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Garden Fence - Whose Responsibility?
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# 1
thescouselander
Old 24-03-2009, 6:14 PM
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Question Garden Fence - Whose Responsibility?

A fence panel in our garden had broken and needs replacing. I am happy to go 50:50 with my neighbour on the repair but I think they would like to establish if either of us has responsibility for the fence.


I still have the documentation from when we bought the house but the title plan does not indicate who is responsible for the fence. Is there anywhere else I can look to find out if one of us has responsibility for the fence?
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# 2
cattie
Old 24-03-2009, 6:52 PM
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If you still have the property info form from the solicitor when you were buying the house, this usually has a section where the vendor is asked who assumes responsibilty for each of the fences surrounding the property.

Sometimes the questions are answered as unknown though, so are not always an indication of which side of the fence is who's responsibilty.
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# 3
Poppy9
Old 24-03-2009, 6:56 PM
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Who's land are the fence posts on as this usually indicates who the fence belong to.

i.e in my back garden I have a wall for about 10 feet and then concrete posts and wire fence. This was erected at the same time as the houses and are indicated on our deeds as H which means they are party walls/fences and we are both equally responsible. On our side of the wire fence we have fence posts and a wooden fence. This means this is our fence and we are solely responsible for it. It does not mean we have to replace if it breaks as it is solely on our land.

Look on your deeds. If you have a T mark on boundaries whoever has the T is the boundary owner.
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# 4
phead
Old 24-03-2009, 8:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thescouselander View Post
I still have the documentation from when we bought the house but the title plan does not indicate who is responsible for the fence. Is there anywhere else I can look to find out if one of us has responsibility for the fence?
Do you have the title register (the text bit) to go with the title plan? Its often in the text if its not on the plan.
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# 5
thescouselander
Old 24-03-2009, 8:40 PM
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The fence posts are bang in the middle between our properties. Also, the fence posts are between the fence panels and not to one side. The deeds do not show any marking to indicate ownership of the fence, there is only a red line outlining the boundary. The title register doesn't offer any info either.

Also, in the answers the vendor gave to our solicitor they did not know who was responsible for the fences.

I dont know if its relevant but the house in only 10 years old.
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# 6
dieselhead
Old 25-03-2009, 1:31 AM
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I live in a flat but I know in my parents house each house is responsible for the fences to the right of the garden, I think there is a similar idea for the back fence but it is in the title deeds, it might be worth asking around the rest of the street to see if there is and precedent.
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# 7
thescouselander
Old 25-03-2009, 8:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dieselhead View Post
I live in a flat but I know in my parents house each house is responsible for the fences to the right of the garden, I think there is a similar idea for the back fence but it is in the title deeds, it might be worth asking around the rest of the street to see if there is and precedent.
Yes, there are some time arrangements like that but they are not the same everywhere. My other neighbour doesn't know either.
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# 8
Poppy9
Old 25-03-2009, 7:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thescouselander View Post
The fence posts are bang in the middle between our properties. Also, the fence posts are between the fence panels and not to one side. The deeds do not show any marking to indicate ownership of the fence, there is only a red line outlining the boundary. The title register doesn't offer any info either.

Also, in the answers the vendor gave to our solicitor they did not know who was responsible for the fences.

I dont know if its relevant but the house in only 10 years old.
Have you asked your solicitor. Also worth asking if there is a clause that states a boundary fence of X height has to be maintained because if it doesn't and it's a shared responsibilty it will be difficult to force neighbour to share cost if they are not bothered about the fence.

When we moved into our house our neighbours on the right told us we were responsible for boundaries between us and our neighbour on the left told us we were responsible for boundaries between us as they both had their own version of "you are responsible for boundaries to your left/right of your property". We asked our solicitor who told us they are all joint boundaries marked with Hs. We had to wait a while to drop it into conversations that we had checked and it's never been mentioned since
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Last edited by Poppy9; 25-03-2009 at 7:24 PM.
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# 9
frogglet
Old 25-03-2009, 7:46 PM
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If the house is only 10 years old, isn't there a deed of covenent, with all the various things that are allowed and not allowed? Our house is 15 years old and we got a 6 page document stating everything from the colour we could paint the house to fencing and trees and satellite dish placement.
I am not sure how you get a replacement one if there is one but you weren't given a copy or how you find out if there is one.
We have lived in our house from new, so it was with all the details sent to the soliciter by the builders.
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# 10
daveyjp
Old 25-03-2009, 9:00 PM
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Its a fence panel - cost not a lot - just talk to your neighbour and get it changed. Life's too short to spend months trying to find who is responsible.
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# 11
thescouselander
Old 26-03-2009, 8:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveyjp View Post
Its a fence panel - cost not a lot - just talk to your neighbour and get it changed. Life's too short to spend months trying to find who is responsible.
Its actually a bit more than that. The fence post has snapped and its going to be a fair bit of work to dig it out and install a new one. By the looks of it the rest of the fence posts could go quite soon too so I would like to get this sorted out.

