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


  • rambo1rambo1 Forumite
    7 Posts
    I have paid for and erected three 6 foot ranch style fences since I first moved into my house 23years ago and have never once asked any of my two neighbours on either side of me for any money towards it. I did tell my neighbours beforehand what I was doing and asked if they had any objection.
    I wanted the privacy therefore it was up to me to pay.
    I wanted it so I had to pay for it
  • hmmm - dont think this thread will run are kindly agreeing that they can erect a higher fence if they want and that is as far as it goes!
  • FelixTCatFelixTCat Forumite
    31 Posts
    If you are jointly responsible for the fence, then any change must be a joint decision. If you do not want a higher fence, tell them so and refuse permission for them to alter the fence. If you do not mind whether or not the fence is altered, then give them permission to alter it but tell them that you will not contribute. Ensure that you get their agreement to this before the work is commissioned.
  • SheepsterSheepster Forumite
    118 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Do bear in mind the possibility that the higher the fence, the more stress it will take in high winds and consequently the more chance of it blowing away.
    They want a higher fence, then they should take the risk of damage. And come on - who has to paint the thing! Big fence is a pain - or maybe I'm just lazy
  • Devonian_RoddersDevonian_Rodders Forumite
    84 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    If the neighbour wants a higher fence then let them pay, particularly if the existing dence has no problems.

    The issue regarding contributing to keep them happy, really allows them to achieve their ideals funded partly by you.
    Furthermore, if the proposed fence is above statutory regulations on height, then you would be equally responsible for its removal if enforcement action was taken.

    I don't believe in funding other peoples goals !
  • dannahazdannahaz Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    As you are happy with the current arrangement, I can see why it is tempting to tell them you won't be contributing.


    Good relationships with neighbours are priceless, and you have NO IDEA how much so until you've been subjected to bad neighbours.

    There are a couple of things to consider.

    Firstly, it's a shared fence. If you don't contribute, then it's likely to cause a little bit of something - uncomfortableness, annoyance, whatever. Is it worth souring a good relationship?

    Secondly, you may want to do something (not necessarily fence related) in the future. You may want your neighbours goodwill

    And thirdly, would ask them why they want a bigger fence, understand their reasons and then I'd agree to pay towards it. Maybe a half, maybe a smaller contribution, depends on what their reasoning is. Maybe they need a bigger fence to block out their neighbours (who may not realise they are causing a problem), but are too polite to say so.?
  • But then what if they want a wall, or then an electric fence, or then a moat between the houses. If its not necessary and its their choice to change it then I wouldn't be putting anything in for it. And surely if it's genuinely not necessary then they would need your permission to do anything to it at all.
  • There's no way of avoiding joint responsibility so I would firstly get the fence inspected to see if it does need replacing.
    Then get your own quote for a replacement fence of the same size (the one you are happy with) - you could then offer half as your contribution towards a replacement. If your neighbour wants a higher fence, he can pay the rest of the costs.
  • Impet_LimpetImpet_Limpet Forumite
    690 Posts
    The fence is not allowed to be above a certain height. I think you may need to find out why they want to increase the size of the fence, and explain why you don't want to contribute. As someone else pointed out, larger fences take more time to maintain!

    I agree with Charleston above!

    We're in the middle of altering our fences, ours is different though, we're "stealing" his current fence

    Our deeds state that the north and east boundaries are party and should be maintained as such. The boundary to the east was a mahoosive hedge that we didn't have time to maintain and had reached about 1.5 wide and 12ft tall!, the neighbour had put up a fence on his side of the hedge to stop his dog running through many years ago. We asked him if he minded us removing the hedges and said if he liked we could move his existing fence to the boundary, so he could reclaim a metre or so of his garden. The fence is only 4ft tall, so we said if he was worried about the sudden "openess" we could stick some trellis on the fence.

    He then surprised us by saying he was thinking of having a slightly taller fence put in anyway (he plans to buy a larger dog!) he never said anything about wanting a contribution from us, but I think we might was well make a shared fence and will therefore contribute (and have a say in what we get!!)
    :kisses2: Got married September 2011:smileyhea

  • Since the title deeds to the houses are not clear on who is responsible for the costs of maintaining the boarder fence; it might be prudent to allow the neighbour who wants to replace the fence with a higher one to do so at his own expense. The real issue here is not who will derive the benefit from the proposed new fence, but who will be bound to maintain it in future. Whoever builds it and pays the costs will set a precedent to maintain it in the future. Liability could also fall on the builder of the new fence if it falls foul of planning rules, and any claims for injury or damage caused ........

    If both parties decide to contribute so that there is mutual control over the materials used, then that contract could be used to establish joint liability as described above. Think before you leap.
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