Fence boundary dispute

Fence boundary dispute

Postby Confused.com » Tue May 13, 2014 6:36 pm

Hi

I'm having a nightmare with a neighbour re a garden fence. I'll try and briefly explain what has happened:

We moved into our house 6 months ago. The previous owners (A & B) had been in the property for around 30 years. We have two neighbours on the right hand side, I'll call them neighbour C and neighbour D. Roughly 11 years ago A & B acquired some land at the end of the back garden so the length of their garden was extended by about 3 meters. A & B put up some additional fencing to extend their boundary on this new land they acquired. This additional fencing meets neighbour D's garden and it is this fence they are now disputing.

Two fence panels came down in the storms after Christmas. The fence panels were between my property and neighbour C. I was going to replace the two fence panels and some posts but at neighbour C's request I agreed to renew the whole fence between us as they offered to pay half the cost. Needless to say they didn't pay the half but that is a different story and I have learnt a very expensive lesson! Anyway, as we thought neighbour C was going to pay half, we decided to renew the entire length of the fence rather than have a new fence (next to neighbour C) and an old fence (next to neighbour D).

The new fence went up. Neighbour D is now not happy. According to neighbour D, the bit of fence that was originally added on 11 years ago (the extra 3 meters) was not in a straight line with the rest of the fence on that side. They did not bring up the issue with A & B so when we bought the house we were totally unaware any issue existed. They had mentioned the issue to us after we informed them that we would be renewing the fence, so we took their word for it (in hindsight maybe we shouldn't have!) and because we wanted to keep the peace we asked the fence guy to straighten the fence at the end. He did this. There is a tree that was on our side when we moved in so the fence was erected around the tree. Neighbour D has now written us a lengthy letter explaining how the fence is not straight and how certain posts are not in the correct position. He has, however, pointed out in his letter that we did move the fence and have therefore given them some extra land. He has proposed some solutions which are to remove the fence or to lower the fence! He HAS not proposed to straighten the fence which makes me think his issue isn't with the straightness of the fence. I have a toddler and I do not know this man. I do not want to lower the fence or have a hole in it so he can peer through. And after this, I doubt I'll ever speak to them again. The new fence is the same height as the one it replaced.

I just wanted some advice as to where I stand because I do not want to be sued over this!
Thanks
Confused.com
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 7:24 pm

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: Fence boundary dispute

Postby Confused.com » Wed May 14, 2014 1:28 pm

Any advice would be hugely appreciated as neighbour D keeps ringing the doorbell and we can't avoid him forever :oops:
Confused.com
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 7:24 pm

Re: Fence boundary dispute

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed May 14, 2014 1:54 pm

Hi CC,

your opening message is difficult to follow IMHO.

I'll try and get through it though - I'll probably have some questions.

Kind regards, Mac
MacadamB53
 
Posts: 6023
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:13 am

Re: Fence boundary dispute

Postby Confused.com » Wed May 14, 2014 2:14 pm

Sorry Mac, I tried to keep it to the point.

Basically, a neighbour is saying that our fence isn't where it should be. We have been in the property 6 months and he said nothing to the previous owners who lived there for 30 years. The part of the fence that is in dispute was in situ for over 10 years. Another part of the fence came down and so we renewed the entire thing and tried to keep the peace by straightening it as best we could but a tree is in the way so the fence does curve around it. The fence is as high as the one it replaced.

I only have his word that the fence is in the wrong place as the deeds don't really detail it.
His proposed solution is to lower the fence or pull it down completely (and not replace it!).

I know that he can't force me to lower the fence or remove it completely if it is on my land. I guess the question is what can he force me to do given that he thinks it's his land? And will the adverse possession law help me as the previous owners had lived there happily thinking it was their land too?

Hope that makes it a little clearer?
Confused.com
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 7:24 pm

Re: Fence boundary dispute

Postby Hugh Jaleak » Wed May 14, 2014 2:37 pm

It does beg the question why he would be happy to lower the fence, (or remove it), but is not happy for the current arrangement to remain. If he is happy to lower it then surely he cant be too worried about the position! I would tell him (in writing, sent by recorded delivery and keep a copy yourself!), as the fence has been in that (relative) position for the last 30 years, the last 3 metres for the last 6 years, and the new section abutting his property has, (by his own admission), gifted him some land that may have possibly been yours, it is staying put as is.

