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I have nothing to hide, I just want a decent fence

(34 Posts)
amightywhoosh Sun 14-Jul-13 19:35:55

Would appreciate some advice on neighbourhood politics. Just moved into a new house: little gardens all packed tightly together. Fences waist-high. We'd really like standard 6fters, not because we are weird or dangerous or anti-social or criminal, just because we like privacy.

Fences jointly owned. We've offered Side A to replace, paid for by us - they are ok with that. Side B have said 'Fence has been recently replaced' (it doesn't look like it), and 'I don't like those high fences'.

I know we could go 'what the hell' and go ahead with 6fters within our boundaries. But - the neighbours all know each other! Some of them are related to each other! The previous owner comes back to see one of them regularly!

This is all very nice and we don't want to upset people but - we want a decent fence! Also, I do not look good at 6am and want to be able to run out and put washing out without frightening them.


Munchmallow Sun 14-Jul-13 19:40:24

I'd go ahead with the six foot fences because I like my privacy too.

didireallysaythat Sun 14-Jul-13 20:24:40

Check your title deeds - sometimes they exclude things like fences above a certain height and a non friendly neighbour is sure to point this out to you...

amightywhoosh Sun 14-Jul-13 21:07:02

Deeds are 'silent', which, according to solicitor, means we're jointly liable. We're not going to the max legal height

Thanks both

orangepudding Sun 14-Jul-13 21:10:55

I would ask again, tell them you want privacy. If they disagree tell them you will put a fence on your boundary. Hopefully they will change their minds, I would want privacy too.

didireallysaythat Sun 14-Jul-13 21:56:57

Just to check.. What I meant was that your deeds don't exclude it rather than whose boundary it is and the max legal height. The last house we owned the deeds didn't allow a fence along the bottom, it was supposed to be a short hedge. We just put up a fence like our neighbours but the woman a couple of houses along told us we weren't allowed to (but didn't kick up a fuss). Weren't allowed to put up a conservatory either but we did (when selling we were advised to take out insurance if anyone commented on it). I don't think most the time anyone takes a blind bit of notice unless they are feeling in the mood to be awkward.

Periwinkle007 Sun 14-Jul-13 22:01:59

I can understand lower fences in front gardens but I hate low fences in back gardens unless there is a large number of bushes and trees. As long as no restrictions I would just tell them that you will be doing it and put them next to theirs on your land.

WafflyVersatile Sun 14-Jul-13 22:06:24

If you wanted to be nice you could ask if they would prefer trellis above the height of the existing fence then grow something nice up it.

crazyhead Sun 14-Jul-13 22:38:50

I am so with you on this! We replaced our fence with six footers on side A and added trellis to side B which was previously five foot. Our neighbours on B are genuinely pleasant retired people but we are doing lots of work to the house and I ALWAYS see our neighbour peering over having a good look at what we are doing to the house - I suspect he hasn't got enough to think about. I really get it is interesting right now but I resent feeling unrelaxed going to the kitchen in my underwear.

Anyway, my solution is some nice vigorous climbers - my neighbour will have to get a ladder by next year.

Fairylea Sun 14-Jul-13 22:41:52

I'd also want the higher fence. I think I'd ask again and if they refuse and it was my fence I'd do it anyway. I wouldn't be able to relax otherwise.

amightywhoosh Tue 16-Jul-13 07:50:49

Sorry for late reply, have been painting :-(
Thanks very much for all the replies (and moral support - I was feeling weird for wanting my own fence)
Just to confirm - regardless of who owns the fence, if I put a six footer within my boundary, that would be legal? I hate the idea of having 2 fences but if the neighbours dig in their heels then that's what we will do.

PerilsAsinger Tue 16-Jul-13 09:10:36

I believe you are entitled to put up a fence up to 6ft in height on your land (and that's what I'd be doing in your situation).

