Who owns the fence?

Who owns the fence?

Postby cashlesssociety » Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:01 pm

On the deeds of the property that I bought, the fence to the left is well within the boundary of my house and a substantial part of our garden was being used by our neighbour.
We did not challenge this as the man was in his 90's. He has now died and a new owner now wants to replace that picket fence with a 6ft high one claiming that since the old man used the land for so long then it is now theirs and even claiming the fence.
I'm sure under their logic that originally the fence must have been built in our garden which would make it ours even if adverse possesion did apply.

I would appreciate any help on this matter
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Re: Who owns the fence?

Postby cashlesssociety » Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:37 pm

I also want to know if I can rightly claim this land back.
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Re: Who owns the fence?

Postby Eliza » Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:27 pm

1. How much of your garden is your neighbour trying to lay claim to? A few inches, few feet, substantial number of feet? It would be useful to know whether this might fall under that General Boundaries Rule - ie of Land Registry not specifying boundaries to the exact inch in this country.

2. How long has the neighbouring house been using that part of your garden?

3. What are the chances this neighbour would be able to find people to lie on his behalf (ie give "statements of truth" that your garden was his)?
Apologies for not giving exact personal details in my posts - you never know who is reading....
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Re: Who owns the fence?

Postby cashlesssociety » Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:34 pm

Eliza wrote:1. How much of your garden is your neighbour trying to lay claim to? A few inches, few feet, substantial number of feet? It would be useful to know whether this might fall under that General Boundaries Rule - ie of Land Registry not specifying boundaries to the exact inch in this country.

Its a few feet in some parts as the fence is not straight and a very substantial percentage of our small garden.

2. How long has the neighbouring house been using that part of your garden?

Not sure but we have been in the house for 9 years and its many more than that. Could be 20 or 30 years for all i know.
If adverse possesion does it not have to be registered? And who owns the fence?

3. What are the chances this neighbour would be able to find people to lie on his behalf (ie give "statements of truth" that your garden was his)?


They are dishonest people but have only just owned the house.
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Re: Who owns the fence?

Postby Collaborate » Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:38 pm

Eliza asked 3 questions, yet you didn't answer one of them.
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Re: Who owns the fence?

Postby cashlesssociety » Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:11 am

Collaborate wrote:Eliza asked 3 questions, yet you didn't answer one of them.


I answered all three

Answer 1: Its a few feet in some parts as the fence is not straight and a very substantial percentage of our small garden.

Answer 2: Not sure but we have been in the house for 9 years and its many more than that. Could be 20 or 30 years for all i know.
If adverse possesion does it not have to be registered? And who owns the fence?

Answer 3: They are dishonest people but have only just owned the house.
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Re: Who owns the fence?

Postby mr sheen » Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:51 am

A boundary is an abstract concept since it is just the point at which the land changes ownership. A boundary feature is installed between 2 properties to mark where the 2 owners believe the boundary might be. That boundary feature becomes the marker of where the 2 properties accept the legal boundary is. A fence is a boundary feature marking where the 2 owners agreed the boundary was or where the builder intended the boundary to be when selling the properties and allocated appropriate prices. A fence that has been in position for 'many many years' and all the 9 years you have been there marks the boundary between the 2 properties.

If one of the owners 'many many years ago' had believed that the fence was in the wrong place, it can be assumed that they would have taken steps to address the error. The previous owner or owners accepted the fence marked the boundary for 'many many years' and you accepted it for 9 years. The new neighbours have bought the property with the fence marking the boundary, just as you did 9 years ago.

Under these circumstances, it is unlikely that you would be able to prove that the fence is in the wrong place. Your evidence of the fence being in the wrong place is presumably the LR plan....however this only gives a rough idea of where the boundary is called the 'general boundary'.

The evidence that the fence has marked the accepted boundary between these 2 properties would include - you have confirmed it has been in the current position for 9 years; the previous owners of your property can confirm how long it has been in the position and also the previous owners of the neighbouring property can confirm the current position of the fence has marked the boundary for 'many many years' and presumably lots of neighbours can also confirm that this fence has marked the boundary between these 2 properties for .....xyz....years and all these people can confirm it has been like this for many many years......ie it can be assumed that when it was erected...many many years ago...it was accepted by all parties at that time that it marked the correct boundary and within all those years no one has disputed this.

Seeking to dispute it now will initiate a boundary dispute that you are highly unlikely to win and will give you aggravation for many many years to come.
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Re: Who owns the fence?

Postby Collaborate » Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:26 am

cashlesssociety wrote:
Collaborate wrote:Eliza asked 3 questions, yet you didn't answer one of them.


I answered all three

Answer 1: Its a few feet in some parts as the fence is not straight and a very substantial percentage of our small garden.

Answer 2: Not sure but we have been in the house for 9 years and its many more than that. Could be 20 or 30 years for all i know.
If adverse possesion does it not have to be registered? And who owns the fence?

Answer 3: They are dishonest people but have only just owned the house.


Ah - sorry. Didn't spot it.
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Re: Who owns the fence?

Postby Eliza » Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:05 am

I can understand why OP might have known very well that a bit of land was theirs, but allowed an elderly neighbour to continue using it just because they were elderly (ie planned to reclaim it when the elderly neighbour died - but was being kind and letting them use the land until they did so). I've been in a similar situation myself and was being "kind" and only got the situation sorted out clearly when it became clear said elderly neighbour hadnt realised I was being "kind" and had just assumed they had managed to gain ownership of the land.

