Fence/Boundary issue

Fence/Boundary issue

Postby Magicman1 » Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:18 pm

Hi all, I have 2 seperate issues which hopefully someone is able to offer some sound advice on.

1) We have a fence at the bottom of our garden upon which our neighbours have put up some sections of trellis fencing , basically attached to the back of our fence (its been there for a number of years at least 5 which was when we moved in). We now want to replace that fence but they are complaining that this could ruin their trellis and the climbing plants. So what can I do? On our deeds we are responsible for the maintenance of that fence.

2) The fence on a different side of the garden is a small and very poorly pale fence which again needs to be replaced (again per our deeds we are responsible for that). The issue here is the fence (which was put up a significant number of years ago) has been wound in and out of a small number of small trees, so some fall on our side of the fence, some on the neighbours. So removing and replacing the fence with something better in exactly the same position is not going to be possible. I suspect this may become more of a boundary dispute rather than a fence question but any advice would be welcome.

Thanks
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Re: Fence/Boundary issue

Postby humptydumpty » Tue Aug 12, 2014 2:59 pm

Hi majicman,

If the fence is your responsibility, and on your land then anything that has grown into entanglement with the fence is yours also!

Your neighbours need to accept what you wish to do, and should be able to make supports for their trellis on their own land without too much fuss.

I don't really see how this can become a boundary issue, unless the fence is not yours.
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Re: Fence/Boundary issue

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:57 pm

Hi magicman,

1. neighbour erects freestanding trellis structure and ties climbers to it and detaches existing trellis from your fence, then you replace your fence OR you replace your fence and make sure damage to their property is minimal.

2. if the space and angles between the trees is too small for a good fence then just fell the trees on your property as required (I'd suggest you fell them first as a separate exercise) - I assume they're not protected...

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Fence/Boundary issue

Postby Magicman1 » Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:09 pm

Hi Mac, thanks for the response.

On point 2) the reason I suggested it may become a boundary dispute is becasue I am not certain who would "own" these trees. The fence runs in an approximate straightline but as I mentioned, it has been put up such that a few of the trees stumps fall onto the other side of the fence. Its not a case of some braches overhanging, the stumps are actually on the other side. Hence surely I wouldn't be entitled to run any new fence along a slightly different line (we're taking about a foot or so here) so as to claim those trees? To be honest it would be easier to cut them down (they're not protected) but I'm not sure the neighbour would go along with that. We've had previous so he would want to make to as difficult as possible for me.

Thanks
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Re: Fence/Boundary issue

Postby arborlad » Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:53 pm

Magicman1 wrote:
2) The fence on a different side of the garden is a small and very poorly pale fence which again needs to be replaced (again per our deeds we are responsible for that). The issue here is the fence (which was put up a significant number of years ago) has been wound in and out of a small number of small trees, so some fall on our side of the fence, some on the neighbours. So removing and replacing the fence with something better in exactly the same position is not going to be possible. I suspect this may become more of a boundary dispute rather than a fence question but any advice would be welcome.

Thanks



Does this fence have a good start and finish point, something you can rely on?

Have any of these trees been planted or were they just weeds that have been missed?

What sort of fence are you considering, something with a post and rail type of construction is much better at avoiding obstacles than a panel fence.

If a decent fence is going to be the outcome, you might find the neighbour more amenable than you think.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Fence/Boundary issue

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Aug 12, 2014 9:40 pm

Hi magicman,

surely I wouldn't be entitled to run any new fence along a slightly different line (we're taking about a foot or so here) so as to claim those trees?

you're right - you wouldn't be entitled to do anything to your neighbour's trees.

you could fell YOUR trees though and install a fence along the exact same line as the existing one.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Fence/Boundary issue

Postby jonahinoz » Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:56 am

Hi,

You are entitled to trim vegetation that grows into your land, but you should offer the cuttings back to your neighbour. But in your case, I think you are telling us, you would need to cut twice, once where it enters your land, and again as it leaves. Presumably the top bit will die where if hangs/falls.

