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Whose fence is whose?

(32 Posts)
MotherOfInsomniacToddlers Thu 13-Feb-14 09:59:31

Two fence panels have blown down in our garden between us and a neighbouring house, the neighbouring house is a rental and between tenants so there's no one living there.
On the deeds it denotes responsibility by a "T" but only on the side of our house that's on the road side all the other boundaries have no markings. On the info we got from the seller it says that we are responsible for the left side and back but the right side is shared, but the seller was wrong about a few other things (thought she owned two car parking spaces when it was only one) just wondering how I find out? It's the one on the right that the seller says is shared. Is there any way of finding out before I try and find some way of contacting the landlord?

HaveToWearHeels Thu 13-Feb-14 10:35:55

The only boundary you are responsible for is the one with a T on it.

MotherOfInsomniacToddlers Thu 13-Feb-14 10:40:45

But there is no T on the other fence at all? Not on the neighboring side either, the only T's on our entire road are where people houses meet public roads or pathways?

steppemum Thu 13-Feb-14 10:48:08

It is quite common for every house in a line to be totally responsible for the fence on one side, so you would be responsible for the left, and the neighbour responsible for the one one their left.

But your responsibility is what is states on the deeds. It sounds as if the LL is responsible for the one which has blown down. (is does also mean that they might choose not to repair it)

AmIatwat Thu 13-Feb-14 10:52:50

Phone the local council and speak to planning, they can tell you, it might be jointly shared.

MotherOfInsomniacToddlers Thu 13-Feb-14 11:50:54

Deeds don't say, very annoying, seems to only cover the perimeters to public land, don't mind repairing it if it's mine to repair, thanks I think I might ring the council.
The sign for next door now says "let by" so I'm guessing the new tenant will want the landlord to fix it. Don't want to let on to the landlord that I don't have a clue cause he might just say it's mine :-P though if it is I'm responsible for all boundary fences left, back and right, doesn't seem fair. Thanks grin

betterwhenthesunshines Thu 13-Feb-14 12:07:21

Traditionally the fence panels should always be put up with the cross structural supports visible to you if it's the fenace you are responsible for. But you can't rely on this as lots of people mistakenly put in new fencing with the smooth side of the fence facing themselves.

We are responsible for the fence oon the left as we look at the garden, but in my parents house they were responsible for the fence on the right as they looked out so there's no standard rule.

MotherOfInsomniacToddlers Thu 13-Feb-14 13:23:15

Just wish it was marked on the deeds, so it wasn't so ambiguous, I don't mind fixing if my responsibility but potentially more could blow down in these winds and could be hefty paying for all 3 sides. Annoying! Years of renting and never a fence down, only bought this 6 months ago! Sod's law!

AmIatwat Thu 13-Feb-14 13:37:35

OK I think better has given me an idea, OP describe the fence that has blown down, it vertical lolly sticks or wavy horizontal boards, do the panels have little badges on the top (facing your house)

Fairylea Thu 13-Feb-14 13:40:14

I've just been on the phone literally just now to the land registry trying to find out the answer to a similar problem to be told that where there is no obvious markings the fence is deemed to be a party fence, ie both responsible.

Seeline Thu 13-Feb-14 13:45:05

You will need to see the deeds of the neighbouring property too. The T marks are only shown where they relate to the property. If the fence belongs to the neighbour that will only be shown on their deeds. Your deeds show what you own, that's all.

Seeline Thu 13-Feb-14 13:45:29

Oh and Planning will not know - you need land registry.

AmIatwat Thu 13-Feb-14 13:59:41

I meant to say land registry, sorry, I had this issue with a customer and she ended paying for the entire fence even though it was shared.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 13-Feb-14 14:11:10

Your fence will be marked with a T on your deeds.

Their fence will be marked with a T on their deeds.

You won't see their T on your deeds.......I think.