The new fence appears to have been erected in his favour, so therefore if he makes any attempt to move, damage to alter your fence, his actions will be regarded as criminal damage, and treated according to the law. I would take a number of photo's or a video for your records showing the fence as is, particularly with reference to the tree. Can be wise to include a copy of a current newspaper in the pictures to guarantee accuracy of the date the pictures were taken.
Hugh Jaleak
 
Posts: 514
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 12:09 am
Location: Northamptonshire

Re: Fence boundary dispute

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed May 14, 2014 2:42 pm

Hi CC,

The part of the fence that is in dispute was in situ for over 10 years

is it now in dispute because it's replacement has been erected along a different line?

Kind regards, Mac
MacadamB53
 
Posts: 6023
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:13 am

Re: Fence boundary dispute

Postby Confused.com » Wed May 14, 2014 4:57 pm

Thanks Hugh. I will take some photos.

Mac, no. The new fence favours him. He even came over after the fence was erected, shook my husband's hand and agreed it was straight and there was no longer any issue. He said he never wanted any land as his garden is already huge. I think he's disputing it now as he wants a lower fence?
Confused.com
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 7:24 pm

Re: Fence boundary dispute

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed May 14, 2014 5:38 pm

Hi CC,

Mac, no. The new fence favours him.

you're not making any sense to me.

does he say the current position of the fence is wrong?
has the position of the fence recently changed?

Kind regards, Mac
MacadamB53
 
Posts: 6023
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:13 am

Re: Fence boundary dispute

Postby Confused.com » Wed May 14, 2014 9:02 pm

Mac

I'm probably not making any sense to you because this situation makes no sense!

To answer your questions though:
Yes, he is saying the current position of the fence is wrong.
Yes, the position of the new fence has changed from the old because we tried to straighten it resulting in him getting more land.
If the tree wasn't there then the fence could be in a straight line but the fence does, and always has, curved around the tree.
Confused.com
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 7:24 pm

Re: Fence boundary dispute

Postby cobdale » Wed May 14, 2014 9:09 pm

he sounds like one of them that if you play along with him,he will get bolder and make more complaints,stop humouring him and put him straight.i have to admit it's the first time I ever heard anyone complaining over getting more land then what they already had.and asking you if you don't want to move the fence ,would you lower it,that's just stupid,the only reason you would have to lower the fence is if it exceeded planning laws
cobdale
 
Posts: 355
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:19 pm

Re: Fence boundary dispute

Postby Mojisola » Wed May 14, 2014 9:22 pm

Confused.com wrote: Neighbour D has now written us a lengthy letter explaining how the fence is not straight and how certain posts are not in the correct position. He has, however, pointed out in his letter that we did move the fence and have therefore given them some extra land. He has proposed some solutions which are to remove the fence or to lower the fence! He HAS not proposed to straighten the fence which makes me think his issue isn't with the straightness of the fence. I have a toddler and I do not know this man. I do not want to lower the fence or have a hole in it so he can peer through. And after this, I doubt I'll ever speak to them again. The new fence is the same height as the one it replaced.


I would just politely reply (in writing and keeping a copy) that you are happy with the fence style and height and are not going to change it.

Keep his letter in case he tries to change his reasons in later correspondence.
Mojisola
 
Posts: 573
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:18 pm

Re: Fence boundary dispute

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed May 14, 2014 11:07 pm

Hi CC,

Yes, he is saying the current position of the fence is wrong.

who moved it and why?

Kind regards, Mac
MacadamB53
 
Posts: 6023
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:13 am

Re: Fence boundary dispute

Postby Confused.com » Thu May 15, 2014 8:49 am

Thanks for your replies. I agree that I should stop humouring him and put a stop to this but I'm scared to write him a letter in case it angers him and makes him worse, ie start sueing me.

Mac, when I moved in and spoke to him (to inform him we were renewing the fence) he told us then that the fence was in the wrong place. We asked the fence guy to straighten it and he did the best he could but there is a tree in the way so the new fence is still not completely straight. So, we moved it because he asked us to.
Confused.com
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 7:24 pm

Re: Fence boundary dispute

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu May 15, 2014 8:56 am

Hi CC,

we moved it because he asked us to

and as net result the new line gives him a little more land overall.
but have you taken some of what was 'his' land? is this his beef?

Kind regards, Mac
MacadamB53
 
Posts: 6023
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:13 am

Re: Fence boundary dispute

Postby Confused.com » Thu May 15, 2014 9:40 am

His beef is that the fence has never, in the whole 10 years, been in the correct position. He did not mention this to the previous owners and is only now taking issue with us because we have renewed the fence.
Confused.com
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 7:24 pm

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 Fences

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 3 guests