SoupDragon Tue 16-Jul-13 09:12:37

Why does your wish for a 6ft fence trump their wish for a lower one, given it's shared?

You need to find a compromise.

PerilsAsinger Tue 16-Jul-13 13:06:30

SoupDragon - I suppose it's because every one has the right to erect a 6foot fence in their ground and that suits most people because most people want privacy.

It's not a shared fence unless all parties want to go that way. The OP has said she will pay for her own fence.

All seems perfectly reasonable to me.

SoupDragon Tue 16-Jul-13 13:18:29

My point was that they should look for a compromise. IMO you are a pretty shit neighbour if you can't make compromises.

Being able to do whatever you damn well please doesn't mean that you should.

It is a shared fence unless I have misunderstood the OPs use of the phrase "Fences jointly owned".

PigletJohn Tue 16-Jul-13 13:19:40

if you're going to the trouble of a new fence, I strongly recommend concrete posts or, failing that, concrete spurs with wooden posts bolted to then and raised off the ground.

When you've had to dig out a rotten wooden posts stuck in a big lump of concrete, you'll know why.

Concrete posts can be painted in "bitter chocolate" masonry paint. As well as making them last longer, it enables them to blend in with dark brown stained timber fencing. I'm told there are some people who don't like the look of concrete.

Twirlyhot Tue 16-Jul-13 13:23:54

I loathe those stupid low fences. They give no privacy.

juneau Tue 16-Jul-13 13:25:48

High fences make good neighbours - and I say that as someone who has just lived for six months without a proper fence between us and the building site next door. I've never been so relieved to see a fence in my life as I was when it went up.

You're being perfectly reasonable OP. Who the f* wants their neighbours leering over into their garden all the time???

juneau Tue 16-Jul-13 13:27:12

P.S. It's also a safety and security issue. High fences are harder to climb over and if you have small DC who like to run around the garden naked, like mine do, you want to keep them safe from prying eyes. You never know who's living next door ...

PerilsAsinger Tue 16-Jul-13 13:29:31

Soup - it is a compromise. The OP is paying for the fence herself.

Chubfuddler Tue 16-Jul-13 13:31:00

As long as there is no covenant in the deeds forbidding a fence over a certain height I would go ahead with a six footer on the inside of the boundary, that way the neighbours can't object.

You're not a shit neighbour op. it isn't actually possible to compromise in a situation like this.

SoupDragon Tue 16-Jul-13 14:04:28

How is putting up the 6ft fence anyway a compromise? For a start, they were already going to pay for it.

It's not a compromise by any definition, it's riding roughshod over their feelings. A compromise would have been a solid fence to X height plus trellis and planting.

If you want to piss your neighbour's off, fine. I tend to want to work with mine. [shrug]

SoupDragon Tue 16-Jul-13 14:05:20

(neighbours. Rogue apostrophe)

Periwinkle007 Tue 16-Jul-13 14:33:25

Ok I do agree that just putting up a 6ft fence when they have said they don't want one probably won't be popular but equally I don't see why if there are no legal problems the OP can't just put up a bigger fence to give herself privacy.

I could understand if they have recently replaced it and were worried about having to pay again but it sounds like it is more that they like being able to see what is going on.

If she planted a row of leylandii they wouldn't like that either (and no I am not suggesting she does) but if they don't like high fences and her putting one up might cause a problem then perhaps some new trees or high bushes/hedge would be a compromise?

Naoko Tue 16-Jul-13 14:41:06

Oh I completely understand. My neighbours have just raised the height of the fence between us by about a foot and a half from the previous just-above-waist-height wall and I'm so happy, it's like I have a whole new garden for how different it feels. I couldn't have done it myself (they own, we rent, our landlord doesn't care - if the house was mine I'd have built a 6ft fence years ago) and they wouldn't have either if they hadn't got fed up with me complaining about their livestock escaping into my garden.

It might have been different if I got on with my neighbours - but I don't, and thus I want my privacy from them.

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