Can a tree gain a prescriptive right to support?

John W
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Re: Fence/Boundary issue

Postby Magicman1 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:33 pm

John W, thats a good point you make, as I am entitled to cut anything growing over the fence (which would be 80 % of the tree) then I'd have thought that would be enough to kill it off. But I'd really rather do it properly and take roots and all away, I just hope my neighbour has the same view.

Thanks all for your advice.
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Re: Fence/Boundary issue

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:12 pm

Hi magicman,

I must say I'm now confused!

you described one of your fences as "small" which stood "wound in and out of a small number of small trees" and these were not all stood on your land because "some fall on our side of the fence, some on the neighbours".

if you want to replace this fence then just chop your trees down - hey presto! no more winding in between trees...

I can't imagine why you think your neighbour's trees need any work on them in order for you to install the new fence.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Fence/Boundary issue

Postby Magicman1 » Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:13 am

Hi Mac, the situation is that the trees are in a straight line (give or take), however with the way the fence has been put up, it is wound in an out of the trees, some of the trees stumps fall onto my side, some on the other. So if I wanted to put up a panel fence along the same line it would be impossible as the line I need to take would mean going through some of the neighbouring trees.

Hence my original question was about it maybe being a boundary issue since I would not be able to replace this fence without removing some of the trees that are currently on my neighbours side. There is a steep bank on my side hence I cannot / would not want to move the fence further into my boundary, it would have to stay on the same sort of line as it currently is.

Hope that clarifies. I guess I'm still confused as to whether the trees on my neighbours side are in fact on my land. Or the fact the fence has been in place as it is for a number of years (i would guess in excess of 20 by the state of it) that the side of the fence on which the trees lie now is how it needs to stay moving forward.

Thanks
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Re: Fence/Boundary issue

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:29 am

Hi magicman,

the line I need to take would mean going through some of the neighbouring trees.

I take it you've decided you need to take a different line to the existing one but this can't possibly involve you ceding any land?

why can't you erect along the existing line but with fewer trees (yours)?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Fence/Boundary issue

Postby arsie » Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:36 am

Magicman

As you say the fence having been in place for a long while the trees your side are yours, those the other side are his.

So as Mac advises you can legitimately remove the trees on your side - subject to local planning tree regulations - if you want. However as he and others would advise, the best way is always cooperative and I would chat to the neighbour saying you plan to replace the fence and see what he thinks/wants about the trees. He might want to keep some/all. I personally like a few trees but not too many - light - and maybe you can agree a few short fences between a few trees you mutually agree to retain. So instead of the fence weaving in and out it would be like this x--------x--------x-------x------ where x marks trees and ------ fence panels. If you play your cards right you might be able to use all full size panels, would be a lot easier.

Most people fight tooth and nail over a few inches of land but the main thing is to have a secure and lasting marker for the boundary. A sliver of land here or there is really not that important unless you live on postage stamp sized plots of land.
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Re: Fence/Boundary issue

Postby Geometer » Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:18 pm

Magicman1 wrote:
2) The fence on a different side of the garden is a small and very poorly pale fence which again needs to be replaced (again per our deeds we are responsible for that). The issue here is the fence (which was put up a significant number of years ago) has been wound in and out of a small number of small trees, so some fall on our side of the fence, some on the neighbours. So removing and replacing the fence with something better in exactly the same position is not going to be possible. I suspect this may become more of a boundary dispute rather than a fence question but any advice would be welcome.

I'm curious about these trees. I'm wondering if they were originally planted as a hedge, but were left unmanaged and have grown "leggy". If they were, it may be that the answer along this boundary would simply be to reinstate the hedge. Do you know what species they are? Any chance of a photo?

Incidentally, cutting "80%" from a tree isn't necessarily going to kill it. Some trees can be cut back right down to ground level and they will regenerate from the stump.
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