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  • LPCstudent
    Since the title deeds to the houses are not clear on who is responsible for the costs of maintaining the boarder fence; it might be prudent to allow the neighbour who wants to replace the fence with a higher one to do so at his own expense. The real issue here is not who will derive the benefit from the proposed new fence, but who will be bound to maintain it in future. Whoever builds it and pays the costs will set a precedent to maintain it in the future. Liability could also fall on the builder of the new fence if it falls foul of planning rules, and any claims for injury or damage caused ........

    If both parties decide to contribute so that there is mutual control over the materials used, then that contract could be used to establish joint liability as described above. Think before you leap.
  • raaowdot
    They probably need a Party Wall agreement. If you don't want to have a higher fence and want to stop them I'm pretty sure they should have an agreement otherwise they can't change it.

    Try and get a copy of the Party Wall Act.
    Similar problem - what do you think?
    I have a similar problem to this in that my neighbours garden is overgrown and has damaged the dividing fence. Its my responsiblity on the deeds, but am reluctant to pay the full amount when its their garden that has caused the damage - advice please.

    Also, same neighbour has an unkept roof which is leaking and causing damp in one of our bedrooms - she won't fix it - what is your advice on dealing with this?
  • babyjaike
    I also agree with others that you shouldn't pay, however...what about suggesting the option of fence toppers - the pretty(?) trellis/lattice panels that can sit on the top of existing panels??
    You get to keep the perfectly functional existing fence and they get to buy & add the height they win x
    • Impet Limpet
    • By Impet Limpet 11th May 11, 10:12 AM
    • 688 Posts
    • 310 Thanks
    Impet Limpet
    The Party Wall act does not cover wooden fences.

    Don;t know if this helps the tree that damages your fence
    Got married September 2011

  • Princessarah
    As it's, apparently, a shared fence, tell them your share is the lower half.
    Originally posted by MartinWickham

    Pure Genius!
  • Global_D
    Not sure if this does come under the Party Wall Act as its a fence. Where a boundary is shared by 2 properties and one wishes to build anything on the boundary line then there must be a party wall agreement which you can pursue if you aren't happy about any proposed changes.

    Normally fences aren't an issue as they are attributed to one side of a boundary line. In this case it is on the line and the maintenance is both properties responsibility. Perhaps you can suggest that if they wish to increase the fence height they can... at their cost and also ensure that they take sole responsibility for maintaining the fence. You don't want to become responsible for maintaining the increased height in something that you didn't want.
    Last edited by Global_D; 11-05-2011 at 10:35 AM.
    2011 - unsecured debt free
    2036 - mortgage free
    • clw1
    • By clw1 11th May 11, 10:31 AM
    • 179 Posts
    • 214 Thanks
    I think it depends on what condition the fence is in, if it's in poor condition then I would say that both neighbours should split the cost of replacement but if it is in good condition and the neighbours just want to raise it for privacy then they should pay.

    Alternatively as a previous poster has suggested offer to go 50/50 on adding trellis to the top.
    • zx81
    • By zx81 11th May 11, 10:34 AM
    • 24,105 Posts
    • 26,833 Thanks
    You might want to question why they want a bigger fence. Are you and your family particularly ugly? Do people recoil in horror when they meet you?

    This may be more complex than it seems....
  • Marco12452
    If the current fence is in good condition and adequate, why should you be out of pocket to suit their requirements.
    If you are on good terms with the neighbours though, be diplomatic with your refusal.
    If the fence is in poor condition and needs replacing, then yes, you should contribute if it is a shared responsibility. There is no need to upgrade the product though, a straight replacement will suffice.
  • birkos
    should they pay for the fence???
    I am in the same boat. the boundary is shared but the old fence got blown down in a storm a year ago and have only got around to looking at getting a new one.

    I got 3 quotes for a replacement fence and asked if the neighbour would contribute, he said he liked the fact there was no fence there and he couldnt afford to contribute anything to the cost. I obviously cant force them to pay but we need a fence up as there is no privacy!

    Does anyone know what the legal stance on this would be? I don't want to be a demanding neighbour but I also dont want to sink all the costs myself ... does anyone have any advice??
    • happyinflorida
    • By happyinflorida 11th May 11, 11:37 AM
    • 781 Posts
    • 671 Thanks
    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.
    • mouseboy007
    • By mouseboy007 11th May 11, 11:39 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    Easy Solution
    ....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.....
  • chesilfan
    Garden Fence
    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?
  • CBR400
    Simple solution
    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.
    • Gillsx
    • By Gillsx 11th May 11, 12:25 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    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!
    • stmartinsdiver
    • By stmartinsdiver 11th May 11, 12:28 PM
    • 123 Posts
    • 130 Thanks
    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.
    • KittaKatta
    • By KittaKatta 11th May 11, 12:38 PM
    • 60 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    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.
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 11th May 11, 12:42 PM
    • 27,001 Posts
    • 71,027 Thanks
    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!)
    • LACEY174
    • By LACEY174 11th May 11, 12:47 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    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.
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