going to sue him. Often the threat is enough to kick people into action. Worked for me in a very similar situation - new fence up within a week .

Kayleigh Wed 06-Apr-05 11:06:42

Could you get a solicitor to write a letter ?

scoot Wed 06-Apr-05 11:09:09

we had a dispute with our neighbours over our dividing fence. after a stormy night part of their fence blew down, allowing their dog free run of our garden. which he fouled and dug up.
We tried being reasonable, returned their dog, but they did not responded very well. we tried being unreasonable but nearly got arrested
eventually we got a quote for the fencing agreed to go halves and my partner even helped to put it up. End of dispute and future disputes as we are both now reasponsible.
we found out your neighbour is only reasponsible to replace the fence if it belonged to you and they damaged it. otherwise they are not at liberty to replace or even put one up, sorry!

scoot Wed 06-Apr-05 11:15:10

sorry that was * we found out in our case* OUR NEIGHBOUR. Who owned the fence could take it down all together if they wanted. as long as they kept their dog under control.
sorry I misworded the previous message

serenity Wed 06-Apr-05 11:18:14

A letter sounds like a good idea, any ideas how I find out who to address it too? Electoral roll won't be any good, can anyone access the land registry, if that's the right place?

Maybe I should just let the kids 'accidently' run into their half a few times

serenity Wed 06-Apr-05 11:19:44

It seems unbelievable that they don't have to replace the fence

Sponge Wed 06-Apr-05 11:25:37

Get a dog and let it loose in their garden?

scoot Wed 06-Apr-05 11:31:20

tell me about it. went through three months of hell. mid summer, dd loved to play out but could't. I was pregnant with ds and cleaning up dog muck. only to be told that their only obligation was to keep their dog under control. and that I could put a dividing fence on my property. the council will not help out with dividing fence issues.

Pinotmum Wed 06-Apr-05 11:43:07

We've had this. Our neighbout kept promising to replace his fence and brick columns as they were unsafe. He never got round to it resulting in the brick columns (4 ft high) falling into our garden during high winds this winter. They fell onto our patio right infront of my kitchen door and I thank the powers above that my dd and ds were inside at the time. My plants pots were flattened . He made sounds about a lovely brick wall and apologies about the trouble. His dog roamed out garden till I said our side gate wasn't secure and she could get out - yes will a helping hand from me . We got estimates from brickies we knew for him as he didn't know any. He then said he had better things to spend his money on and put up some temporary trellis which the dog kept sticking it's nose through and ds kept sticking his hands through which I wasn't happy about as dog is a bit excitable. He has now just put up the cheapest fence in the world and it is better than nothing so we are pleased. He also bought me two pots of flowers which was a nice gesture. I don't know what we would have done had he left the temporary structure up for the summer.

serenity Wed 06-Apr-05 11:46:56

Well I've paid out at the Land registry and got the official owners names at least. I'll write to them, and hopefully bluff them into doing something. I'm glad you've got things sorted out now scoot, but very that you had to pay out to do it. If it comes down to it we might have to have a whip round amoungst the siblings but tbh can't really afford to do even that.

morningpaper Wed 06-Apr-05 11:49:39

I don't see why it should be anyone responsibility to keep a fence. Surely either party can erect a fence if they want to?

Can't you bodge a REALLY crappy fence together with old doors or something and say 'oh it's just temporary until you've sorted it out'....

morningpaper Wed 06-Apr-05 11:53:22

How long is the fence area in question? I think I would bite the bullet and do a decent DIY job myself with 6ft fencing and split the cost with MIL/siblings - two years of waiting seems like enough to me, and for the cost of bothering a solicitor you could probably put your own fence up. It can be quite cheap if you shop around.

serenity Wed 06-Apr-05 11:56:19

I though about putting a line up across the boundary and putting plastic sheeting up, with the words 'put a b**y fence up' on it on their side, but DH said no

MP - I don't see why we should struggle to replace their fence that they broke, especially when we've already bitten the bullet and done it for the other side. We're talking principles here.

serenity Wed 06-Apr-05 11:57:04

The other side cost about £500.

scoot Wed 06-Apr-05 12:00:32

good luck serenity. hope you sort it out soon.

But all for letting your kids run round their garden, as if it starts to bother them maybe they will do something about it! Or you could get a dog in there!

could you not replace the chicken wire fence as that would be really cheap and easy to do?

morningpaper Wed 06-Apr-05 12:16:25

Serenity: I'm all for principles but your MIL seems quite upset - on ADs, hysterical, uncomfortable, hates it, paranoid, vulnerable - I think maybe life's a bit too short for sticking to principles if it's going to string out her suffering (and moaning) IYKWIM! You've said she really can't deal with it.

If it cost £500 for a company to do it, you could probably do it yourself for £200 or so I'd guess?

serenity Wed 06-Apr-05 12:24:51

We'll try the letter first I think, if that doesn't work then we'll have to take it from there. I think I'll definitely look at something temporary though.

MIL is on AD's, paranoid etc anyway - nothing to do with this, just makes sorting it out worse as she can't be calm about anything, and she's more stubborn than I am believe me. I'm not sure if she'll let us do it ourselves I love her, and she's not quite MIL from Hell, but she is very hard work. Quite surprised how DH has turned out tbh!

BadgerBadger Sun 10-Apr-05 00:55:29

Garden Law website.

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