Shared boundary fence

Shared boundary fence

Postby Tonka » Wed May 28, 2014 9:37 pm

Shortly after my neighbor moved in (about 3 years ago) they asked if I minded if they replaced our adjoining fence (which was a 6ft larch-lap and a bit tatty, but functional) which I replied no problem, so they got a contractor to erect a 6ft feather edge fence. Around a year later in reasonably moderate winds a post snapped,they replaced the post.The neighbor has since let the house and in the high winds this Winter 2 posts snapped and the lower arris rail broke, I propped up the fence temporary to save it damaging my plants. I then recently got a letter from the letting agency asking me to share half the cost of replacing the whole fence, which will cost around £700-£1,000

I have read my deeds, which state that the boundaries are all shared
My question is
As the neighbor has replaced the fence has he accepted ownership?
Tonka
 
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Re: Shared boundary fence

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed May 28, 2014 9:45 pm

Hi Tonka,

I have read my deeds, which state that the boundaries are all shared

can you give us the wording?

As the neighbor has replaced the fence has he accepted ownership?

if it's the same neighbour asking for a contribution then I'd guess "no".

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Shared boundary fence

Postby arsie » Wed May 28, 2014 11:08 pm

Not sure about that Mac.

The neighbour wanted to and did replace the existing dilapidated fence but sought no contribution at the time. Ergo it is the neighbour's property. Now he wants to spread the cost but in my view it is STILL the neighbour's property and I don't think the OP is obliged to contribute. The agent is trying it on, "don't ask you don't get" basis. The neighbour is trying to save money. I would call the agent to say no.

Possibly there is something in the deeds about shared (party) fence costs. Be an idea just to check the deeds!
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Re: Shared boundary fence

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed May 28, 2014 11:24 pm

Hi Tonka,

they asked if I minded if they replaced our adjoining fence...

for the benefit of the thread I think we need to know a little more about what was said, and why.

did they ask because they considered the old fence "shared"?
did they ask you to contribute to the replacement?
did you preempt any request for a contribution with a declaration you didn't have funds available?
did they say non-contribution amounted to the "shared" idea null and void?

Kind regards, Mac
PS was the new fence erected where the old "shared" fence stood?
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Re: Shared boundary fence

Postby Roblewis » Thu May 29, 2014 12:20 am

How long is this fence - the share of that value suggests around 20m. This should include Concrete posts and 150mm concrete gravel boards for this sort of length.

Strictly the boundary is the shared responsibility NOT the fence and either side can erect a fence to the boundary line on their own property. In general terms only walls can be a party responsibility and the midline is then likely to be the actual boundary line.
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Re: Shared boundary fence

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu May 29, 2014 12:28 am

Hi Rob,

Strictly speaking...

that is not what HMLR advise:

Where the ownership or responsibility for maintenance of a boundary feature cannot be decided, then it is generally best treated as a party boundary feature, and any alterations or replacement of a boundary feature should be done only with the agreement of the adjoining owners.

no distinction between fences, walls, etc - just party boundary features...

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Shared boundary fence

Postby arsie » Thu May 29, 2014 12:33 am

Agreement yes contribution not necessarily (not mentioned - trust the Land Registry to avoid the potentially disputatious ;))
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Re: Shared boundary fence

Postby despair » Thu May 29, 2014 9:10 am

A feather edge fence erected just 3 years ago

No way should the posts or arris rails have snapped

Must have been a real shonky construction / fencer
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Re: Shared boundary fence

Postby Tonka » Thu May 29, 2014 9:55 pm

Thanks for all your comments. answers to Mac's questions:
I have read my deeds, which state that the boundaries are all shared

can you give us the wording?

the exact wording from the deeds is;
Cost of constructing maintaining repairing or renewing all such boundary walls or fences are as party walls or fences

they asked if I minded if they replaced our adjoining fence...

for the benefit of the thread I think we need to know a little more about what was said, and why.

They were modernizing the house and knocked the door and asked if we minded if they got the fence replaced by a contractor and could he access our garden

did they ask because they considered the old fence "shared"?

No I don't think so, I'm sure if he did he would have opened conversation with "would you want to go halves on replacing the fence"

did they ask you to contribute to the replacement?

No, as above

did you preempt any request for a contribution with a declaration you didn't have funds available?

No at the time I thought "up to him if he wants to do that"

did they say non-contribution amounted to the "shared" idea null and void?

There were no conversation about monies

PS was the new fence erected where the old "shared" fence stood?

The fence is in as near as dammit in the same position
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Re: Shared boundary fence

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu May 29, 2014 10:28 pm

Hi Tonka,

Cost of constructing maintaining repairing or renewing all such boundary walls or fences are as party walls or fences

do you know which particular boundary walls or fences this refers to?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Shared boundary fence

Postby Tonka » Fri May 30, 2014 8:16 am

Hi Mac,
Cost of constructing maintaining repairing or renewing all such boundary walls or fences are as party walls or fences

do you know which particular boundary walls or fences this refers to?


On the deeds it shows all boundaries
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Re: Shared boundary fence

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri May 30, 2014 12:37 pm

Hi Tonka,

the wording doesn't have to relate to all boundaries.
what transaction is the wording referring to?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Shared boundary fence

Postby Roblewis » Fri May 30, 2014 12:57 pm

I am with mac here as the wording you have posted does not specifically mean all boundaries are shared. They seem to be part of a bigger picture. As for HLMR document this is advice not a specific requirement and is designed to try and prevent boundary disputes based on fence lines etc. There is no need for any boundary feature if you wish and if you erect one then make sure it abuts the boundary and not sit astride. That way all doubt is removed. The document does not say that all fences are boundary features and the final truth is that LR only records boundaries and the responsibility for a boundary not any temporary feature that may be present. One maxim dinned into me is " boundaries have a tendency to move back and forth over time" If you take this on board you will realise that just as you cannot insist it is their fence they cannot insist it is yours, partially or fully. If they want a fence let them erect it on their land so that it remains theirs.
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Re: Shared boundary fence

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri May 30, 2014 2:30 pm

Hi Rob,

If they want a fence let them erect it on their land so that it remains theirs.

exactly!

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Shared boundary fence

Postby jonahinoz » Sat May 31, 2014 8:15 am

If they want a fence let them erect it on their land so that it remains theirs.


Hi Mac,

Do I understand this correctly? If a fence is shared, one party can prevent the other party doing anything to the fence. So in the case in question, the OP can prevent the neighbour from replacing the fence, and thus avoid having to pay half the cost? Or can he, if the deeds say that responsibility for the fence is joint? Can one neighbour dump a substantial bill onto the other neighbour, just because he fancies a better fence?

John W
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