To build or not to build a fence – that is the question?

To build or not to build a fence – that is the question?

Postby manutd99 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:00 pm

Dear All, I really some advice as this is making my wife and I ill.

My neighbours home and my home are detached properties, front facing, sit by side by side with a gap between the gables, built in the 50's, we are both the home owners, and the fence runs down the side of our respective houses from our front gardens in a straight line between both gable walls. Theirs is unregistered land and doesn’t come up on the Land Registry search. It is freehold subject to annual rent charged as specified in their conveyance agreement of £9. My home also had a similar rent charge but I bought it outright from the vendor and have a deed of release of the rent charge from the Land Registry.
My previous home owner built a fence 1ft inside our boundary about 25 years ago. The fence position has probably now become the real boundary reading the other threads. The fence extended from the front to the back of the house.
About 1 year ago, the fence was replaced by me with verbal agreement from the neighbour. I built the fence in the front garden section only. I did not build a fence between the gable wall section. So the gable wall section became “open plan” with no fence. This was discussed with the neighbour, they were OK. The neighbour was also happy with the completed work. I paid for the fence and all associated work.

The total width between our gable walls is only 4ft, The distribution is : 1ft on my side, 1ft of my land but on the neighbours side and then 2 foot of the neighbours.
Since then, I have built a conservatory that follows my gable wall line and extending into my back garden. There are windows on the gable side of the conservatory.
The issue is that the neighbour now wants me to re-build the fence that is missing between the gable walls.
If I do as they ask, and put back the fence, I won’t be able to have access to the side of my house (as there would be only a 1ft gap for me) and I won’t be able to access the windows of my conservatory side due to the small gap & they won’t let me go on their side - guaranteed.

I need your opinion on where I stand on the following issues:
1 - Can they force me to build a fence between the gable wall section so there is only 1ft on my side? They are saying that they did not agree to take the fence down. But the truth is that i discussed it with them prior to doing any work, they were happy with the work afterwards, no complaints for 1 year, now this! They say they are going through their solicitors but nothing yet but there are lots of people coming and going assessing the 4ft alley from their side.
2 - Am I within my right to push to build the fence against the original boundary between the gable walls so I have 2feet? (as per the dimensions stated in our deed of conveyance for both of us).
3 - Am I within my right to have no fence and keep it as is? This is my preferred option but option 2 above would suffice. This would allow me to have access to the conservatory side windows.
4 - Can they dictate to me to build a fence even though they pay a ground rent to the vendor (the old couple are the same people that signed their conveyance deeds & covenants along the boundaries specified)?
5 - Finally, they currently have 1ft of my land in their front garden. Do you see any issues if the fence is not straight if question 2 is implemented?

We feel we are being bullied, my wife has been shouted at by them, verbally abused by their wider family. We have been called "land grabbers" even though they have 1ft of my land according to both their deeds and my deeds - the cheek!
My kids are scared to go out as they are always staring at them in a frightening way in the window, knocking on the windows. Not nice.
The wider family have said to me that the whole alley way belongs to them - Not even the 1ft that still remained mine. They are saying that they will get my front garden fence also knocked down and bring it 1 foot onto my side. So i cant access the gable. I also overheard that they will get their land registered asap. Maybe it scare tactics. I really dont know what to do? Please help.

Thanks for your help & advice.
manutd99
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:37 am

Ads are not endorsed by www.gardenlaw.co.uk or the staff thereof and visitors should perform their own due diligence on the product or service offered.
 

Re: To build or not to build a fence – that is the question?

Postby MacadamB53 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:48 pm

Hi manutd99,

The distribution is : 1ft on my side, 1ft of my land but on the neighbours side and then 2 foot of the neighbours.

on the "side" of what?

Kind regards, Mac
MacadamB53
 
Posts: 6028
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:13 am

Re: To build or not to build a fence – that is the question?

