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neighbours tore down my fence and put up on of their own on my property!

(93 Posts)
Pangurban1 Sat 02-Apr-16 20:09:47

I came home from holidays to find my neighbours to my back removed my back fence and put up one instead with ancillary concrete works on my land.

The fence is denoted as my responsibility on my deeds. They are not shared fences. They concreted over electric cables to back of wooden shed. We have a built up patio area at the back and the old fence was a retaining type of fence.

A large limb from our chestnut tree damaged the fence and we were waiting to replace our other fence at the side at the same time. The fence still functioned as a divider and was okay for purposes. They have installed a very high one in its stead on our property.

So, they removed our property which was on our property and we now have their fence on our land. They said the posts were in the same place, but they have been newly concreted on our side so don't know if they were moved in much. There is less space behind our shed. We don't have pictures as weren't expecting someone to tamper with our property like this.

My husband went around and they said the fence couldn't be put back as it was all taken away. They seem to be saying it is a joint or shared fence and they are not asking us for the cost! Not sure if that is for getting someone to pull up our fence and destroying it or building their fence on our land. It is a cheap, dog rough thing. I am looking a a very rough surface. As well as all the lumpy concrete works on our side.

They must have seen the house in darkness for a week and then went for it. Even if it was shared, they should have waited to check. However, as it was our fence it is something else to rip it up without our instruction, never mind permission.

I do not want someone else fence on our property. I wonder if I should I report the theft and destruction of our property to the police? What route do I have to go down to get them out of our property?

Ironically we were going to do the fences in the next couple of months.

Kirriemuir Sat 02-Apr-16 20:13:49

Get a copy of your deeds confirming you own it. Put that with a letter though the neighbours door explaining you are taking their fence down unless they want to do it first and then replace with your own.

Cacofonix Sat 02-Apr-16 21:01:26

Are you sure they are marked as yours on your deeds? Or did the seller's information say that they were yours. In my experience what is stated at purchase doesn't always stand as true. For example our house was marked as all shared boundaries, however each side neighbour believes the fence between them and us is our responsibility (which it cannot actually be). As for rear fences the neighbours really should have gained your permission to access your land to replace the fence. If your deed do actually state the fences are yours and you are not happy with what has been replaced then I agree - a copy of your deeds and a suggested resolution should be put forward. If you think the boundary has been changed then ask for them to be removed. You may have to go down the legal route if this can't be resolved amicably. What a pain!

Cacofonix Sat 02-Apr-16 21:04:27

Also maximum height for a fence is 6ft 6.

Chinesealan Sat 02-Apr-16 21:07:18

You need the actual deeds to prove it's your responsibility.
Why have they encroached on to your property?

LynetteScavo Sat 02-Apr-16 21:12:13

So in a couple of months put up your own lovely fence?

SleepyForest Sat 02-Apr-16 21:16:04

By doing it without speaking to you they have thrown the first punch as it were. Don't feel that you have to keep the peace with these people. The gloves are off.

LIZS Sat 02-Apr-16 21:21:29

I'm doubtful they could take note of you being away and arrange fencing within a week, especially after recent storms and a bank holiday weekend. Although they have damaged your property it is a civil matter so could be costly to pursue. Check your deeds and focus on keeping it amicable. Is it an eyesore or have you lost land?

notapizzaeater Sat 02-Apr-16 21:26:57

Have you legal cover On Your house insurance ? They might be able to advise.

eddielizzard Sat 02-Apr-16 21:29:34

double check your deeds before doing anything, and i'd also download a copy of theirs too.

Pangurban1 Sat 02-Apr-16 22:08:03

Our register deeds state the 3 boundaries by orientation which are our responsibility. This fence is one of these orientations.

Our raised patio was built up against the old fence. The neighbours fence (on our land) has been placed on some sort of concrete bedding. The posts are in new concrete. They would have dug away to place the concrete. We don't have pictures, but there is concrete splatter on the shed and great lumps on new concrete behind the shed, beside and on top of electric cables to the back. There is less space between the shed and where they placed the fence. But I don't have any pictures, because could not have anticipated this happening. It is not too much overall, but they must have dug away to do this. Nice to know some tom, dick or harry was mucking about with our electric cables, which had been well behind our fence.

Pangurban1 Sat 02-Apr-16 22:11:29

They have done a lot of work on their own house. They may be in the business or have family in the business.