That is possibly what has happened here - ie previous owner of OP's house and then OP were being "kind", but the elderly neighbour didnt realise they were being "done a favour" and had either assumed the land was really theirs or had meant all along to grab part of OP's garden.

OP - is there a chance that elderly neighbour had genuinely known/accepted they were being "done a favour" by being allowed to use part of your garden - and they have an honourable relative or friend around that will testify to that fact?
Apologies for not giving exact personal details in my posts - you never know who is reading....
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Re: Who owns the fence?

Postby cashlesssociety » Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:10 am

The garden was changed many years ago with or without the consent of the previous owner of my house.
In the deeds their is a conveynance which states rights of way at the back of the houses. Also the right to walk up paths in the garden and these were the boundary.
The fence is well to the side of the path which is clearly the boundary line as stated in the deeds.
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Re: Who owns the fence?

Postby cashlesssociety » Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:12 am

Also on all plans the boundary line is in line with the kitchen wall but the fence is well inside that.
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Re: Who owns the fence?

Postby cashlesssociety » Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:44 pm

mr sheen wrote:A boundary is an abstract concept since it is just the point at which the land changes ownership. A boundary feature is installed between 2 properties to mark where the 2 owners believe the boundary might be. That boundary feature becomes the marker of where the 2 properties accept the legal boundary is. A fence is a boundary feature marking where the 2 owners agreed the boundary was or where the builder intended the boundary to be when selling the properties and allocated appropriate prices. A fence that has been in position for 'many many years' and all the 9 years you have been there marks the boundary between the 2 properties.

If one of the owners 'many many years ago' had believed that the fence was in the wrong place, it can be assumed that they would have taken steps to address the error. The previous owner or owners accepted the fence marked the boundary for 'many many years' and you accepted it for 9 years. The new neighbours have bought the property with the fence marking the boundary, just as you did 9 years ago.

Under these circumstances, it is unlikely that you would be able to prove that the fence is in the wrong place. Your evidence of the fence being in the wrong place is presumably the LR plan....however this only gives a rough idea of where the boundary is called the 'general boundary'.

The evidence that the fence has marked the accepted boundary between these 2 properties would include - you have confirmed it has been in the current position for 9 years; the previous owners of your property can confirm how long it has been in the position and also the previous owners of the neighbouring property can confirm the current position of the fence has marked the boundary for 'many many years' and presumably lots of neighbours can also confirm that this fence has marked the boundary between these 2 properties for .....xyz....years and all these people can confirm it has been like this for many many years......ie it can be assumed that when it was erected...many many years ago...it was accepted by all parties at that time that it marked the correct boundary and within all those years no one has disputed this.

Seeking to dispute it now will initiate a boundary dispute that you are highly unlikely to win and will give you aggravation for many many years to come.



Thank you for this but there are paths which still exist which are on the deeds and in the gardens and its made clear in the deeds that these are the boundary lines.
Is this not the boundary feature or is it the fence which I see clearly as well over the boundary line?

Say I'm wrong, if they want to build a new fence can they take down this one and put a new one in its place?
I'm asking who do you think owns the fence? It is the same picket fence type that currenly encloses the whole of my garden, put up as the last people in my house had a dog.

Sorry if I am throwing new information at you after you have taken the time to answer. I am trying to be as accurate as possible.
6 terraces houses were built in 1897. There is an alleyway between the houses in the middle and one going across the back of the houses.
On the deeds the garden boundaries were paths which originally went up the gardens. Most houses have fences now but the paths still existed on both sides of my house. This I believe is the boundary feature and anything my side is part of my land.
However on the neighbours side I am currently having the dispute with it is clear he has been using some of my garden as his and probably for many years before I bought this house. This as far as I know was with my houses former owners' permission and as it has never been claimed thorugh adverse possession ( which as it was allowed to be used, i dont think they could ) or registered with the land registry in any way, I believe that this land is still mine as the boundary feature of the path is still there and is not the fence my current neighbours are claiming.

I do appreciate anyone who takes the time to reply to me as my obvious next step is to see a solicitor and I would rather avoid the cost of this.
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Re: Who owns the fence?

Postby mr sheen » Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:47 pm

Either party can CLAIM to own a fence. The other party may or may not dispute this. You have nothing to lose by claiming to own the fence and refusing to let them replace it....and see what happens. If they dispute it they can ask for evidence but their problem is that they did not erect it so are relying upon evidence that their predecessor in title erected it, and he is deceased.

There are 2separate issue fence and boundary....As to the boundary...perhaps you could provide the details of the exact wording of the deeds that identifies the paths as the boundary... Since this would be highly unusual.
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Re: Who owns the fence?

Postby arborlad » Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:25 pm

cashlesssociety wrote:The garden was changed many years ago with or without the consent of the previous owner of my house.
In the deeds their is a conveynance which states rights of way at the back of the houses. Also the right to walk up paths in the garden and these were the boundary.
The fence is well to the side of the path which is clearly the boundary line as stated in the deeds.



Any chance of a sketch or the anonymised title plan?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Who owns the fence?

Postby cashlesssociety » Thu Jul 21, 2016 4:01 pm

arborlad wrote:
cashlesssociety wrote:The garden was changed many years ago with or without the consent of the previous owner of my house.
In the deeds their is a conveynance which states rights of way at the back of the houses. Also the right to walk up paths in the garden and these were the boundary.
The fence is well to the side of the path which is clearly the boundary line as stated in the deeds.



Any chance of a sketch or the anonymised title plan?


I was trying to download a picture of the deeds but it says the board quota has been reached
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