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  • FIRST POST
    • bushbaby22
    • By bushbaby22 30th Nov 17, 10:32 AM
    • 8Posts
    • 1Thanks
    bushbaby22
    Fence repairs - who is liable?
    • #1
    • 30th Nov 17, 10:32 AM
    Fence repairs - who is liable? 30th Nov 17 at 10:32 AM
    Hello

    I am hoping someone can help. We have recently moved to a different county but were fortunate to be able to keep our old house and rent it out. When we were still living there, our neighbour paid for a fence to be put up....it is our boundary side but she wanted a new fence to paid for one to be done just the other side of our boundary so it is more in her garden.

    There were several repairs made on it which she managed to get the council to repair. However, since we have moved, the fence was badly damaged in the high winds earlier this year. When the letting agent contacted us, we said it was not our fence, it was our neighbour's responsibility. We never heard anything about it until a month or so later when we were contacted again by the agent to say that the neighbour had said it was nothing to do with her. We were very confused and wondered if our old neighbour had moved and the new neighbour did not know it was on their property. We then received a letter from our neighbour saying she could not afford to get it fixed and the council would only repair it by using chain link (it is a wooden fence).

    Anyway...cut a long story short, we paid for the repairs. We have now again heard from her that the fence needs more repairs. I am very reluctant to keep paying for these repairs as it is her fence. I have asked for a quote for the fence to be moved back to our boundary but the have said it will be very expensive. What are our rights in regards to repairs on this fence?
    She was very rude to me when I tried to ask about it and is now ignoring me.

    I do not want there to be any issues at all. we lived next to her for many, many years and are quite taken aback by her attitude with this. We also do not want to cause a bad atmosphere with her and our tenants. I know that by moving the fence will just cause huge problems but I do not want to keep paying for something that is not ours!

    Am I being unreasonable? Yes we probably should have come to some sort of agreement when the fence was put up but we didn't.
Page 1
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 30th Nov 17, 10:41 AM
    • 1,189 Posts
    • 1,489 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    • #2
    • 30th Nov 17, 10:41 AM
    • #2
    • 30th Nov 17, 10:41 AM
    I think you've been very reasonable.
    You could erect your own fence just on your side of the boundary. That way, it's your property and you won't have to deal with the former neighbour any more.
    • Stubod
    • By Stubod 30th Nov 17, 10:47 AM
    • 432 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    Stubod
    • #3
    • 30th Nov 17, 10:47 AM
    • #3
    • 30th Nov 17, 10:47 AM
    I would bite the bullet and just build a new fence on "your" side....preferably using concrete posts and a gravel boards and slot in some panels, (at least this should last and make ongoing maintenance easier). Then let the neighbour worry about "their" fence.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 30th Nov 17, 10:51 AM
    • 1,230 Posts
    • 1,012 Thanks
    Comms69
    • #4
    • 30th Nov 17, 10:51 AM
    • #4
    • 30th Nov 17, 10:51 AM
    Ok here goes.


    1: There is no obligation to have a fence. It's an absolute urban myth that keeps going that you have responsibility for a fence.
    2: there is no obligation to repair a fence (and ownership lies with the person who bought it)
    3: Yes just put up your own fence and leave it at that.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 30th Nov 17, 10:51 AM
    • 5,557 Posts
    • 4,947 Thanks
    00ec25
    • #5
    • 30th Nov 17, 10:51 AM
    • #5
    • 30th Nov 17, 10:51 AM
    confusing,
    why did the council undertake repairs at all, is/was one or both of you council tenants?

    if you can prove the fence is on her land and she paid for it then it is her responsibility to maintain. Naturally therefore if she does not and you end up with no fence between the 2 properties that is a different matter
    • AlexMac
    • By AlexMac 30th Nov 17, 11:06 AM
    • 1,963 Posts
    • 1,723 Thanks
    AlexMac
    • #6
    • 30th Nov 17, 11:06 AM
    • #6
    • 30th Nov 17, 11:06 AM
    I'm confused as to whether the neighbour owns her property of is a Council tenant... But, either way...

    So the neighbour paid to errect a fence just inside their (or their landlord's ) land even though historically, you had the responsibility to fence it ( which I assume is what you mean by calling it "your boundary"?). And that there was either never a fence there or, if there was one which you owned, it fell down or was removed?

    Which is good luck for you as it meant you saved a couple of hundred quid due to your neighbour's (or their landlord's) generosity?

    And whether or not repairing "her" fence gives you any rights to it (which I will leave other more legally-tuned minds to ponder; although I suspect that there will be no clear answer) the real problems seem to be that
    - you don't want to / can't afford to pay for either a new fence, nor repairs to "hers"... but that
    - you dn't want to fall out with your neighbour who now wants a bit of give and take from you, as she perhaps feels she did you a favour errecting it in the first time...?

    But, the enterprising neighbour has somehow once again persuaded the Council to errect a fence for you; albeit,
    - just into "her" garden (so, lending you a narrow strip of her garden)
    but
    - not to your standards (Posts and chain link not timber feather edge or panels?

    Or have I got this wrong?

    Your options (short of taking legal advice or court action, which you won't want to do, as you's then have to declare a neighbour dispute when you evenyaully sell) seems to be
    - ignore her, let her sort it out, and lose a friend
    - live with the chain link fence so your tenant can chat to her trhough the wire
    - pay up; either for repairs or a new fence

    Or negotiate some other compromise? If it was me, and again ignoring the leagalities (as I frequently and irresponsibly do!), I'd probably collude with her to let the council put up the chain link, presumably on well-footed concrete or timber uprights (as they have a duty of care and won't errect something likely to fall down in a hurry),. Then I would (with her agreement), use the posts as the basis of a timber fence by adding Arris Rails and feather-edge; or even panels.

