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Neighbours have ruined my fence

167 replies

ElsLouise · 14/03/2023 08:12

Very long story short, but my new neighbour has ruined our fence (in our deeds) by staining their side without our permission. They lied and told me it was a treatment, when I asked them when it would dry clear (which they also assured me it would do!) As it's a stain, it cannot be jet washed or sanded off. It's affected about 30/40ft of around 120ft of our boundary. We hate the colour so will not be staining ours, plus it would only damage our other fences when it seeps through. I just want to know where I stand. I've reached out, they offered to go halves on the stain (jokers!!... Not happening) in my eyes the only way to rectify this is by replacing the whole thing. I've read that this is criminal damage?

I've reached out and they were semi playing ball, then she deleted Facebook so I posted her a note and have not heard back so will be knocking on her door this week but wanted some further info first. They also have stopped painting the rest of their fences which to me proves guilt!

Excuse the dead winter grass these images were taken last year lol. It's died down a little but the darkness is still there.

Neighbours have ruined my fence
Neighbours have ruined my fence
OP posts:

Dumpruntime · 14/03/2023 11:31

Painting that kind of fence wood is vandalism

this wins the internet today 😂


m00rfarm · 14/03/2023 11:32

Dumpruntime · 14/03/2023 11:29

I love it when someone comes on acting like everyone’s an idiot who doesn’t know how to look at a photo. Listen here folks, this is how to mumsnet 😂

we have looked at the whole photo. It’s nothing a stain won’t fix. Give over

Then clearly your standards are well below
mine when it comes to neighbours ruining a perfectly good fence. And your idea of fair play is to stain it a colour you don’t want at your cost and In your own time. Gotta love mumsnet.


RudsyFarmer · 14/03/2023 11:36

It does look terrible. God knows what you do. Do they own or rent?


TheFlis12345 · 14/03/2023 11:38

I can’t believe how many people think the OP is being unreasonable. We got a new fence recently, it cost a bloody fortune and if the neighbours had damaged it irreparably like that I would be absolutely furious.

Thankfully our neighbours aren’t arseholes, they did want to paint their side to match the rest of their fencing but they asked permission, did a patch test in an agreed area that wouldn’t show and left that to settle and us to check before painting the rest.


hallodarknessmyoldfriend · 14/03/2023 11:43

That looks awful, I would be pissed.


TheFlis12345 · 14/03/2023 11:47

Oh and ‘just stain your side’ is not a satisfactory answer. The OP would have stained the fence if they wanted it stained. In no other circumstances would people say ‘oh don’t worry that someone has damaged a really expensive piece of your property, just paint over it, doesn’t matter if it doesn’t match the rest’. Would you say that if they had got paint on a panel of your car? No.


LemonSwan · 14/03/2023 11:48

Oh god disaster. I think you need to talk to the other neighbours. If you stain your side you also have to stain your others. If they are not ok with that then you can’t have one stained fence.

It’s better to go at it from this point of view that they have made work not just for you but the whole of the estate. As it will then knock onto to every bloody owner.

And that said probably best off they just pay for replacement of that section.


APurpleSquirrel · 14/03/2023 11:54

Interesting - I'm on a new build estate (well it's 10ths old now). Our fence that is on the perimeter of the estate is owned by us - found that out when it blew down in the storms last year & we had to pay to replace it. But our fences that are on either side with our neighbors who are also on the estate are shared fences, so we both own them, both liable for repairs but also can both do what we want on them. One side has painted their side of the fence dark grey & we've painted ours sage green.
I think you need to decide if it's worth the hassle & aggravation to pursue it not to mention you'll need to bring it up should you come to sell.


bubbles2023 · 14/03/2023 11:59

I would be fuming. We paid a lot for our new fencing (horizontal slats) which matches the skirting of the decking and pergola. If it had stains on it caused by a neighbour then to stain all the wood that dark colour would look horrible. The neighbours should've approached you first so that perhaps you could've all agreed on a stain that you were happy with.


SirChenjins · 14/03/2023 12:08

Ooft - that’s bad OP Shock what the hell did they use that would sink through to the other side like that?
I don’t think I’d immediately go down the legal route but I’d definitely be speaking to them again and get them to come up with an alternative solution. A professional jet wash maybe? Don’t know if that would damage the wood though.

