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Our garden boundary, what are my rights?

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  • IvyFlood
    IvyFlood Posts: 338 Forumite
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    Stand in your garden staring through the glass then let them solve the problem.
    It’s only used as a passage, it’s not a room or conservatory but I get what you are saying.
  • Bendy_House
    Bendy_House Posts: 4,756 Forumite
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    edited 8 July 2022 at 6:51AM
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    IvyFlood said:




    That's an eyesore, right enough, regardless of the fact it has obscured glass. And it does look at tho' they have literally pushed the boundaries when they came to build it!
    The actual build is a fait-accompli, tho', and clearly now't to do with the current owners, although if they have any self-awareness, they must know it's an inconsiderate build, so should feel a bit awkward about it.
    Anyhoo, not a problem to solve :-)
    The good news is that they have a glazed roof too, so even if it had been built for 20+ years and they hoped to have accrued an easement to a right to light, there is clearly no need for the extra light provided by these windows, so I suspect very strongly they wouldn't have a chance. In hell.
    Where it's built is a different issue, tho', and I wouldn't consider for a second trying to suggest they move it back to behind the border line! (The way their sill cuts through the fence is a beaut!) So, the actual garden room ain't going anywhere.
    Sooo, what to do? Whatever you want, from a solid fence, to a light dappled shrub.
    Really, you should approach them first, explain what the issue is, and what you'd like to do about it - you do this out of politeness. Make it clear you obviously don't blame them, as it wasn't their doing, but that you find it very intrusive, and you believe most folk would do so too - offer for them to come around to see it from your side. Explain that you have plans to landscape the garden, and you'd like some greenery along that wall.
    Ok, this is your call, but if you find they are nice folk, fully understanding, and accepting of what you are doing (as they should be), you may wish to consider making it a 'light' screening, with a frondie plant/shrub/bush and not a dense, obscuring wall of green. I dunno ~2m high containable bamboo? Something delicate that moves in breezes?
    Explain you wanted to let them know your plans so they wouldn't be taken by surprise, and you let the conversation go where it needs to for a few minutes. Obviously ask them neighbourly things too, like how they enjoy living in the 'hood, where they've moved from, all that sort of stuff - they might be really nice folk, and this could be the start of a beautiyuoknowwhat.
    You judge what you are dealing with by their response. A 'normal' one would be to completely understand, and agree that you must, of course, do what you feel makes your garden more attractive and private. And "thank you for considering making it a light screening". That's 'normal'.
    Any sense of them trying to claim they are 'entitled' to light, and you 'mustn't', just needs a simple, "If you really believe that's the case, I suggest you get legal advice on this, and you'll find you are mistaken'.
    Bottom line - you can put anything there that you want (other than a tree that'll wreck their foundations...). And what you put there, could largely depend on them, what they are like.
    If they are stroppy and unaccepting, and start saying things like "You do that and we'll do...", type stuff, then you can calmly tell them that one option open to you is to make it a full boarded fence, tight against the border. Stick that up yer whatsit.
    Ok, I don't recommend the last bit, but you get the idea.
    Are you going to remove the slabs and concrete? If not, a large timber trough will do the job.
    Whatever you want to put there, you can - it's your land. But it is always best to have a chat first to explain.
  • IvyFlood
    IvyFlood Posts: 338 Forumite
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    IvyFlood said:




    That's an eyesore, right enough, regardless of the fact it has obscured glass. And it does look at tho' they have literally pushed the boundaries when they came to build it!
    The actual build is a fait-accompli, tho', and clearly now't to do with the current owners, although if they have any self-awareness, they must know it's an inconsiderate build, so should feel a bit awkward about it.
    Anyhoo, not a problem to solve :-)
    The good news is that they have a glazed roof too, so even if it had been built for 20+ years and they hoped to have accrued an easement to a right to light, there is clearly no need for the extra light provided by these windows, so I suspect very strongly they wouldn't have a chance. In hell.
    Where it's built is a different issue, tho', and I wouldn't consider for a second trying to suggest they move it back to behind the border line! (The way their sill cuts through the fence is a beaut!) So, the actual garden room ain't going anywhere.
    Sooo, what to do? Whatever you want, from a solid fence, to a light dappled shrub.
    Really, you should approach them first, explain what the issue is, and what you'd like to do about it - you do this out of politeness. Make it clear you obviously don't blame them, as it wasn't their doing, but that you find it very intrusive, and you believe most folk would do so too - offer for them to come around to see it from your side. Explain that you have plans to landscape the garden, and you'd like some greenery along that wall.
    Ok, this is your call, but if you find they are nice folk, fully understanding, and accepting of what you are doing (as they should be), you may wish to consider making it a 'light' screening, with a frondie plant/shrub/bush and not a dense, obscuring wall of green. I dunno ~2m high containable bamboo? Something delicate that moves in breezes?
    Explain you wanted to let them know your plans so they wouldn't be taken by surprise, and you let the conversation go where it needs to for a few minutes. Obviously ask them neighbourly things too, like how they enjoy living in the 'hood, where they've moved from, all that sort of stuff - they might be really nice folk, and this could be the start of a beautiyuoknowwhat.
    You judge what you are dealing with by their response. A 'normal' one would be to completely understand, and agree that you must, of course, do what you feel makes your garden more attractive and private. And "thank you for considering making it a light screening". That's 'normal'.
    Any sense of them trying to claim they are 'entitled' to light, and you 'mustn't', just needs a simple, "If you really believe that's the case, I suggest you get legal advice on this, and you'll find you are mistaken'.
    Bottom line - you can put anything there that you want (other than a tree that'll wreck their foundations...). And what you put there, could largely depend on them, what they are like.
    If they are stroppy and unaccepting, and start saying things like "You do that and we'll do...", type stuff, then you can calmly tell them that one option open to you is to make it a full boarded fence, tight against the border. Stick that up yer whatsit.
    Ok, I don't recommend the last bit, but you get the idea.
    Are you going to remove the slabs and concrete? If not, a large timber trough will do the job.
    Whatever you want to put there, you can - it's your land. But it is always best to have a chat first to explain.
    Thank you so much for your very helpful reply! I hadn't actually considered the roof so I'm glad you pointed that out.

