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How do i find out who owns my garden wall..?
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# 1
Vindiesel
Old 05-09-2007, 5:53 PM
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Default How do i find out who owns my garden wall..?

Hi all
My garden walll needs rebuilding, and I am trying to ascertain whether it is purely mine, or if i share it with my (terraced) neighbour.

I have heard a rumour that each house only owns the wall on the left..but can't be sure. I have looked at the deeds and whilst ot marks out the house's plot, doesn't advise on the garden walls..

help appreciated!

thanks
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# 2
cuffie
Old 05-09-2007, 6:11 PM
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It is generally true that you would own the wall on the left, however, we lived in a property where a house backed onto the side of us and we owned the back fence too (even though it was on their left when they were in their house....if you see what I mean!). What about the land registry? I think they would outline in colour what is your and what is your neighbours. Have you asked your neighbour to see if they know? (although might be better to try and find out yourself from land registry because if its falling down they might say its yours, even if its not, and then expect you to rebuild it!!)
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# 3
samantha241
Old 05-09-2007, 6:15 PM
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The subject of who owns the walls on left/side and back of your garden should have been brought to your attention when you purchased your house, I know it may seem a long while back but see if there is a questionnaire with your house papers/deeds/solicitor docs. Otherwise, try contacting the local council, they may hold that kind of information or may point you to where to get that info from. If you can't find anything, why don't you suggest to your neighbour that you go halves on it?
Sam :rolleyes:
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# 4
Vindiesel
Old 05-09-2007, 7:06 PM
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yeah unfortunately it wasn't. I only bought over a year ago, and there is nothing on the deeds..not to worry, just gonna chat with next door and see if the y will share the bill

thanks for your help :0)
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# 5
andrew-b
Old 05-09-2007, 7:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vindiesel View Post
I have heard a rumour that each house only owns the wall on the left..but can't be sure. I have looked at the deeds and whilst ot marks out the house's plot, doesn't advise on the garden walls..
This is a common misconception. It is indeed only a rumour that each house is responsible for the left-hand boundary. Although in the majority of properties it may be true, there is no law that says it has to be!
Looking at the Land Registry Filed Plan in the title deeds is the only real way of finding out for sure. If your lucky the plan will have a small letter T on the boundary with the top part of the T being on the inside of the boundary of the property who is responsible for it. However in our case this information is not on the plan at all and so there is "no legal obligation" for us to maintain any of our walls and fences but in the past the neighbours have shared the costs.

Andy

Last edited by andrew-b; 28-09-2007 at 3:18 PM. Reason: Add signature
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# 6
HugoSP
Old 05-09-2007, 8:35 PM
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What Andy says is correct.

In many cases it is actually impossible to establish ownership of garden walls fences etc.

The approach to the neighbour is a sound idea. However who owns a garden wall or fence etc has implications on boundaries.

Consider neighbour A and neighbour B living together.

If A decides to put a fence to mark out his plot then he would/should do so his side of the boundary. If B then does not like A's wall or fence or doesn't consider it suitable (he may have a large dog), B can then put a fence up on his side of the boundary. These fences can touch each other and the boundary would be sanwitched between them.

If A then decides to remove his fence then he can do so but mustn't disturb B's fence, and vica versa.

The problem may arise if A moves out after taking his fence down or not putting one up at all and B has erected his fence. Neighbour C who moves in after A has moved out may quite innocently think it is his fence to do with as he sees fit. In this case a dispute between B and C could ensue.

Such a dispute could become acute if C say decided to build a garage up to what he considers to be the boundary. If he thinks that the fence was put up by his predecessor he may decide to remove part of the fence to allow one wall of the garage to be built in its place. If B put up that fence then he may consider that he has a boundary dispute with C.

In practice it is often impossible to establish exactly where boundaries are. Land Registry titles are usually not accurate enough to give exact positions of boundaries, unless these have been determined by owners. The Land Registry have a procedure for doing this.

However, part of deciding on ownership of a fence may be to establish exactly where a boundary is. So if the boundary is actually on C's side of the fence then the fence would be owned by B, so this 'dispute' could be resolved by research by one or both neighbours to work out where this imaginary line in the garden is. Hence if both parties agree that the boundary is actually C's side of the fence then the fence would fall inside B's land.

C would then have to move his garage wall to lie alongside B's fence, and not build in place of it.

The point of all the waffle is to try and explain the knock on effects of giving or assuming ownership of fences and garden walls.

If the OP's neighbour thinks that the wall belongs to the OP then legally he could be assuming that the wall is built on the OP's land, and that the boundary runs along the neighbours side of the wall.

If the neighbour thinks that the wall is is and not the OP's then he may be (unwittingly) asserting that the boundary runs alongside the OPs side of the wall.

If both neighbours agree that the wall is joint responsibility then they may inadvertantly agree that the wall straddles the boundary.

However if both neighbours simply agree to chip in a get the wall repaired, expressly without prejudice to where the boundary may lie, then it is unlikely that further conclusions can be implied.

The point of this further waffle is that some friendly discussion about exactly where the boundary is when the wall is discussed may not be a bad idea. After all your neighbour may chip in to have the wall repaired now but consider it his right to demolish part of it to build a garage or shed at the end of his garden.

The above is based partly on personal experience and on reading up on other forums etc
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# 7
Vindiesel
Old 10-09-2007, 5:50 PM
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thanks for that andrew, and hugosp..i will just do the old fashiones route and have a chat..after all, if you don't ask, you don't get!

cheers again :-)
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# 8
marleyboy
Old 10-09-2007, 7:35 PM
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This reminds me of when I first moved into my present house, after being greeted by the neighbours, my neighbour asked me if I had any dispute with who owns the fence, (apparently the last owner asked him if he wanted to buy it, and when told "no", he promptly took it with him.

I said that as far as I was concerned, the fence was there when I moved in, and will be there if I moved out. I have a very large garden, and the fence extends itself to 5 surrounding properties, should it ever need replacing, I am sure as good neighbours we could share the bill, unless of course I or they had damaged it, but if not, I would much rather just replace it myself, for my own sake.

The same could be said for the chimney stack, as it is jointly connected, if it were to topple, or be in need of major repair, who would be responcable??
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Last edited by marleyboy; 10-09-2007 at 7:37 PM.
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# 9
ormus
Old 10-09-2007, 9:05 PM
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as been said, boundaries are a real problem area. deeds dont always show up true title. the left hand rule is an old wives tale.
my old house deeds showed the red tees, but they were such small scale, that no one could make them out.
a court judge would never be able to make a decision based on them.

talking to the neighbours is the only answer. ive been lucky and never had any probs.
Get some gorm.
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