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    • boots_babe
    • By boots_babe 10th May 11, 8:51 PM
    • 2,894 Posts
    • 1,380 Thanks
    boots_babe
    • #2
    • 10th May 11, 8:51 PM
    • #2
    • 10th May 11, 8:51 PM
    In one respect this is very clear cut; you don't want the fence and won't benefit from it, so should tell the neighbour you won't be contributing (and why).

    However in another respect, you need to consider what your relationship with your neighbour is like. If you already get on well, then I'm sure they would accept your decision. However if you know them to be potentially difficult, you may be forced to consider contributing just to keep things civil and reduce any problems going forwards.

    • jbet
    • By jbet 10th May 11, 9:20 PM
    • 4,734 Posts
    • 2,796 Thanks
    jbet
    • #3
    • 10th May 11, 9:20 PM
    • #3
    • 10th May 11, 9:20 PM
    the responsibility of the fence is usually highlighted in the title deeds of the property (usually in a plan)
    North London is Lilywhite
    • scotsbob
    • By scotsbob 10th May 11, 9:21 PM
    • 4,462 Posts
    • 6,958 Thanks
    scotsbob
    • #4
    • 10th May 11, 9:21 PM
    • #4
    • 10th May 11, 9:21 PM
    If you contribute then you are entitled to have some input over type of fence and materials used. If neighbours pay all the costs then they can make the choices and you could end up with an eyesore.

    My inclination would be to ensure that I had some control by contributing.
  • bogwart
    • #5
    • 10th May 11, 9:41 PM
    • #5
    • 10th May 11, 9:41 PM
    I have never heard of two properties sharing responsibility for a dividing fence, but I am not a legal beagle. I have to say that if it is them who want a higher fence, which you don't want, then the financial responsibilities are theirs. I really can't see how they can arbitrarily make a fairly major change like that without your consent.

    The fact that this may prejudice your relationship is a red herring,IMO. They are the ones who are planning to rock the boat. I don't know what the qualification criteria are for getting advice from the CAB or a Legal Centre, but I think it's as well to know where you stand legally.
    • kingarhu
    • By kingarhu 10th May 11, 9:43 PM
    • 123 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    kingarhu
    • #6
    • 10th May 11, 9:43 PM
    Rights as well as responsibilities
    • #6
    • 10th May 11, 9:43 PM
    If they want to change the fence and you don't mind then let them know that you have no objection in principal but won't be contributing as it isn't something you would choose to do. If you have joint responsibility then it would seem fairly clear that also have joint rights and they can't just erect some monstrosity without your agreement, so make sure they let you know exactly what is planned and if it isn't appropriate, then tell them so.
  • mr-tom
    • #7
    • 10th May 11, 9:47 PM
    Fence
    • #7
    • 10th May 11, 9:47 PM
    Is the current fence fit for purpose?

    Does it serve as an effective border marking between both gardens?
    Is it safe and sturdy?

    To my mind, that would be where the shared responsibility ends. If one party wants more than that, e.g. privacy or a standard of attractiveness, then it is down to them to either win you over to their way of thinking, or to pay for it themselves.

    Whilst I understand and am sympathetic towards the idea of giving in just to keep the neighbour happy, one does have to wonder how far that principle extends and whether they would do the same if the situation were reversed.

    Why not get the composite picture of all of these responses and then give your neighbour the address of this thread?
    • Marisco
    • By Marisco 10th May 11, 11:11 PM
    • 33,063 Posts
    • 98,223 Thanks
    Marisco
    • #8
    • 10th May 11, 11:11 PM
    • #8
    • 10th May 11, 11:11 PM
    If they want a bigger fence, then let them pay for it! If the one that's there now is in good condition, then there is no earthly reason why you should shell out money on something that does not need replacing!
    • MartinWickham
    • By MartinWickham 10th May 11, 11:28 PM
    • 38 Posts
    • 78 Thanks
    MartinWickham
    • #9
    • 10th May 11, 11:28 PM
    • #9
    • 10th May 11, 11:28 PM
    As it's, apparently, a shared fence, tell them your share is the lower half.
    • pennypinchUK
    • By pennypinchUK 10th May 11, 11:29 PM
    • 382 Posts
    • 732 Thanks
    pennypinchUK
    Funnily enough, just this evening my neighbour has asked me to contribute to a new fence in exactly the same circumstances.

    I'm content with the current fence, and will be politely telling them it's their choice whether they install a new fence, so long as it's in keeping, but I won't be contributing to the cost. I will, however, allow them full access to install the fence.
  • mungaman
    You don't want it, don't pay; it's their choice to do it & if the fence is
    already in good nick, just mention that, & say thanks but no thanks!!
    Good luck.
  • rambo1
    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
    • reluctantworkingmum
    • By reluctantworkingmum 11th May 11, 1:12 AM
    • 126 Posts
    • 115 Thanks
    reluctantworkingmum
    hmmm - dont think this thread will run long......you are kindly agreeing that they can erect a higher fence if they want and that is as far as it goes!
  • FelixTCat
    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.
    • Sheepster
    • By Sheepster 11th May 11, 7:14 AM
    • 112 Posts
    • 129 Thanks
    Sheepster
    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 Rodders
    • By Devonian Rodders 11th May 11, 8:07 AM
    • 70 Posts
    • 64 Thanks
    Devonian Rodders
    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 !
    • dannahaz
    • By dannahaz 11th May 11, 8:43 AM
    • 1,069 Posts
    • 4,413 Thanks
    dannahaz
    As you are happy with the current arrangement, I can see why it is tempting to tell them you won't be contributing.

    However...

    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.?
  • bennett2kuk
    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.
  • charleston
    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 Limpet
    • By Impet Limpet 11th May 11, 9:16 AM
    • 688 Posts
    • 310 Thanks
    Impet Limpet
    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!!)
    Got married September 2011

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