Postby span » Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:31 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi manutd99,

The distribution is : 1ft on my side, 1ft of my land but on the neighbours side and then 2 foot of the neighbours.

on the "side" of what?

Kind regards, Mac


On the side of the fence line. Pay attention Mac.
span
 
Posts: 1466
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:34 am

Re: To build or not to build a fence – that is the question?

Postby span » Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:32 pm

Start building fences manut, and build them big and strong and to the full extent of your land. It's a bit murky now, you having your fence in the wrong place for the last 25 years, but fence it anyway and let them worry about having to recover the 1 foot strip.
span
 
Posts: 1466
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:34 am

Re: To build or not to build a fence – that is the question?

Postby manutd99 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:37 pm

Mac, There is no fence between the gable walls now. But if the fence between the gable walls were to be reinstated along the line of the original 25 year old fence that was taken down 1 year ago, then the width from my gable wall to this re-instated fence would be 1ft. The width from this fence to their gable wall would now be 3ft.

Notes :
combined width from my gable to my neighbours gable wall is 4ft.
When we look from the front road, My house is on the left. Neighbours is on the right hand side.

Hope this helps
manutd99
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:37 am

Re: To build or not to build a fence – that is the question?

Postby manutd99 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:13 pm

span wrote:Start building fences manut, and build them big and strong and to the full extent of your land. It's a bit murky now, you having your fence in the wrong place for the last 25 years, but fence it anyway and let them worry about having to recover the 1 foot strip.


Thanks span. I already did an enquiry with a local fencing company and they said they would not start any work without the agreement of any neighbour due to world war3 ! I think you are right though, just fence the whole thing ...I need some rough builders that they wont mess with when they erect it! But i can see them trying to knock it down afterwards. They have taken tons of photos and so I would expect some form of litigation for sure.
manutd99
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:37 am

Re: To build or not to build a fence – that is the question?

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:12 am

Hi manutd99,

the gable wall section became “open plan” with no fence

what about the rest - how would things look if you ran a straight line of fence between whatever boundary feature stands along the back part of the boundary to whatever stands along the front part?

Kind regards, Mac
MacadamB53
 
Posts: 6028
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:13 am

Re: To build or not to build a fence – that is the question?

Postby manutd99 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:41 am

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi manutd99,

the gable wall section became “open plan” with no fence

what about the rest - how would things look if you ran a straight line of fence between whatever boundary feature stands along the back part of the boundary to whatever stands along the front part?

Kind regards, Mac


Back part of Boundary is a 6ft fence
Front part of Boundary is a 4ft fence.
If I just ran a fence in a straight line along the boundary feature, then the width of the fence on my side would start at 14 inches from the front and become wider to 24 inches at the back. It would curve. It would become tight fit for both of us & if its 6ft high so I dont see their faces, then it will be one narrow fence ..but this was why i made it open plan to begin with ..
manutd99
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:37 am

Re: To build or not to build a fence – that is the question?

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:04 am

Hi manutd99,

If they presume the fence will be erected so that it stands approximately 1' from your house and 3' from their house the I have to say that sounds a reasonable presumption to make given that is where the previous fence stood for many years.

was there anything put on the ground to mark the agreed boundary during the 12 month "open plan" period?

in answer to your original questions:
1. no
2. yes - but be aware this will probably escalate the problem
3. yes
4. no
5. yes - see answer for No 2.

Kind regards, Mac
PS I'd encourage them to get their property registered as this will likely help refresh their memory.
MacadamB53
 
Posts: 6028
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:13 am

Re: To build or not to build a fence – that is the question?

Postby Roblewis » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:26 pm

There is absolutely no legal requirement to fence your land or have any boundary feature at all if you choose. This can lead to disputes such as this but there is no force of law in their request. Your front garden line has to be counted as lost but the rear will actually continue as it is. If you feel strong enough extend your rear fence forward between the gables and blank across with a 2ft panel in line with your house front wall. You could just use 3ft posts set in the ground by 18inches to give and 18 inch fence if you wish. This will give access from the rear and avoid the need to touch the front fence. Any attempt to remove the fences is criminal damage and the police may give some support, but do not hold your breathe.