Misty9 Thu 13-Feb-14 14:11:17

I wouldn't hold your breath even if the landlord next door is responsible; there's nothing legally binding to make them repair it. We're having this issue and the landlord of the house next door is saying that the fence is on our land... Pretty sure it isn't and it's his responsibility, but we live here so we'll be footing the bill. That's the front fence; the back one looks decidedly dodgy too but we can ignore that one more easily!

I'm more worried about the bloody great big tree in his garden which looks in danger of being blown over in these winds! It could do some serious damage to our property.

Misty9 Thu 13-Feb-14 14:11:48

Our deeds are also ambiguous

steppemum Thu 13-Feb-14 15:09:22

our fence has the sort of posts where the panels hang between, so no obvious front and back. There is a wall round 2 sides which we assume is ours (as onto public land and school field, so no other houses) The fence between us and neighbour has come down, and we (and they) don't know who is responsible.
Will be a bit cheesed off if we are responsible for 2 walls and the fence!
Our deeds don't say (helpful) as the land was enclosed in 1899 and next door wasn't built then, so fence didn't exist

AmIatwat Thu 13-Feb-14 15:39:33

Are there struts across the boards on one side only? or on both. If it is the former the struts usually face away from the owners garden ( in other words they will be facing you) or if it is the latter type and there are vertical struts there will usually 3or 4 on one side and 2or 3 on the other. The side with the higher number will face the owners property, clear as mud.

MotherOfInsomniacToddlers Thu 13-Feb-14 15:40:49

Thanks fairylea and all. It's fence panels with posts between them so I don't have a front or back of a fence so to speak. I have a plan thing from the solicitor that includes other houses on my street and can see several T's on other peoples properties when it's adjoining a road or path but not when adjoining other private properties, looks like it's been done so that no one tries to get to council to repair their fence but no accountability for fences between properties.
Usually if think a landlord may not repair but surely a new tenant will want it fixed before committing to moving in. Hmmmmmmm
Tbh not in any hurry as the garden isn't usable by the kids as it's a mud slide ATM as we removed gravel but haven't planted grass yet.....might just wait and see if the landlord fixes it/ contacts me!

MotherOfInsomniacToddlers Thu 13-Feb-14 15:41:27

Yes my fence sounds like steppemum

MotherOfInsomniacToddlers Thu 13-Feb-14 15:42:47

Actually the whole situation sounds the same steppemum except my house is only 20 years old

hiccupgirl Fri 14-Feb-14 08:28:26

Our deeds are marked with a T for the right hand fence as you look at the garden from in the house. When we replaced it last year we asked our neighbour which side of the panels he wanted to face his garden and he chose the side with the struts - he said it looked better to him! So you can't always really on that either.

Madmog Fri 14-Feb-14 10:23:52

When we bought our house both sides had to fill in standard pre-printed enquiries and one of the questions was along the lines of which fences do you own. The sellers put "Don't know 100%, but have always maintained the left and back fences". Our solicitor said if that's what the others had always maintained, they had accepted responsibility for, especially as there's nothing on our deeds. Luckily both neighbours are in total agreement who is responsible for what.

So my point is, what your solicitor what answer was given to them on purchase.

steppemum Fri 14-Feb-14 10:31:28

Madmog, that is true, but the answer to the question in our case was 'I don't know'
When you buy you make the decision over these sort of things. We decided that even if we turned out to be responsible for the fence, that wouldn't stop us buying.
We are lucky, our neighbours are great and I suspect (because of previous conversations) that dh and neighbour will replace it between them this summer. They have a vested interest in getting it fixed as they have a dog, so need it to be contained.

Clear as mud just about sums it up grin

Spickle Sat 15-Feb-14 11:12:54

Agree with fairylea, we had the same query. Phone Land Registry and ask if there is a "T" on your neighbours title deeds. If not, and also no "T" on your title deeds, the advice from LR will be to share responsibility. On the Property Information Form our seller wrote "don't know" for the fence we were querying which obviously didn't help. Sometimes people are happy to assume responsibility (gives them the choice to choose type of fencing etc) but if you want to be sure, getting Land Registry's advice is the first step.

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