Neighbour illegally attached boards to my fence

Neighbour illegally attached boards to my fence

Postby Rufus20 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:54 pm

Hi

I am responsible for the fence for the left and back sides. My neighbour is responsible for the right side, shown on title deeds. The storms at the beginning if the year badly damaged the right side and next door made no attempt to fix the fence.

I got sick of having no privacy and spent over £1000 on panels and posts. I spoke to next door before I put the fence up and also asked if I could remove my own plants that overhung their fence to put my new fence up. I put the fence inside their boundary fence on my property. The fence panels were 1.8m but I put them at 2m height, so there is a gap under the fence panels, which my cats go under. I put the new fence up 3 weeks ago.

They have since pulled down the boundary fence and then this morning attached boards to the base of my fence.

I think that it is illegal to attach anything to my fence that is on my property. Am I right?

If they refuse to remove them what can I do?

How can I stop them claiming that it is now the boundary fence and therefore their fence?
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Re: Neighbour illegally attached boards to my fence

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:29 pm

Hi Rufus,

it would seem your neighbour doesn't understand the fence is not his property or else has some woolly idea that fences are not property at all.

I think that it is illegal to attach anything to my fence that is on my property. Am I right?

I prefer the word "unlawful" but essentially you're right.

If they refuse to remove them what can I do?

(carefully) remove them and hand them back is one option
give them permission to leave them be is another
seek a court order to remove the trespass is another

How can I stop them claiming that it is now the boundary fence and therefore their fence?
you can't stop anyone "claiming" anything but if you wish to stop them using it as if it was their property then you must act like a responsible owner.

"before" and "after" photos would be pretty conclusive if you also had receipts/invoice.

In your shoes (and assuming I didn't want their panels attached to my fence) I'd either have a chat or send them a note, politely explaining to them that they need to remove the panels from my property within 14 days or else I'll be doing it myself. I'd explain they should ask for my permission next time they want to tamper with my property - how would they like it if eg I started storing my bins in their front garden unannounced - and I'd urge them to seek proper legal advice if they wished to challenge this before doing anything else.

if they removed them within 14 days I'd send a "thank you" card and maybe a token gift.

if they didn't remove them then I'd ask for access and if this was denied I'd dismantle from my side.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Neighbour illegally attached boards to my fence

Postby Rufus20 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:48 pm

Thanks Mac,

I have sent them a note as they aren't in and I wanted them to know I wasn't accepting it the same day they put them up.

I have no way of removing them from my side as they have screwed them to the side of my fence and not the bottom. I could try and hammer them off but likely would just severely damage my new panels.

I have official before photos of their fence as we had a party wall agreement done a few months ago for work to my property.
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Re: Neighbour illegally attached boards to my fence

Postby arborlad » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:51 pm

Rufus20 wrote: ...........there is a gap under the fence panels, which my cats go under.



Are your cats elderly or infirm?

I'm afraid this is a classic case of why duplicating a boundary feature is a bad idea and donating a fence to the neighbour can be a good idea. I'm assuming you have interpreted your deeds and any conventions correctly.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Neighbour illegally attached boards to my fence

Postby Rufus20 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:56 pm

There is no way in hell I'm donating my new fence to next door, I would burn it rather then give it to them!
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Re: Neighbour illegally attached boards to my fence

Postby despair » Thu Jul 31, 2014 7:14 pm

If they have screwed boards to the side of your panels and the panels have been correctly screwed to the posts instead of nailed you can unscrew each panel

remove the boards and return them

However quite why you would install a fence with a 6 inch gap underneath so your cats can get through into the neighbours garden is beyond me
Maybe the neighbours would prefer your cats did not creep under the fence and crap in their garden

I know I would not be best pleased
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Re: Neighbour illegally attached boards to my fence

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 7:23 pm

Hi Rufus,

I think it is worth pointing out you have NO legal options if they decide to hold the panels in place by other means 1mm away from your fence - and IMHO that's something they're likely to do given they definitely want the panels there...

I must say I would find it VERY odd if any of my neighbours, friends or family erected a garden fence with a 6" gap along the bottom but I'm sure you have good reasons.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Neighbour illegally attached boards to my fence

Postby arborlad » Thu Jul 31, 2014 7:49 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:............. if they decide to hold the panels in place by other means .........



Not panels - boards.

A panel fence without a gravel board is a bad idea, a panel set 6" above the ground with no support aint gonna be there long.
arborlad

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Re: Neighbour illegally attached boards to my fence

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:00 pm

arborlad wrote:
MacadamB53 wrote:............. if they decide to hold the panels in place by other means .........



