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  • FIRST POST
    • gazfocus
    • By gazfocus 31st Aug 18, 11:10 PM
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    gazfocus
    Being pressured to contribute towards fence
    • #1
    • 31st Aug 18, 11:10 PM
    Being pressured to contribute towards fence 31st Aug 18 at 11:10 PM
    Ok, so some time ago, the owner of the house behind ours knocked on our door and told us that the following day, the fence in between our gardens was being replaced so to keep our dogs inside and asked if we would be wanting to contribute. I said I would be willing to when I can afford it, and he went on his way.

    About a week later he came round and told me that my contribution would be £368 (for my share of 6 panels, concrete base boards and concrete posts inc labour). He has asked a few times since for the money and Iíve been honest about my financial situation in that I cannot currently afford it.

    My question is, where do I stand legally? He did not consult me before ordering the fence to see if I could afford to contribute, and has not discussed with me the type of fence or anything. It seems he wanted new fence and then expects me to just have the money.

    I appreciate itís between both our gardens and Iíve never said I donít want to contribute, but he is obviously disappointed that I canít afford it and has now taken to messaging my works Facebook page asking about what we do when people donít pay money they owe.

    Technically, I donít feel I Ďoweí them anything as any contribution would be wholly voluntary, but if they are going to cause problems for me at work, Iím going to be less inclined to give them anything and itís going to cause issues down the line I feel.
Page 4
    • Boohoo
    • By Boohoo 10th Sep 18, 12:37 PM
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    Boohoo
    I read it as he has asked both adjoining neighbours to contribute towards the cost of two new fences either side of his plot.
    Originally posted by -taff
    OK.
    I wonder if the other neighbour knows what they have paid for and has the OP been round to see them to make sure they have not paid the whole cost of the neighbours new fence.
    What i mean is if the fence cost £1000 both sides has he gone after 1 neighbour for £500 and th OP for £500.
    • Kim kim
    • By Kim kim 10th Sep 18, 8:54 PM
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    Kim kim
    I read it as he has asked both adjoining neighbours to contribute towards the cost of two new fences either side of his plot.
    Originally posted by -taff
    I thought it was a fence at the bottom of the garden, usually there is only one neighbour.
    But if it is a bottom fence that straddles two houses, maybe a bit of each house, then he’s really clever (or sneaky) presenting them each with 50% of the bill.
    • gazfocus
    • By gazfocus 11th Sep 18, 11:47 AM
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    gazfocus
    Sorry, I should clarify. Due to the angle of the house behind ours, his garden is at the back of our house and also the back of part of our next door neighbours house.
    • -taff
    • By -taff 11th Sep 18, 12:02 PM
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    -taff
    So do you think he's asking both of you to stump up the entire cost of the fence?
    Might be worth talking to the neighbour about this.
    • gazfocus
    • By gazfocus 14th Sep 18, 9:24 PM
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    gazfocus
    Ok, so an update, Iíve now received a court claim through the post for the contribution towards the fence plus the £35 court fee.

    He has stated the following:

    I was asked to make a contribution
    Work was carried out
    Asked for payment
    Requested payment over a period of 12 months.

    As evidence, he has stated he has:

    - Letters, emails and other correspondence of initial calculations of coatings (which Iíve never seen)
    - receipts for fence panels and materials (which I have seen)
    - receipts of labour costs (which Iíve never seen)

    However, none of these are included with the claim.

    So heís not specified that he ever discussed the fence with me despite asking me to contribute, but whatís the best way of putting a response together?

    What I would ideally like is for him to read the response and realise from the details of the response that he will lose if he pursues it to a hearing because he obviously thinks he can bully me into paying.
    • Boohoo
    • By Boohoo 14th Sep 18, 9:43 PM
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    Boohoo
    Ok, so an update, Iíve now received a court claim through the post for the contribution towards the fence plus the £35 court fee.

    He has stated the following:

    I was asked to make a contribution
    Work was carried out
    Asked for payment
    Requested payment over a period of 12 months.

    As evidence, he has stated he has:

    - Letters, emails and other correspondence of initial calculations of coatings (which Iíve never seen)
    - receipts for fence panels and materials (which I have seen)
    - receipts of labour costs (which Iíve never seen)

    However, none of these are included with the claim.

    So heís not specified that he ever discussed the fence with me despite asking me to contribute, but whatís the best way of putting a response together?

