Fairly compicated fence problem

Fairly compicated fence problem

Postby Indie66 » Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:44 am

We recently completed on a purchase of a flat in SE London (with share of freehold). An issue has popped up today and I wondered any of you may be able to offer some advice.

When we moved in, there was a new fence installed on the left side of our garden. This is the side we are responsible for, and we assumed the previous owner had installed it, as when we first looked around the fence had been damaged in storms.

Shortly after moving in, we met the neighbour who told us that he'd installed them as there'd been no fence there for so long. Either way, we were happy as our fence was replaced before we moved in and it no longer needed doing.

Anyway, today it emerges that in fact, the fence had been installed by a company called L&Q who are some form of housing association who own the flat next door. It appears they have installed the fence in error, and it was supposed to go up on the other side of their garden - the side that THEY are responsible for. Stupid error on their part.

They are apparently writing to us to ask us to pay £1200 to pay for the fence, or they are going to tear it up and we'll have to install our own. My question is, is this legal? The fence is on the boundary and, as I understand it, legally ours. I've checked and the fence sits on the line of the previous fence and lines up nicely with a brick wall in our side return. Just because they installed it (in error), does that give them the right to then uninstall it subsequantly, and at least 6 weeks later? It's not like we have deliberately misled them - we didn't even own the flat when the fences were installed. In fact, from a legal standpoint, my understanding that if anything, the previous owners are more likely to be liable for any costs incurred by the housing association. We bought the flat with fences installed, and contractually they became ours at the point of completion, right?

Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks!
Indie66
 
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Re: Fairly compicated fence problem

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:45 pm

Hi Indie,

Just because they installed it (in error), does that give them the right to then uninstall it subsequantly, and at least 6 weeks later?

it doesn't give them a right, but you'd have to be a bit of a d|ck to refuse.

It's not like we have deliberately misled them

have they accused anyone of misleading them?

my understanding that if anything, the previous owners are more likely to be liable for any costs incurred by the housing association.

not quite...

We bought the flat with fences installed

...so they're liable for the missing fence they sold you.

I'd let the HA remove the fence and pursue your vendor for a replacement.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Fairly compicated fence problem

Postby arborlad » Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:52 pm

Indie66 wrote:When we moved in, there was a new fence installed............

Thanks!



Are you satisfied with the fence, as installed?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Fairly compicated fence problem

Postby Indie66 » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:00 pm

arborlad wrote:
Indie66 wrote:When we moved in, there was a new fence installed............

Thanks!



Are you satisfied with the fence, as installed?


Extremely. That's why I'm so annoyed that they want to remove it. It's a lovely fence.

In fact, if they were to quote us a reasonable cost to "buy" it from them, I'd probably be happy to pay it (as we thought we'd have to put new fences up when we moved in anyway). But £1200?? For 4 fence panels and posts??
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Re: Fairly compicated fence problem

Postby Brainsey » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:09 pm

Perhaps making them an offer based on the cost of 4 fence panels and 5 posts from a local builders merchant, is an option?
I'd make any such offer on a "once only", "take it or leave it" basis and I'd point out that removing the nice new fence will cost them time/money. They would also have to reinstate the fence they removed; which could be difficult as it's probably dumped/destroyed.
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Re: Fairly compicated fence problem

Postby arborlad » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:52 pm

Indie66 wrote:
arborlad wrote:
Indie66 wrote:When we moved in, there was a new fence installed............

Thanks!



Are you satisfied with the fence, as installed?


Extremely. That's why I'm so annoyed that they want to remove it. It's a lovely fence.

In fact, if they were to quote us a reasonable cost to "buy" it from them, I'd probably be happy to pay it (as we thought we'd have to put new fences up when we moved in anyway). But £1200?? For 4 fence panels and posts??



You rather beat me to it, I was going to edit and say............and would you pay £1200 for it?......I now know the answer :)

The fence is now yours........"quicquid plantatur solo, solo cedit " translates to, what is attached to the land belongs to the land.

Make them a goodwill offer of what you think is reasonable, about 50% seems about right.

But whatever happens, the fence is yours - and stays put.
arborlad

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Re: Fairly compicated fence problem

Postby jonahinoz » Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:30 pm

Hi,

If the HA remove "your" fence, you are under no obligation to erect a replacement ... which might be awkward for the HA if their tennant expects their garden to be fenced.

But I agree, pay them something for the fence ... on the understanding, in writting, that the fence is YOURS.

John W
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