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Neighbour's work on their fence caused damage to mine

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Neighbour's work on their fence caused damage to mine

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Paddy148Paddy148 Forumite
2 posts
First Post
MoneySaving Newbie
My house runs side on to three other properties back gardens and I am responsible for the upkeep of the boundary. The first of these three houses is a brick wall, with the other two a wooden fence (it isn't the standard construction of fence panels, it's more like boards hammered into long planks of wood which are then attached to supports). The neighbour who shares the wall boundary with me recently had workmen in to replace the fence they share our neighbour (please see below a rough outline). We had bad winds at the weekend and my fence, where it meets the wall, has fallen over. into the neighbours garden, causing some minor damage. 
The post does not appear to have rotted, and is generally in good condition; it is currently being held up by my neighbours trees, otherwise the whole stretch could be down. I believe that the old fence also supported mine and that whoever put the new fence up hasn't taken this into account and just making it flush with the wall, so when the wind picked up mine has had nothing to help it stay upright and so it has gone over. 
I believe a competent workman should have known that my fence was no longer effectively supported and therefore they are at fault for the damage caused and should cover the cost of fixing it.  I'm new in the area and don't want to cause ill-feeling with the neighbours; but also don't see why I should pay for someone else's error. Can anyone advise on the best course of action?


X= wall        - = my fence     l = the new fence
XXXXXXXX------------------------------------------------
                   l
                   l

Replies

  • neilmclneilmcl Forumite
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    I agree with the above, it's your responsibility to ensure your fence is correctly maintained and supported, it's not you neighbour or the job of their fence to support yours.
  • Paddy148Paddy148 Forumite
    2 posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Can I ask how you know the post that may have been removed wasn't mine? The whole fence was constructed by the house builders so they are all the same across the neighbourhood. I am looking at another corner which is mine along the side and the back belongs to another neighbour - there is one post in the corner to which both fences are attached, if either one of us removed it then the structural integrity of both fences will be compromised, but there is no way of determining who that post belongs too as both fences are attached and rely on it to stay upright. 
    If the layout was the same (and there's no reason to think it would be different if built by the same people) then I'd call it incompetent to remove a post attached to two sides of fencing without considering the impact of leaving one of them unsecured as a result - these were 'professional' people who did the work, not my neighbours having a go at DIY. 
    The post I believe has been removed was on the other side of my fence, so I had no way of knowing that it had gone and that there might be issues as a result. If I was to remove the post in the corner of my garden, at the very least I would inform the neighbour so they could get their side checked. 
  • stragglebodstragglebod Forumite
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    Paddy148 said:
    Can I ask how you know the post that may have been removed wasn't mine?
    Because you said it was the fence that your neighbours shared, not yours. Why you want your neighbours to pay for your lack of maintenance of your own fence is beyond me.

  • The_WarnedThe_Warned Forumite
    28 posts
    10 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Your neighbour employed someone who didn't take account of circumstances and just did the job they were paid to do. This is maybe not ideal, but it's not an offence, nor do you have any contract with them.
    In the circumstances, rather than trying to pin the resulting problem on someone else, it would be far easier to just rectify it and accept there was no harm intended. This  is a good opportunity to meet your neighbour. Who knows, they might be sympathetic.

    "Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in for me!"     Julius Caesar 1964.
  • SeaVixenSeaVixen Forumite
    198 posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    Are you prepared to take your fence down to get a look at the neighbours side of it to find evidence of the post being removed? 
    If not, it's best to assume there was no post. 

    I understand this must be frustrating, but there's very little you can do without evidence. And even with evidence, is it really worth it? 
    Maybe you should also check in with your neighbour on the other side as well, just in case they have any fence works planned in the future so that this doesn't happen to that side too! 
  • EssexExileEssexExile Forumite
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    Paddy148 said:Can anyone advise on the best course of action?
    Just fix it.
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
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