    That's effectively what happened when I lived next to a Housing Association property and the fence blew down. I think it was probably "my" fence, (judging by the way the "fair side" faced them and the posts were on mine) but as neither of us could prove it we did a deal; they bought the materials and I put it up!

    Simples!
    Last edited by AlexMac; 30-11-2017 at 11:11 AM. Reason: Afterthought; I assume you're responsible for the usual other expensive maintenance; or are they on a "full repairing lease"?
    • G_M
    • By G_M 30th Nov 17, 11:12 AM
    • 42,269 Posts
    • 49,096 Thanks
    G_M
    • #7
    • 30th Nov 17, 11:12 AM
    • #7
    • 30th Nov 17, 11:12 AM
    As others have said

    * her fence - her responsibility
    * Your boundary - so if you decide to erect your own fence, put it on the boundary
    * no requirement for a fence at all (unless your Deeds specifically specify it - do they?), so - do you want/need a fence?
    * How do your tenants feel about a fence? It's worth considering them to keep them happy
    * Whatever you decide, put it in writing but very carefully. Do not admit liability in writing. If you decide to repair, write that whilst it is the neighbour's fence, you are willing, 'on this occasion as a gesture of goodwill' to help them with the repair
    * or simply write briefly denying responsibility, and do nothing. Neighbour will then either
    a) also do nothing
    b) repair the fence
    c) sue you and lose
    d) write back to you repeatedly - each letter/email which you will ignore
    Last edited by G_M; 01-12-2017 at 11:46 AM.
    • bushbaby22
    • By bushbaby22 30th Nov 17, 1:58 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    bushbaby22
    • #8
    • 30th Nov 17, 1:58 PM
    • #8
    • 30th Nov 17, 1:58 PM
    confusing,
    why did the council undertake repairs at all, is/was one or both of you council tenants?

    if you can prove the fence is on her land and she paid for it then it is her responsibility to maintain. Naturally therefore if she does not and you end up with no fence between the 2 properties that is a different matter
    Originally posted by 00ec25
    To be honest I have no idea if she is a council tenant. I am 99% sure she is...i also have no idea how she managed to get them to repair it before.
    Thanks for your reply though
    • bushbaby22
    • By bushbaby22 30th Nov 17, 2:12 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    bushbaby22
    • #9
    • 30th Nov 17, 2:12 PM
    • #9
    • 30th Nov 17, 2:12 PM
    I'm confused as to whether the neighbour owns her property of is a Council tenant... But, either way...

    So the neighbour paid to errect a fence just inside their (or their landlord's ) land even though historically, you had the responsibility to fence it ( which I assume is what you mean by calling it "your boundary"?). And that there was either never a fence there or, if there was one which you owned, it fell down or was removed?

    Which is good luck for you as it meant you saved a couple of hundred quid due to your neighbour's (or their landlord's) generosity?

    And whether or not repairing "her" fence gives you any rights to it (which I will leave other more legally-tuned minds to ponder; although I suspect that there will be no clear answer) the real problems seem to be that
    - you don't want to / can't afford to pay for either a new fence, nor repairs to "hers"... but that
    - you dn't want to fall out with your neighbour who now wants a bit of give and take from you, as she perhaps feels she did you a favour errecting it in the first time...?

    But, the enterprising neighbour has somehow once again persuaded the Council to errect a fence for you; albeit,
    - just into "her" garden (so, lending you a narrow strip of her garden)
    but
    - not to your standards (Posts and chain link not timber feather edge or panels?

    Or have I got this wrong?

    Your options (short of taking legal advice or court action, which you won't want to do, as you's then have to declare a neighbour dispute when you evenyaully sell) seems to be
    - ignore her, let her sort it out, and lose a friend
    - live with the chain link fence so your tenant can chat to her trhough the wire
    - pay up; either for repairs or a new fence

    Or negotiate some other compromise? If it was me, and again ignoring the leagalities (as I frequently and irresponsibly do!), I'd probably collude with her to let the council put up the chain link, presumably on well-footed concrete or timber uprights (as they have a duty of care and won't errect something likely to fall down in a hurry),. Then I would (with her agreement), use the posts as the basis of a timber fence by adding Arris Rails and feather-edge; or even panels.

    That's effectively what happened when I lived next to a Housing Association property and the fence blew down. I think it was probably "my" fence, (judging by the way the "fair side" faced them and the posts were on mine) but as neither of us could prove it we did a deal; they bought the materials and I put it up!

    Simples!
    Originally posted by AlexMac
    Hi
    I am 99% sure she is a council tenant....but I could be wrong. She did not like the fence that was there before so she paid for a "nicer" looking one to be erected on her property. As far as I am aware she did not approach my other half (it was done before I moved in with him) to say she did not lile it and that is what she was planning to do. You can still see the old concrete posts from the old on on our side...it looks like it was possibly a link fence.
    If she had approached us and said she did not like the fence we possibly would have come to some agreement to erect a newer one...so although you say we were saved a couple hundred quid, it would have been something we would have done eventually.

    It is not so much that I want ro lay claim to her fence at all but I do not see why I should be paying for repairs to something that is on HER property.

    I am not sure it was the council who erected it....she paid for it to be put up and the council has somehow been repairing it in the past....but not now...or at least not how SHE wants it to be repaired! And to say it is not to MY standard I find quite rude. If they can repair rhe fence then that is great....however they choose to do it. But she does not want that. She wants new panels up and for us to pay for it as we paid for new panels after the high winds. When we moved out, there were one or 2 panels which had fallen previously and we were under the impression the council would fix them. It took years (no exaggeration) for them to even come and see what needed doing. When more panels came down and the council offered to fix but not to HER STANDARD, we vit the bullet and paid for the repairs....also because our tenants had been living in the property without a complete fence for a while.
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