joint boundary fence dispute

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Ruby2shoes | 12:18 Sun 03rd Feb 2008 | Civil
8 Answers
Whos's responsibility is it to repair a storm damaged fence? The fence(s) run the length of the front and back garden between adjoining semi-detached houses. My boyfriend is the owner of the left hand property (right hand as you face it) and has been told by the neighbours that English law states the financial responsibility for boundary fences always lies with the owner of the property on the left, on all semi-detached properties. Not only does this seem grossly unfair but I believe the neighbours are doing their utmost to escape having to pay their share. My boyfriend is an ex-South African National, and the neighbours (I feel) are playing on his lack of knowledge and experience with these matters. There have been incidents when they've chopped down bushes and thrown them into his garden - although he's not happy with this, he's not challenging it because he can't afford a legal bill. Is there anywhere he or I can look that will give us the legal definitions or statues that clarify this matter - something I can quote to them to show them the law? Thanks in advance (-:


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I am wholly responsible and entirely own the wall on the left of my house, the fence on the right is a party fence (shared).

I know this because my deeds tell me so. The plan shows T markings.

The plan is downloadable from the land registry for �3 if he does not have possession of them.

There is no cut and dried rule about who owns the left and who owns the right. Only the deeds can tell you that.
Get a copy of the deeds to your property.
on them it will show the general boundary for that property, one or more of the boundary lines will have what looks like a capital T lying on its side, close to the line, or lines , these are the boundaries that you are obliged to maintain.
good luck, ,,,,pete.
Sorry Ethel I didn't know you were on the case,
hope you are well .
Hi Pete. I'm tickety boo, thanks.

If the fence is your boyfriend's - this gives him the right to remove it altogether; prevent the neighbour from painting his side, or attaching anything to it such as plant supports; replace it with whatever he likes.

Obviously the reverse applies if it is the neighbours'.

If it is party, then both must pay half and both can do as they like with their side.

I have an arrangement with my current neighbour - I am old and have a bit of spare cash. He is young and doesn't. I pay for the materials, he erects , paints and maintains. Works well for both of us.
I WAS in a very similar position so I refered to MY DEEDS. IF the house is YOURS (Fully Paid/ No Mortgage) then YOU will be Holding the Deeds. The Bank was holding mine so I wrote to Cardiff, Land Registery Office for a copy of OUR BOUNDARIES (I now live in Wales) which was only a nominal fee (about �5). Visit the Web-Site of YOUR Local Council for ALL & More Information. I then took this FACT in B & W to my neighbour who was DUMBFOUNDED as I had him HOOK LINE & SINKER !..Also a visit (pre-booked by phone) to your local Citizens Advice Bureau would be of great help. I REALLY wish you ALL THE LUCK IN THE WORLD, AS I DETEST BULLIES.
What the neighbour is saying is total rubbish. Also Deeds have been done away wirh for years. It is what is on the Land Registry computer that counts now. Go to this link
and enter the property address. You will need to read both the Register and Plan to see what if anything is said about fences. It will cost you 2 x �3 - you can make a copy to keep. As previously said the "T"'s on a Plan shows who owns a fence. Most frequently there is nothing said in the Register and no "T"'s on the Plan, in which case it is whoever put the fence there that owns it. In your case if nobody knows who pui it there you can (a) claim ownership and repair it and forbid the neighbours to touch it in any way at all, or (b) deny any knowledge of who owns, clear anything that falls on your side and let it fall down or (c) erect a new fence on your side virually up against it and forget the neighbours.
It's nobody's responsibility.

Ownership of the fence does NOT normally mean that you are obliged to maintain it. You can remove it altogether if you prefer, or as long as it's not dangerous, just let it decay.

Basically he who wants the fence most pays for it. If you both want it split the cost, either directly, or as Ethel says, by agreement as to who does what.
I'd go with dzug - I had a similar thing where a neighbour wanted a fence, and just paid for it. Unless you jointly pay, whoever did pay has say over it and it remains their property, so unless agreed, you cannot just tear it down or put up another one, or even attach anything to it unless you have permission.

Regarding the thrown cuttings you mentioned, were they YOUR bushes which had simply grown over? If so, your neighbour was simply complying with the law, in that he is entitled to trim anything that encroaches on his garden, but, because it is your property, has to give that back to you.

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