Real life MMD: Should we pay for the fence?

edited 10 May 2011 at 7:02PM in Money Saving Polls
86 replies 50.9K views
Former_MSE_PenelopeFormer_MSE_Penelope Former MSE
536 Posts
edited 10 May 2011 at 7:02PM in Money Saving Polls
Should we pay for the fence?

Our neighbours want a higher fence between gardens, and want to split costs. We think it's theirs as the posts are in their garden, but the deeds say we're both responsible. We never considered raising the fence and won't gain from it, but they're getting quotes. Should we contribute?
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  • boots_babeboots_babe Forumite
    3.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    In one respect this is very clear cut; you don't want the fence and won't benefit from it, so should tell the neighbour you won't be contributing (and why).

    However in another respect, you need to consider what your relationship with your neighbour is like. If you already get on well, then I'm sure they would accept your decision. However if you know them to be potentially difficult, you may be forced to consider contributing just to keep things civil and reduce any problems going forwards.
  • jbetjbet Forumite
    4.8K Posts
    the responsibility of the fence is usually highlighted in the title deeds of the property (usually in a plan)
    North London is Lilywhite
  • scotsbobscotsbob Forumite
    4.6K Posts
    If you contribute then you are entitled to have some input over type of fence and materials used. If neighbours pay all the costs then they can make the choices and you could end up with an eyesore.

    My inclination would be to ensure that I had some control by contributing.
  • bogwartbogwart Forumite
    117 Posts
    I have never heard of two properties sharing responsibility for a dividing fence, but I am not a legal beagle. I have to say that if it is them who want a higher fence, which you don't want, then the financial responsibilities are theirs. I really can't see how they can arbitrarily make a fairly major change like that without your consent.

    The fact that this may prejudice your relationship is a red herring,IMO. They are the ones who are planning to rock the boat. I don't know what the qualification criteria are for getting advice from the CAB or a Legal Centre, but I think it's as well to know where you stand legally.
  • kingarhukingarhu Forumite
    133 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts
    If they want to change the fence and you don't mind then let them know that you have no objection in principal but won't be contributing as it isn't something you would choose to do. If you have joint responsibility then it would seem fairly clear that also have joint rights and they can't just erect some monstrosity without your agreement, so make sure they let you know exactly what is planned and if it isn't appropriate, then tell them so.
  • mr-tom_2mr-tom_2 Forumite
    131 Posts
    Is the current fence fit for purpose?

    Does it serve as an effective border marking between both gardens?
    Is it safe and sturdy?

    To my mind, that would be where the shared responsibility ends. If one party wants more than that, e.g. privacy or a standard of attractiveness, then it is down to them to either win you over to their way of thinking, or to pay for it themselves.

    Whilst I understand and am sympathetic towards the idea of giving in just to keep the neighbour happy, one does have to wonder how far that principle extends and whether they would do the same if the situation were reversed.

    Why not get the composite picture of all of these responses and then give your neighbour the address of this thread?
  • MariscoMarisco Forumite
    42K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    If they want a bigger fence, then let them pay for it! If the one that's there now is in good condition, then there is no earthly reason why you should shell out money on something that does not need replacing!
  • As it's, apparently, a shared fence, tell them your share is the lower half.
  • Funnily enough, just this evening my neighbour has asked me to contribute to a new fence in exactly the same circumstances.

    I'm content with the current fence, and will be politely telling them it's their choice whether they install a new fence, so long as it's in keeping, but I won't be contributing to the cost. I will, however, allow them full access to install the fence.
  • mungamanmungaman Forumite
    32 Posts
    You don't want it, don't pay; it's their choice to do it & if the fence is
    already in good nick, just mention that, & say thanks but no thanks!!
    Good luck.
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