As I said, I am happy to go 50:50 but my neighbour is not.

Last edited by thescouselander; 26-03-2009 at 10:15 AM.
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# 12
missile
Old 26-03-2009, 9:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thescouselander View Post
Its actually a bit more than that. The fence post has snapped and its going to be a fair bit of work to dig it out and install a new one. By the looks of it the rest of the fence posts could go quite soon too so I would like to get the bottomed out.

As I said, I am happy to go 50:50 but my neighbour is not.
How much for a new fence? If the neighbour does not want to pay, you could end up arguing for months, upset your neighbour and get nowhere. Life is too short, some battles are not worth fighting. Maybe he does not think it is important as you do? If it bothers you get it done.
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# 13
savemoney
Old 26-03-2009, 9:54 AM
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Our fence is going and needs replacing, no idea who owns it but wouldn't dream of asking them even though they have a dog because they wouldn't give a flying heck
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# 14
thescouselander
Old 26-03-2009, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missile View Post
How much for a new fence? If the neighbour does not want to pay, you could end up arguing for months, upset your neighbour and get nowhere. Life is too short, some battles are not worth fighting. Maybe he does not think it is important as you do? If it bothers you get it done.

I dont care about the fence. They approached me and asked me what I am going to do about it because they like their privacy. I am prepared to be reasonable about this but if they insist the fence is my responsibility I will just take the whole thing down.
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# 15
savemoney
Old 26-03-2009, 10:17 AM
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If they want there privacy they either pay the full amount of at least you pay half if its fair to both sides
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# 16
thescouselander
Old 26-03-2009, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savemoney View Post
If they want there privacy they either pay the full amount of at least you pay half if its fair to both sides

Yes, that is exactly my position.
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# 17
Poppy9
Old 26-03-2009, 5:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thescouselander View Post
I dont care about the fence. They approached me and asked me what I am going to do about it because they like their privacy. I am prepared to be reasonable about this but if they insist the fence is my responsibility I will just take the whole thing down.
You definitely need to find out your position if your neighbour is putting responsibilty on you. As I previously said both neighbours when I moved into my house were quick to tell us we were responsible for all the fences/walls and we weren't.
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# 18
rustybucket
Old 26-03-2009, 7:04 PM
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What side are they on as you look from the front of your property? We are also responsible for the fences to the right as someone else mentioned. You could try asking other neighbours to see if they know?

Why rip the whole fence down? Isn't that just being stubborn and causing potential issues between you?
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# 19
thescouselander
Old 26-03-2009, 7:34 PM
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Originally Posted by rustybucket View Post
What side are they on as you look from the front of your property? We are also responsible for the fences to the right as someone else mentioned. You could try asking other neighbours to see if they know?

Why rip the whole fence down? Isn't that just being stubborn and causing potential issues between you?
I don think so. I'm not bothered about the fence. My neighbour was quite confrontational asking what I am going to do about it - its probably not my sole responsibility anyway.

Why should I pay just because they want their privacy. Even if the fence is mine (which I don't think it is) I don't have to fix it anyway. As I said, the rest of the fence looks like it might fall down soon and I dont want to spend money on replacing the whole thing myself - it is simply not a priority for me.

I have done my best to find out if I own the fence, I have:

1) Checked the title plan
2) Checked the documentation from my solicitor when I bought the house
3) Asked the neighbours

Nobody seems to know the answer. I just want to make sure I have exhausted every avenue of investigation in case things escalate further.

As I said, I will go halfs and I think that is reasonable.
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# 20
Orford
Old 26-03-2009, 8:37 PM
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Thes are 2 useful sites:
http://www.boundary-problems.co.uk/framehome.htm

http://www.gardenlaw.co.uk/phpBB2/index.php
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