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


  • happyinfloridahappyinflorida Forumite
    807 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    Usually a fence is only replaced if it's fallen down or broken, so here your neighbours only want to change it to make it higher. So you have a choice.

    Do you get on well? Can you afford to do this? If you're reluctant to spend on it, try discussing it with them - maybe offer to pay half if and when the current one needs replacing, but you don't really want to do this now, so you don't mind if they want to do it but they pay for it?

    If you do get on well though and they give you a good reason for changing and you can afford it, I'd say do it, just to keep things happy as bad neighbour relations can make your life absolute hell.
  • Mouseboy007Mouseboy007 Forumite
    32 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    ....tell your neighbours you do not giver consent to remove the existing fence. If they wish to erect a higher fence, they can do so on their own boundaries.

    Many years ago I had a neighbour who was responsible for a boundary and the fence was in tatters. Rather than touching the boundary fence, I just lost 10inches off of my garden by putting my own fence in place. The boundary still remains but there are no arguments about who pays for the fence, what materials are used etc etc.....
  • We have new neighbours with 3 small children. For 30 years we have socialised across the original4' high brick wall. Now there is a 21st century obsession with privacy.
    Having done some research on party wall as they wished to extend their properity sidewys up to our boundary, we have read the party wall act and fences are not covered.
    However, suddenly one afternoon a contractor came in and installed a monstrous fence. We had no previous notice of this. Charming!!
    the problem for us now is that due to the different levels of the gardens we have fence which in places is well over 2ms on our side, though not on his side.
    Is there any defintion of the 2m rule as to whether it is measured from the higher or lower garden?:mad:
  • CBR400CBR400 Forumite
    3 Posts
    There is no legal requirement to have a fence at all, that said if you have children and/or animals you have to have the means to stop them from trespassing.

    Where a neighbour wants to increase the height of a bounday fence and you see no need for it. Polietly tell them that you object and suggest that if they want a higher fence they should erect a second fence on their side of the boundary and leave the existing fence intact.

    One major issue with fences being replaced is their habbit of moving the boundary line, so if a fence is to be replaced by a neighbour, before it is repalced make sure you do some measurements from the exisitng fence to various fixtures in your garden, tell and preferably show the neighbour these measurements. Once the new fence is erected everyone will assume that this the boundary and prooving otherwise is extreamily difficult.
  • GillsxGillsx Forumite
    56 Posts
    It's simple. Thank them for consulting you. Advise you are not really looking to change the fence, but you have no objection if they wish to change it at their own expence. Done!
  • I've owned several properties and the ownership of fences has always been clearly stated in the deeds as belonging to one or the other - I've never seen shared responsibility but like others, cannot say this is always the case. It's worth doubling checking though. If the fence is shared, then as long as the present fence is in good repair then I would see no reason why you should contribute if you neighbour wishes to replace it. I would suggest that if they wish to do this, and you agree it is ok, then then should take full responsibility for the new fence.
  • KittaKattaKittaKatta Forumite
    64 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    The decent thing to do would be to contribute at least a small amount of money.
    If the fence is in a good state, though, and it's only a matter of its height, then they should offer to pay for it as it's their decision, but at the end of the day you may be happy to have a new, higher fence after all.
    We always ended up paying for our new fences (right, left and opposite) although the deed said that it was a shared responsibility as our neighbours (who took it down in the first place!) claimed that they had no money, the others had a rottweiler and the fence was falling apart so we didn't want the dog in our garden (we were never even thanked for rebuilding it at our own costs!), whilst the opposite ones never gave any worry and we were simply happy to do everything in one go.
    If any of them had offered to contribute, though, we may all have had a much nicer relationship. As it is, we have now moved out of the property and are happy not to have them as neighbours any more.
    Considering that they were all council tenants, though, I would have expected that the Hammersmith and Fulham Council may have contributed. They blatantly refused when we asked.
  • pollypennypollypenny Forumite
    29.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Our neighbours re-arranged their garden, moving a shed and giving us less privacy.

    We bought lattice tops for the fence and grow climbers through it.

    They said they'd go half, but we haven't seen any sign of cash. But we're happier with the improved privacy.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
  • LACEY174LACEY174 Forumite
    13 Posts
    Very odd you are both responsible for the same fence, it tends to be that in most cases one person is in charge of one side of the fence. In our row we have to look after right hand fence, so when my neighbour asked me to contribute to my left hand fence i said unfortunately not as my neighbour on the right wouldnt be paying towards any damage to the right hand fence. But i did know a friend who deals with wood and that could probably do them a deal.

    Double check it, if you both are responsible, then make the decision "do i want the fence they are picking" if not then dont pay, if so then you have no alternative than to offer some of the money, but not specifically half if the current fence does the job.
  • I have a situation where a fence blew down in the wind about 2 years ago. The deeds say our neighbour is responsible for it. After about 6 months with no fence, he "got someone in" to repair it (replacing just the 2 panels that collapsed and the pole between). After fixing the fence, he asked me to contribute. Not wanting to sour relations, I paid about 40% of the cost. However, 9 months later in another storm, one of the posts that wasn't replaced collapsed (rotton at the bottom) pulling down 1 old panel and 1 new panel. 6 months later, our neighbour still hasn't replaced the fence and is hinting at me contributing again (which I am reluctant to do). What can I do? As the deeds state it is his responsibility, is there anything I can do to force hime to replace the fence?
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