    What I would ideally like is for him to read the response and realise from the details of the response that he will lose if he pursues it to a hearing because he obviously thinks he can bully me into paying.
    Originally posted by gazfocus

    This seems to me to be going down the CCJ route far too quickly and your neighbour maybe a very nasty person.
    Instead of getting answers on MSE go to http://legalbeagles.info/forums/ and start a thread on there as they are very good at CCJ advice and will help you out with all the paperwork.
    Good luck.
    • tom9980
    • By tom9980 14th Sep 18, 10:56 PM
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    tom9980
    Ok, so an update, I’ve now received a court claim through the post for the contribution towards the fence plus the £35 court fee.

    He has stated the following:

    I was asked to make a contribution
    Work was carried out
    Asked for payment
    Requested payment over a period of 12 months.

    As evidence, he has stated he has:

    - Letters, emails and other correspondence of initial calculations of coatings (which I’ve never seen)
    - receipts for fence panels and materials (which I have seen)
    - receipts of labour costs (which I’ve never seen)

    However, none of these are included with the claim.

    So he’s not specified that he ever discussed the fence with me despite asking me to contribute, but what’s the best way of putting a response together?

    What I would ideally like is for him to read the response and realise from the details of the response that he will lose if he pursues it to a hearing because he obviously thinks he can bully me into paying.
    Originally posted by gazfocus
    I assume this is MCOL money claim online? In which case you won't see the extent of his evidence until 14 days before court, he has to send you his evidence pack before then. For now you just get a short summary of the claim that is word limited, there is no room for evidence to be added.

    The £35 fee is the claim fee a court fee is added later i think I had to pay around another £80 for the court fee for a claim earlier this year.

    You will be invited to undertake free mediation by phone, I suggest you take it. The judge likes to see that you tried to at least resolve the issue before wasting court time.

    I don't like that you offered to contribute but have now revoked that offer completely. Your neighbor is clearly an idiot and out of line but it is not 100% certain the judge will dismiss his claim completely.
    ďIn order to change, we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired.Ē
    • -taff
    • By -taff 15th Sep 18, 12:51 AM
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    -taff
    As long as you said you'd make a contribution dependent on your finances at that time and dependent on whehter there was a discussion regarding the total cost of the fence re materials etc, I still can't see he has a leg to stand on.
    • Boohoo
    • By Boohoo 21st Sep 18, 2:56 PM
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    • 76 Thanks
    Boohoo
    The OP has followed my advice from post No.66 and started a thread on leaglebeagle.


    http://legalbeagles.info/forums/forum/legal-forums/housing-property-and-neighbours/1423951-being-pursued-for-cost-of-replacement-fence


    They seem to have been given very good advice so far on that website.
    • scrappy doo1
    • By scrappy doo1 21st Sep 18, 3:38 PM
    • 14 Posts
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    scrappy doo1
    After you first spoke to him ,he should have came back to you with a figure of how much it will cost before going ahead .
    • SavvySaver24
    • By SavvySaver24 22nd Sep 18, 5:42 PM
    • 94 Posts
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    SavvySaver24
    Surely it comes down to whose boundary it is? If my neighbour to the right (the fence is his) wanted to replace it, I certainly wouldn't pay any cost towards that.

    Equally, the fence to the left of me (mine) would be replaced at my cost nut only when or if I wanted it to be.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 22nd Sep 18, 5:49 PM
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    Davesnave
    Surely it comes down to whose boundary it is?.
    Originally posted by SavvySaver24
    People don't own boundaries; they share them.


    Someone may, or may not, have a responsibility for marking a particular boundary, but the means of doing this is usually optional.
    A garden is never so good as it will be next year....
    • SavvySaver24
    • By SavvySaver24 22nd Sep 18, 7:29 PM
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    SavvySaver24
    It is made quite clear in our plans who owns which boundaries... we certainly don't 'share' them. Each house 'owns' one fence.
    • DaftyDuck
    • By DaftyDuck 22nd Sep 18, 7:43 PM
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    DaftyDuck
    That's the fence (or wall, or hedge that replaces it)...

    It's not the boundary, which is a concept!
    • SavvySaver24
    • By SavvySaver24 22nd Sep 18, 8:33 PM
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    SavvySaver24
    Well, no because my plans show the boundary line that each person is responsible for... the plans don't show if that is a wall, fence, hedge. That "boundary" maintenance is down to whoever owns that. So in the OPs instance if the neighbour owned the boundary between him and her then it is his full responsibility to pay - not shared!
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 22nd Sep 18, 11:29 PM
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    Davesnave
    ..... my plans show the boundary line that each person is responsible for marking.... the plans don't show if that is a wall, fence, hedge.
    Originally posted by SavvySaver24
    Now you are saying what I said, but leaving out the word 'marking.'