Of course, it doesn't make it any better if they planned well in advance to remove and destroy our property and merrily install works on our land.

Pangurban1 Sat 02-Apr-16 22:14:41

The fence is made of cheap panels. The type you'd buy in a home and garden place. The posts were ours. In new lumpen concrete and moved I'm sure, but ours.

Lweji Sat 02-Apr-16 22:15:58

I'd get proper legal advice on this.

Taking down the new fence will be costly and you'd want to recoup the costs from them. Or to fix the problems on your side.

Pangurban1 Sat 02-Apr-16 22:30:31

We wouldn't be able to ascertain what they have dug away. Our back is raised and they would have had access to it when they removed our fence. The concrete is new, so can't see old marks.

I don't want someone's fence on our land, though. That could lead to many resultant problems in the future. So they need to remove it. And seeing as they destroyed ours, tough on the cost of paying towards us replacing it. Don't know how to proceed, though. Do not need this stress!

Imagine, they are not looking for us to split the costs towards their unilateral project (furtively done while we were away) or for removing and destroying our property. Or for working on our land and messing with our electric cable. They deserve a medal for integrity!

SquinkiesRule Sat 02-Apr-16 22:54:11

Do your deeds show measurements from the house along the side fences, I'd plot them back out and see if they've nicked a bot of your back yard.

Pangurban1 Sat 02-Apr-16 23:33:31

No. Our house is Edwardian, no measurements like a modern build. The backs very a little, so not a rule of thumb. It is not a lot in the big picture, but a city garden so shavings off erodes your bit of space.

Can you imagine going on holiday and coming back to find out some tom, dick or harry has taken the opportunity to pull up your fence and cart it away, dug a bit of your land, put in concrete as a hold and plonked a new cheap rough fence of their choosing on your property?

wowfudge Sun 03-Apr-16 01:16:59

I too would be outraged and DP would have been round there like a shot. Nobody who isn't up to no good does that with no consultation. Either that or they are socially inept. Wait until they're away and dig their fence up and reinstate yours. And electrify it grin.

Seriously though, It's criminal damage to remove and dispose of your property. If they trespassed on your land to do so I think it's actually burglary, but the police may not want to press charges. Might be worth a chat with your neighbourhood policing team though - they could point out to these people what they have done wrong. They can be good at smoothing the waters too so you can resolve things.

You need to point out the potential future problems to them too - they may have to declare a dispute if they try to sell if they don't sort things out.

thisisbloodyridiculous Sun 03-Apr-16 09:20:09

You need to get in touch with a solicitor OP - they'll be able to advise on what steps you can take.

tealady Sun 03-Apr-16 09:33:12

How very rude and cheeky of them. You can get up to 30 mins free on advice on boundary disputes from the Royal Inst. of Chartered Sureveyors
And they have a guide on boundary disputes

shalalala Sun 03-Apr-16 09:33:33


Palomb Sun 03-Apr-16 12:35:33

Go round and say thanks for giving us the fence (which they have as it's on your land) but unfortunately you don't like it and you're going to be removing it next weekend unless they do it first.

Then I'd be out there with a chainsaw.

Lweji Sun 03-Apr-16 12:36:33

Sell it on eBay.

AgathaF Mon 04-Apr-16 13:39:40

It's worth seeking advice from your neighbourhood policing team, legal advice team via your house insurance, or legal advice via a union if you're a member of one. Ultimately though, what's done is done, and it may cost you many tens of thousands of pounds to pursue it legally to get your old fence, or one similar to it, reinstated. Or you may spend all that money and be left with exactly what you've got now. So I wouldn't actually start anything off that's going to cost you.

Pangurban1 Mon 04-Apr-16 14:09:56

Yes, going to seek some advice today. We cannot leave someone else fence and concrete footings on our property, though. Whatever workings they have done on our land needs to be removed. Effectively, a stranger has removed our property and put concrete edgings under their fence in it's place. They have also put extra concrete and we don't know how they have tampered with our electric cables, which now have lots of concrete over it.

I am worried about the drainage with so much concrete. This is our raised patio area and any work done was not under the supervision or interest of us, the owners. Someone else has run riot on our property, and it was not to our benefit as it will all have to be dug up to ensure drainage and electrics are safe and secure.

We were worried about burglary and had a friend keeping an eye on the house and taking post in. We have been burgled in our garden. Our fence and trellising were stolen and destroyed by strangers, who trespassed to do this and also trespassed to interfere with our patio.

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