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How Do We Know Which Boundary Is Ours?

(16 Posts)
gazzalw Wed 20-Feb-13 17:11:43

Hi we live in an ex-LA house and have a long fence which is very much in need of repair (at some cost). When we moved in we shared payment of fencing renewal of the same boundary fencing with our next-door-neighbours but they instigated the process. They also completely redid the fencing on their other side but that was just before they moved so think it was to tidy the garden in order to sell the house. Our new(ish) next-door-neighbours who are tenants have been round to say that it is our fence (on the basis that traditionally the right hand boundary is one's responsibility) but looking back thorough the sellers info form which we got from the previous owners it is clear that the ownership of boundaries is 'unknown'. How can we find out? Would the LA be able to tell us or would they charge to do so?

Any help would be much appreciated. It's going to be an expensive job so would be useful to clarify!

ILikeBirds Wed 20-Feb-13 17:18:23

The LA may still have records. We live in an ex-council property and they knew ours. In this area the general rule seems to be they get rid of as much responsibility for boundaries as possible when they are purchased from the council, so we have 3 out of 4 boundaries grin

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Wed 20-Feb-13 17:23:56

Ours was "unknown" so we split the costs between both of us.

gazzalw Wed 20-Feb-13 17:24:20


Well we are sandwiched in so hopefully that isn't the case but we have long gardens so if the fence needs repairing I would say that will be a goodly £1,000 or so....hmm

gazzalw Wed 20-Feb-13 17:35:08

I wouldn't mind sharing the cost but less happy about paying the entire thing. Given that the previous owners next door bought their home from the LA within the last ten years wouldn't you expect that when they bought and then sold the property (a couple of years timeframe maximum), such issues might have clearly been detailed? We bought ours privately from previous private owners who bought it from the LA and this information (if ever known) had already been 'lost' within the space of some 15 years....

Of course it's not something you really think about but it's been niggling as the fence is in a very bad state of repair. Have been meaning to check our purchase papers for yonks but now with next-door chivvying have dug them all out - not very illuminating though!

Moomoomie Wed 20-Feb-13 17:37:33

It is not a given, but normally the posts are in the garden of the fence owner.

middleagedspread Wed 20-Feb-13 17:40:39

I think it will be on the deeds. On ours there are little arrows on the boundary depicting who's liable for what.

AnitaBlake Wed 20-Feb-13 17:42:17

There's alsorts of traditions for this but all our ex-LA boundaries are shared between the two parties. A fw years ago we even got a new fence paid for by the LA on condition we accepted that the fenceposts would be in our garden.

PigletJohn Wed 20-Feb-13 17:44:57

if it isn't on the deeds, it is unspecified.

Posts used to be on the side of the owner, but some people have taken to putting the fair face on their own side because it looks better (or perhaps to trick the neighbours into doing future maintenance)

the right/left side is AFAIK not true.

gazzalw Wed 20-Feb-13 18:00:10

Well there's nothing that makes anything any clearer.

Who at the Council would we contact? It appears that all stuff to do with LA housing has passed to a HA - the block of houses we live in is all privately owned now, so would they have any information or would it still be with the LA?

ILikeBirds Wed 20-Feb-13 18:06:17

It depends exactly how the housing association is setup. In the district I live in management is all via an arms length housing association but the estates department of the council hold information about the property like boundaries, work done, year built etc. as they are also the department who deal with right to buy.

gazzalw Wed 20-Feb-13 18:24:18

Thanks for your help everyone. I've asked the question of the Council - see where that gets me! Hope I'm not going to have to fork out £100 for a Land Registry search....

Springforward Wed 20-Feb-13 21:01:06

Buying the plans from the Land Registry should only cost a few pounds - we did it last year on a property we were thinking of buying, to establish who owned which bit of the shared driveway.

gazzalw Wed 20-Feb-13 21:06:02


mogwai Wed 20-Feb-13 23:31:51

On the same subject, we are the end house of our road. Our right hand boundary is actually the rear boundary of a property at right angles to us.

Our property was built in the 1960s. The property at right angles is a 1930s property.

Am I right to assume that his rear boundary fence belongs to him? I know that our house was built on parkland so there was no property here when his house was built and that house must have had a rear boundary.

The fence in question is in a very bad state of repair with lots of missing panels. It is also falling down onto our property and is leaning at probably a 45 degree angle into our garden. Is our neighbour responsible for picking the fence up and making it upright again? The owner of the property has a history of moving his boundary fences and claiming other people's gardens.

Can he refuse to repair it even though it's leaning so far onto our garden?

PigletJohn Wed 20-Feb-13 23:49:04

you have no right to force him to maintain his property if he doesn't choose to. But you can push it back if it is leaning into your property.

I would be tempted to put some concrete spurs set into concrete, which will be difficult to move in future, and will not rot. You can bolt his posts to them, or put in your own.

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