    It's a line on the plan, but in the real world it's a shared concept, as Dafty says. i.e. the place where two parties agree their properties end.

    One may use a wall, fence, hedge etc to show where the boundary is, but it is not the boundary itself, especially as it may sit to one side of the imaginary line.
    Last edited by Davesnave; 22-09-2018 at 11:31 PM.
    A garden is never so good as it will be next year....
    • SavvySaver24
    • By SavvySaver24 23rd Sep 18, 8:38 AM
    • 94 Posts
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    SavvySaver24
    Boundaries are shown on plans as belonging to a certain house. The physical structure on that boundary line is therefore owned by that house. You couldn't tear down someones fence if it was on their boundary (i.e. marked on the plans as theirs).
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 23rd Sep 18, 8:55 AM
    • 26,615 Posts
    • 95,958 Thanks
    Davesnave
    Boundaries are shown on plans as belonging to a certain house. The physical structure on that boundary line is therefore owned by that house. You couldn't tear down someones fence if it was on their boundary (i.e. marked on the plans as theirs).
    Originally posted by SavvySaver24
    Responsibility for maintaining a boundary feature, like a fence, may be shown on a title plan, but more often than not, it isn't.

    Just because your title plan is like that, doesn't mean everyone else sees a similar thing on theirs. Usually, deeds are silent on this.

    I agree one can't tear down a fence that someone else has erected, if it's in the right place.

    None of that changes the fact that a boundary isn't a physical thing, just a place where two parties agree their land ends, which may be marked by a physical thing like a wall, fence or hedge, either on it, or maybe on one side of it.

    It's like county boundaries etc etc.


    Edit: this is my last word on this fairly uncontroversial topic.
    Last edited by Davesnave; 23-09-2018 at 8:57 AM.
    A garden is never so good as it will be next year....
    • TheCyclingProgrammer
    • By TheCyclingProgrammer 23rd Sep 18, 11:22 AM
    • 3,268 Posts
    • 1,920 Thanks
    TheCyclingProgrammer
    Boundaries are shown on plans as belonging to a certain house. The physical structure on that boundary line is therefore owned by that house. You couldn't tear down someones fence if it was on their boundary (i.e. marked on the plans as theirs).
    Originally posted by SavvySaver24
    This is not correct.

    A boundary is an imaginary line of no thickness. It is therefore not possible for one property to ďownĒ it. You own the land up to this line on your side and your neighbour owns the land up to the line on their side. The boundary is therefore simply the point where the two properties meet.

    Deeds may specify who has the responsibility to maintain a boundary, not who owns it. It may also contain covenants stipulating the maintenance of a specific boundary feature along the boundary (eg a fence or hedge). It may also specify nothing whatsoever.

    Unless the deeds explicitly mention a boundary feature there is usually no requirement to maintain one. Thereís also nothing stopping either party from putting up a fence along their side of the boundary.

    It is generally accepted that the owner of the fence is the person who pays for it but that the fence should be placed on their side of the boundary.

    Some parties may treat a fence as a ďparty fenceĒ and share the cost and consider the fence to be on/astride the boundary line rather than either side of it.

    Itís very hard to prove ownership of old fences and itís also very difficult to prove the precise location of a boundary to within a small margin which is why these disputes often arise. Therefore itís often best that neighbours come to an agreement before any work is done on a boundary feature where there is some doubt over the ownership.

    IMO the neighbour has no grounds for claiming any money from OP without formal agreement and I hope they win their case.
    • gazfocus
    • By gazfocus 25th Sep 18, 1:27 PM
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    • 504 Thanks
    gazfocus
    After you first spoke to him ,he should have came back to you with a figure of how much it will cost before going ahead .
    Originally posted by scrappy doo1
    The first time the neighbour spoke to me was the day before the fence was replaced. There was no discussion about costs involved.

    Surely it comes down to whose boundary it is? If my neighbour to the right (the fence is his) wanted to replace it, I certainly wouldn't pay any cost towards that.

    Equally, the fence to the left of me (mine) would be replaced at my cost nut only when or if I wanted it to be.
    Originally posted by SavvySaver24
    It is perfectly legal to have a boundary with no fence whatsoever. If the neighbour chose to purchase a fence and put in on the boundary, regardless of who owns the boundary, that's his issue, not mine.
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