    I have spoken to the lady of the couple on two occasions, she seems ok, but also like she could be a bit of a fishwife! I will approach them about it but not at this moment as we are having work done at the top of our garden and the skip is actually arriving today - I fear they might put stuff in it as they are renovating this bungalow. I completely agree it is intrusive though and feel nobody would want it in their garden.

    Yes, I am going to remove the slabs and concrete, though I have no idea what's under them, it looks like it could just be soil. I think I will extend the rockery round and probably put big pots with tall trees in.

    I do wonder about the boundary as the side access behind our gate is very narrow, so narrow that you cant fit a digger through, hence why we are digging our garden ourselves! Their side access is much wider but its on a higher up bit of concrete (you can see it where that little brick is towards the bottom of the sill)
  • Bendy_House
    Bendy_House Posts: 4,756 Forumite
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    edited 8 July 2022 at 8:30AM
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    IvyFlood said:

    I have spoken to the lady of the couple on two occasions, she seems ok, but also like she could be a bit of a fishwife! I will approach them about it but not at this moment as we are having work done at the top of our garden and the skip is actually arriving today - I fear they might put stuff in it as they are renovating this bungalow. I completely agree it is intrusive though and feel nobody would want it in their garden.

    Yes, I am going to remove the slabs and concrete, though I have no idea what's under them, it looks like it could just be soil. I think I will extend the rockery round and probably put big pots with tall trees in.

    I do wonder about the boundary as the side access behind our gate is very narrow, so narrow that you cant fit a digger through, hence why we are digging our garden ourselves! Their side access is much wider but its on a higher up bit of concrete (you can see it where that little brick is towards the bottom of the sill)
    You can do what you want along that border. And that is an eyesore, so no-one should be expected to accept it. And there's no need to - you are perfectly entitled to put along there what you choose.
    But please do explain this to them before acting - it really can make all the difference, even turning something they'd be fully prepared to accept (tho' they'd have no choice anyway) into a "Hmmm, how dare they! Without as much as a by your leave...!" There are plenty folk out there who just seem to love having their noses put out. Victim mentality.
    I cannot comment on the boundary, whether it has moved. If these are matching house types, in similar-sized plots, and one side path is larger than the other, then that would ring warning bells, but these are (can be/usually are) nightmare situations to resolve.
    What happens at the front of the house? How do your respective paths run there?
    Are there other similar houses on your road? What are their side paths like?
    How far to explore that is up to you. But please bear in mind that the current owners are almost certainly 'innocent'.
    (You can look back on 'historic' Google maps to try and find when that room was built, and what the boundaries looked like then?)
  • Section62
    Section62 Posts: 7,988 Forumite
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    You can do what you want along that border.

    The OP shouldn't do anything which either undermines the foundations (possibly just a slab) or causes a damp problem. Otherwise there could be legal issues.

    I wouldn't start altering that area until I knew what the neighbour's intentions were and had discussed my own concerns with them... that message should now be coming loud and clear from this thread.
  • Section62
    Section62 Posts: 7,988 Forumite
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    The actual build is a fait-accompli, tho', and clearly now't to do with the current owners, although if they have any self-awareness, they must know it's an inconsiderate build, so should feel a bit awkward about it.

    People don't always see things the way you see them, it doesn't mean a lack of "self-awareness", it could just be that they haven't noticed (yet).

    E.g....
    IvyFlood said:

    I don't know when it was built and thought nothing of it when we bought the house...
    If IvyFlood - whose prospective garden was affected - didn't think anything of it, then why should the new neighbours necessarily "feel a bit awkward about it"?

    It isn't a room they will be sitting in and watching the OP, its a porch.
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 10,849 Forumite
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    Stand in your garden staring through the glass then let them solve the problem.
    Stand, naked, in your garden staring through the glass then let them solve the problem.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • markin
    markin Posts: 3,854 Forumite
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    Wooden trough and Bamboo! But its a bad sign that they open the windows.
  • Rusty190
    Rusty190 Posts: 123 Forumite
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    Brie said:
    Stand in your garden staring through the glass then let them solve the problem.
    Stand, naked, in your garden staring through the glass then let them solve the problem.
    Stand on a chair, naked, in your garden staring through the glass then let them solve the problem.

    Failing that, Google "Screen with envy" for some very nice garden screen ideas - or talk to them.
    They may intend to demolish it, in which case you may not have the problem at all for much longer.
  • frugalmacdugal
    frugalmacdugal Posts: 10,077 Forumite
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    Hi,
    hey, calm down a bit, they're new neighbours, don't need to start of with guns blazing, you might have to be neighbours for another 20 years or so, talk to them, explain your concerns, have them round for a blether and to see your side of the porch, and hopefully come to some agreement.
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