Do you definitely own the fence - it’s not a shared boundary fence, is it?


themessygarden · 14/03/2023 12:14

Oh my gosh, it is dreadful, they really have ruined your side of the fence, I'm sorry for you.

The original weathered grey look is lovely, even if you change it all now, it will never match up with the rest of the fence. Staining all the fence will be such a pain, constant maintenance, so even if you did agree to staining to match in with their ugly brown colour, you are left with an ongoing maintenance job that you never wanted. I hope you can find a solution.


ThatsNiceVeryNice · 14/03/2023 12:21

OP, you should try some paint stripper. They are much safer than they used to be and should take the edge off the stain. It wont look great straight away but if you remove some of the stain then leave the fence to weather again it will probably look fine soon enough.

There are specialist products for removing stain from fencing - I haven't used them but they are worth a look.

Here is one from a quick google I'm sure there will be plenty more.

You ask the neighbour to pay??


Gincan · 14/03/2023 12:36

I'd be annoyed too, it will have to be stained quite dark to cover it which is not what I would choose. We're planning to stain ours and have offered to do the neighbours side at the same's our fence we are protecting and it seemed polite to cover any leakage. I'd not be happy if they did it themselves in a colour we hadn't agreed on, seems a bit cheeky to me, it's not their property!


VintageThoughts · 14/03/2023 12:57

Looks awful OP - I'd be sad too.

Trying to look for positives but all I've got is, at least they didn't paint it grey.


premicrois · 14/03/2023 13:06

There is no way it needs replacing and nobody is going to agree that should happen. It's a fence and it still functions as a fence. Replacing it is batshit. I understand your annoyance because what your neighbours have done is awful, but I don't think a new fence is the resolution.


Odalisque · 14/03/2023 13:09

WonderingWanda · 14/03/2023 10:15

Nice cat!

I'll be honest, I thought it was a huge squirrel before I put my glasses on Grin


WonderingWanda · 14/03/2023 13:14

I've just remembered they I used some sort of wood bleach on a fire surround years ago to remove a nasty orange wood stain. You could try that, it might lift it enough to use a lighter but nicer stain on it.


Xant · 14/03/2023 13:18

I’d be very upset too, you had a natural coloured fence (in perfect condition despite what others are saying) and they’ve put a chavvy colour on their side that has ruined your fence.

If the fence definitely belongs to your property I’d drop a note round saying the fence belongs to you, they have painted it a dark colour without permission and you require the entire damaged section of fence to be replaced or you’ll bring a claim against them in the small claims court, which you will win.

If they wanted a dark fence they should have installed their own, next to your fence.


Londongent · 14/03/2023 13:26

Paint your side multi coloured of purple, pink, brown and orange then flip the panels round


ComeTheFckOnBridget · 14/03/2023 13:27

I think they probably thought it wouldn't cause any issues to your side and is a genuine mistake. Replacing the whole fence seems a little excessive, why don't you just request that they provide you with the stain so that you can do your side too?


MissMaple82 · 14/03/2023 13:55

The ghastly things need painting anyway!


TheFlis12345 · 14/03/2023 14:03

ComeTheFckOnBridget · 14/03/2023 13:27

I think they probably thought it wouldn't cause any issues to your side and is a genuine mistake. Replacing the whole fence seems a little excessive, why don't you just request that they provide you with the stain so that you can do your side too?

Because the OP doesn’t want the fence they paid good money for stained a dark colour that they don’t like and which doesn’t match their other fences!!


journeyofsanity · 14/03/2023 14:04

HyacinthineMacaw · 14/03/2023 08:40

Mumsnet is the only place I know where people are utterly proprietorial over the colour of fences - out in the real world I’ve never encountered anyone who didn’t think it was okay for next door to paint their side, no matter whose fence it is.

They say good fences make good neighbours. Not sweating this sort of stuff contributes massively.

Paint their side sure, but not when it leeches through to your side leaving you with a mottled mess. I doubt anyone Would be cool with that


ElsLouise · 14/03/2023 15:22

I totally agree with this. But these are new build houses and they had been in 3 weeks 🤦🏼‍♀️ the fences were brand new!

OP posts:

Gettingonabitnow · 14/03/2023 15:24

Id be mega pissed off too, it’s a right mess, and anyone else on here who says otherwise needs to zoom in a bit.

Id source a quote for someone to paint it on your behalf, given it to them in writing with 14 days to respond, or you’ll formally contact your insurance company and then it’s out of your hands.

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