Real-life MMD: Should we pay to shrink our garden?

Former_MSE_Debs Former MSE Posts: 890 Forumite
edited 3 January 2013 at 3:13PM in MoneySaving polls
Money Moral Dilemma: Should we pay to shrink our garden?

We've just bought a house and moved in. Last weekend, our new neighbour came around and apologetically explained she'd just found out the garden fence is in the wrong place (and has been for years). Moving it will mean we lose a portion of our garden. We've checked with the Land Registry and she's right – but she wants us to share the cost. As I see it, she is the one gaining garden, so she should pay.

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  • lauh88
    lauh88 Forumite Posts: 121
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    They've probably been waiting for ages for you to move in so they can get their hands on the extra land. If they want it they should pay for it, it's not your fault!
  • barginpleasure
    barginpleasure Forumite Posts: 48
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 2 January 2013 at 11:26PM
    This should have been picked up on in the conveyancing and you could have said you would only buy the house if the fence was moved before contracts exchanged or your not paying as much because you will loose a bit of garden.
    Unfortunately as you say the land is theirs so they can not be made to pay for that. !I would say to them you wont pay for the fence as if it was you, you would do it yourself or as you can appreciate just bought a house money is tight. !No way you should pay.
    I would say go back to the conveyancer/solicitor and question why they did not pick up on this and maybe make them pay.
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Forumite Posts: 35,458
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    People with a tape measure and a Land Registry plan are a menace!

    Boundaries move over time. If the boundary has been in place "for years" then that is the new boundary.

    You shouldn't be paying towards it and you shouldn't be letting her move the fence either.
  • BigAde
    BigAde Forumite Posts: 439 Forumite
    I wouldn't take the word of the neighbour on this matter.

    Check with the solicitor who did the conveyancing. You can also check the filed plan on the deeds - it may indicate who is responsible for the boundary fence.
    Ah! Good old trusty beer... I hope you never change.
  • kittycat204
    kittycat204 Forumite Posts: 1,824 Forumite
    No way would I pay, I would question them every step of the way. You will be losing garden and value on your property.

    Get some professional legal advise. There are free drop in's at places, use a few of them to get a clearer idea.
    Opinion on everything, knowledge of nothing.
  • scotsbob
    scotsbob Forumite Posts: 4,632 Forumite
    Shoddy work by your solicitor, get in touch with them first.

    If your neighbour pays then they will be choosing the new fence, it may not be a style/size/colour of your liking and you are going to be looking at it.

    If you contribute to cost then you can be involved in choices.
  • darkwarrior
    darkwarrior Forumite Posts: 234
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Absolutely not, like paying to be punched in the face. Like others have said, check if the boundary hasn't changed in your favor.

    How much space are we talking about?
  • telsco
    telsco Forumite Posts: 115
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Go to your solicitor and A: ask them why the hell they missed it and B: get them to contact your neighbour to suggest selling you the small strip of land and have the new land registered. Land is cheap compared to a building, so shouldn't cost much.
    It could save money and a lot of mess for both sides.

    If your neighbour refuses that idea, then just say you won't pay for your share of any new work as the fence in that area doesn't belong to you as its not on your land.
  • Cumbrian_Male
    Cumbrian_Male Forumite Posts: 1,513
    1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    If the fence has been there for more than, I think 7, years then the land is yours. If they haven't contested it then the deeds should have been changed by the previous owner. Get legal advice now. A. your solicitor should have picked up on it. B. If it hasn't been contested then ownership has changed and C. Is this a long running neighbour dispute which you haven't been made aware of and now you're new they are chancing their arm?

    Sue the vendor if the later is the case, but get your solicitor onto it now. They are insured for !!!! ups and you shouldn't lose out.
    I have a cunning plan!
    Proud to be dealing with my debts.

  • Tiptaker
    Tiptaker Forumite Posts: 41 Forumite
    How much land are you talking about - half your garden or a tiny strip? I'd go with Cumbrian Male on this - I guess it's been the situation for years (how long did the previous owners live there?) and your neighbours have tried to get it changed before with no joy and are hoping that you, in the interests of new neighbourliness, will roll over and comply. You don't want to start off on the wrong foot with neighbours so stand back and tell them you will let your solicitor deal with it. On the other hand they may be the neighbours from hell and you just don't know it yet! Any which way, it's not your fault so you shouldn't have to pay - it's either down to them or your solicitor, but not you!
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