Not panels - boards.

A panel fence without a gravel board is a bad idea, a panel set 6" above the ground with no support aint gonna be there long.

Hi arborlad,

I didn't mean fence panels - which is why I didn't mention them - but I take your point

to avoid confusion though, how's about referring to what the OP wants removing as "planks" from now on ;)

Cheerful regards, Mac
PS agreed on the potential lifespan of the fence
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Re: Neighbour illegally attached boards to my fence

Postby Rufus20 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:15 pm

My fence is secured with met posts and 2m posts. Not all the fence has a gap under it, the garden has an incline so to get they fence straight there had to be gaps underneath. Next door's fence was a pitiful sight that I could walk straight through in 5 different places, they left it like that for more then 6 months. Their fence had no boards so the cats have been going under the fence for the 5 years that I've lived here without complaint. If they had a problem with the cats in the garden they should have done something about their own fence!

I'm super angry with next door as we went round and spoke to them 3 times while we were installing the fence to make sure we didn't upset them but they didn't have the common decency to come round and ask first! It isn't so much the cat issue as the rudeness and the stealing of my land!

Thanks despair if they don't remove them then I will unscrew each of the panels, 30m of panels, and remove the boards! Thinking about removing them anyway to put up a boundary line behind my fence! Worst case I will just remove my fence so they can see how much they like there being no fence at all!
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Re: Neighbour illegally attached boards to my fence

Postby despair » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:12 pm

Rufus

Thanks for the explanation I now understand why theres gaps

If I was in your shoes I would remove the panels completely and simply leave posts and wire right alomg the back

If you can aquire chicken wire or chain link fence or that holey orange plastic stuff from freecycle/freegle groups I would run that right down the back of your posts and secure it with wire staples and let them stew
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Re: Neighbour illegally attached boards to my fence

Postby Rufus20 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:06 pm

Just got home to find letter from next door in response to mine.

In summary the letter implied that we had said we were replacing the boundary fence but obviously we couldn't be bothered to remove the old one so put it next to it. That my fence is now the boundary fence.
That we had forgotten to put boards on the base of the fence and that they were doing us a favour by finishing the fence for us!
That we were rude bad neighbours!
That I was making a mountain out of a mole hill!

I tried to speak to them but they aren't answering the door, both cars on drive, so written them another note re-stating the actual facts and that they have 7 days to remove the boards or I'm starting legal proceedings. I also explained that the fence cost over £700 not including labour and that the title deeds clearly show that the fence was their responsibility and they did not maintain it.

I will be removing my fence and storing it in my garage if the boards are not removed by next weekend!
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Re: Neighbour illegally attached boards to my fence

Postby robj191269 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:28 pm

Rufus20 wrote:I will be removing my fence and storing it in my garage if the boards are not removed by next weekend!


Good for you mate.

My motto is "if you abuse it you lose it......." :lol:
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Re: Neighbour illegally attached boards to my fence

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:50 pm

Hi Rufus,

the title deeds clearly show that the fence was their responsibility and they did not maintain it

mentioning this is only going to confuse matters because it has little to do with the issue.

they need telling the fence is on your land so it is your property and if they don't understand then they need to ask a sols to explain it to them.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Neighbour illegally attached boards to my fence

Postby oorya » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:32 pm

Rufus20 wrote:My fence is secured with met posts and 2m posts. Not all the fence has a gap under it, the garden has an incline so to get they fence straight there had to be gaps underneath. Next door's fence was a pitiful sight that I could walk straight through in 5 different places, they left it like that for more then 6 months. Their fence had no boards so the cats have been going under the fence for the 5 years that I've lived here without complaint. If they had a problem with the cats in the garden they should have done something about their own fence!

I'm super angry with next door as we went round and spoke to them 3 times while we were installing the fence to make sure we didn't upset them but they didn't have the common decency to come round and ask first! It isn't so much the cat issue as the rudeness and the stealing of my land!

Thanks despair if they don't remove them then I will unscrew each of the panels, 30m of panels, and remove the boards! Thinking about removing them anyway to put up a boundary line behind my fence! Worst case I will just remove my fence so they can see how much they like there being no fence at all!


Perhaps your neighbours have become really p*ssed off that your cats have access to their garden, I know I am fed up with several cats entering my garden and depositing their s**t.

Surely it is your responsibility to prevent your cats going through the fence not your neighbours.
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