It is going to be a hard road as they show no signs of mediation. The only good news is that most surveyors giving advice to a court would likely split 50/50
Roblewis
 
Posts: 1764
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:41 pm

Re: To build or not to build a fence – that is the question?

Postby span » Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:26 pm

Yeah. So. Basically, just do it.
span
 
Posts: 1466
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:34 am

Re: To build or not to build a fence – that is the question?

Postby manutd99 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:39 pm

Thanks to everybody for their replies so far.

Quick update:
The neighbour sent a solicitor in person today - must be one of their relations. They are saying that I have encroached on the neighbours land in this "open plan" area and also the front garden area. They say the front garden fence should be more on my side. (More later ...)They took loads of photos of the concrete patches in the gable area to try to establish where the original fence went between the gable walls.
I pointed out that it was inconclusive and I explained that my understanding of the boundary feature between gables is : there is a row of original flags on the neighbours side of this alley way which sit side-by side, forming a straight line going down the pathway straight in the middle between the gables. The edge of the flags forms a straight line. That is the boundary feature according to my understanding. I actually measured the distance in this solictors presence (I know forget the tape measure rule!) the edge of those flags to the boundary of their other neighbour and it's the distance as stated in the map attached to their conveyance deeds agreement that the solicitor had in their hand ...down to the inch, that the elderly couple had signed. I even measure the front boundary in their presence, and it showed that they have 1 foot of my land on their side! The solicitor was rejecting everything saying measurements dont count because the land is unregistered.

The solicitor said i am putting too much emphasis on what is written in the deeds as opposed to concrete patches! However, they said that if i pay my neighbour compensation (figure not determined), then i can build a fence on the boundary feature. The cheek. Honestly. I just said get lost.

Anyway, my thinking to move forward on this is as follows :
1.Leave the fence in the front garden as-is (so they get to keep their 1ft). The reason why my previous owner built the fence 1ft on his side, 25 years ago, was because there was a conker tree in the corner of my neighbours home and the roots were in the way. So he built it as best he could on his side & followed a straight line. (Note - that tree was felled last year by the neighbour but the trunk can still be seen).

2.Build a new 6ft fence between the gables along the boundary feature line (edge of her flags). Make sure that the 1st post is "side by side" with the last fencing post in our respective front garden. (do not interconnect). Just build on the boundary feature this new fence

I rang a fence company and they said they will build me the fence and handle any crap from the neighbours. £400 quid. Sounds good to me. It could be installed by the end of the week. Brilliant.

Before i do this, I need advise as I am not sure of the implications of building this fence between the gable walls. The solicitor asked me not to build a fence before leaving today. If i ignore & just get the fence installed on the boundary feature, what can this solictor do? They said they will write to me. Should I wait a week?
I have already wrote 2 letters to my neighbour proposing to build a fence along the boundary line. No response from them in writing.

Thanks again for your advise.
manutd99
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:37 am

Re: To build or not to build a fence – that is the question?

Postby Roblewis » Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:57 pm

No injunction No force of law to stop you
Roblewis
 
Posts: 1764
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:41 pm

Re: To build or not to build a fence – that is the question?

Postby span » Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:10 pm

Is it done yet?
span
 
Posts: 1466
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:34 am

Re: To build or not to build a fence – that is the question?

Postby manutd99 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:34 pm

span wrote:Is it done yet?


no span. The fence is not put in yet. This solicitor turning up today has thrown me slightly. More details in above post. Opinion?
manutd99
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:37 am

Ads are not endorsed by www.gardenlaw.co.uk or the staff thereof and visitors should perform their own due diligence on the product or service offered.
 
Next

Return to Boundaries

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron