Can neighbour own land on my side of the fence?

Can neighbour own land on my side of the fence?

Postby kit2000 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:30 pm

The neighbour at the end of our garden says that he owns 6 inches on our side of the fence. He put the fence up before we lived here and he likes to do regular maintenance on it by sticking extra supports onto our side of it. It's a wooden panel fence with concrete posts and concrete gravel boards. He says he put it up 6 inches inside the boundary so he had access to both sides for maintenance purposes. The problem is that he has cut over hanging branches from our trees well over the 6 inches. He's then thrown the branches back into our garden. (I trimmed them back myself about 3 months ago, so they weren't that over grown, but he cut absolutely loads off) He has also come into our garden when we're out and cut down my bamboo and thrown it into the middle of the lawn. He's dug up 5 plants that were next to the fence and left them there to die. I think he did this as he wanted to make sure no soil was touching the gravel boards and he didn't want any leaves touching the fence. He has cleared 6 inches from the ground upwards all along the fence there is not a leaf left in that space.

The end of our garden also adjoins his neighbour as the gardens are off set and there is a hedge between these properties so I assume the hedge was the original boundary. That neighbour has a small wall on their/his side of that hedge which is well inside our problem neighbours fence line. In the hedge you can see old hip height concrete posts that would have had wire running along them. His fence posts start right next to one of these concrete posts but are set on his side by 2 inches at most.

My questions are; Can he prove in anyway that he owns 6 inches? How can we decide where the boundary actually is if it's not the fence. Even if he did put his fence up 2 or 6 inches inside the boundary does that give him the right to tell us what to do on our side of the fence? Surely he has given up those inches when he placed the fence where he did. If he does have rights to those few inches can he destroy my plants and make a mess of my garden like that?

He did the same thing a few years ago and we ended up in a blazing row. I haven't spoke to him about it this time yet as I want to find out what my rights are first. Any advice gratefully received. Thanks
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Re: Can neighbour own land on my side of the fence?

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:18 pm

Hi kit,

your neighbour may well claim he owns six inch beyond his fence, but he's gonna struggle proving it.

as for requiring a six inch strip of land from which to carry out maintenance on a timber panel fence - utter nonsense.

one of the supposed plus points of panels is they can easily be taken out and put back in at will.

in short, he has constructed himself a boundary feature - something to define the limit of his land - which can be maintained without the need to step off his land.

I would point blank refuse access and offer to lift his panels out for him next time he asks.

can you expand on what this means:

...sticking extra supports onto our side of it...

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Can neighbour own land on my side of the fence?

Postby kit2000 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:47 pm

kit2000 wrote:can you expand on what this means:

...sticking extra supports onto our side of it...


The back side of the fence faces us so he comes over to stick extra wooden supports on to strengthen the fence. It makes it look a right mess too, that's why I like to have some plants in front of it.You're right the panels do lift out as he lifts them up half way and crawls under in order to access our garden.
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Re: Can neighbour own land on my side of the fence?

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:07 pm

Hi kit,

he lifts them up half way and crawls under in order to access our garden

un-be-liev-able!!

are these "supports" fixed to the land or just the panels?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Can neighbour own land on my side of the fence?

Postby arborlad » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:20 pm

arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Can neighbour own land on my side of the fence?

Postby kit2000 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:48 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:
are these "supports" fixed to the land or just the panels?



They're just fixed to the panels.
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Re: Can neighbour own land on my side of the fence?

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:04 pm


Hi arborlad,

without any explanation the OP might think you're advocating they buy and use the cure themselves on the neighbour's fence...

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Can neighbour own land on my side of the fence?

Postby jdfi » Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:16 pm

kit2000 wrote:You're right the panels do lift out as he lifts them up half way and crawls under in order to access our garden.


Serrated edge....
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Re: Can neighbour own land on my side of the fence?

Postby JazzyJanEdith » Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:28 pm

I was in similar situation over the OTT Planning Application from my own "Neighbour from Hell". According to where he thought the party border was would mean he owned half of our house as well! I managed to resolve this by getting a Chartered Surveyor (average fee - about £300 plus VAT) to measure my property. We then compared his very accurately scaled drawings to those held by the Land Registry. This proved the case for me. (I had to also pay a solicitor to deal with this person though! Your neighbour sounds as weird as mine! :x ) However, I think this is only way to solve your boundary issue.
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Re: Can neighbour own land on my side of the fence?

Postby ukmicky » Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:33 pm

kit2000 wrote:The neighbour at the end of our garden says that he owns 6 inches on our side of the fence. He put the fence up before we lived here and he likes to do regular maintenance on it by sticking extra supports onto our side of it. It's a wooden panel fence with concrete posts and concrete gravel boards. He says he put it up 6 inches inside the boundary so he had access to both sides for maintenance purposes. The problem is that he has cut over hanging branches from our trees well over the 6 inches. He's then thrown the branches back into our garden. (I trimmed them back myself about 3 months ago, so they weren't that over grown, but he cut absolutely loads off) He has also come into our garden when we're out and cut down my bamboo and thrown it into the middle of the lawn. He's dug up 5 plants that were next to the fence and left them there to die. I think he did this as he wanted to make sure no soil was touching the gravel boards and he didn't want any leaves touching the fence. He has cleared 6 inches from the ground upwards all along the fence there is not a leaf left in that space.

The end of our garden also adjoins his neighbour as the gardens are off set and there is a hedge between these properties so I assume the hedge was the original boundary. That neighbour has a small wall on their/his side of that hedge which is well inside our problem neighbours fence line. In the hedge you can see old hip height concrete posts that would have had wire running along them. His fence posts start right next to one of these concrete posts but are set on his side by 2 inches at most.

My questions are; Can he prove in anyway that he owns 6 inches? How can we decide where the boundary actually is if it's not the fence. Even if he did put his fence up 2 or 6 inches inside the boundary does that give him the right to tell us what to do on our side of the fence? Surely he has given up those inches when he placed the fence where he did. If he does have rights to those few inches can he destroy my plants and make a mess of my garden like that?


He did the same thing a few years ago and we ended up in a blazing row. I haven't spoke to him about it this time yet as I want to find out what my rights are first. Any advice gratefully received. Thanks


The legal presumption is that you fence to the fullest extent of your land.

Is the fence in line with other properties.

Sounds like he will be trying to gain a precriptive easement for access in 20 years depending on when he first started doing it.

I would place some very large and very heavy like a big shed tight up against the fence and train a cctv camera on in case he tries to destroy it
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Can neighbour own land on my side of the fence?

Postby jonahinoz » Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:22 am

I would place some very large and very heavy like a big shed tight up against the fence and train a cctv camera on in case he tries to destroy it

Hi,

I was thinking along the same lines. Ask neighbour to identify where he claims the boundary to be ... then build your own fence on that line. If what he says is true, then you will have lost no land, but will have improved your view. You will also have ended a dispute ... I think.

I read of a case, many years (30?) ago, about a farmer who sold part of a field, and erected a fence to mark his boundary. In order to have easy access for maintenance, he placed the fence 3ft inside the boundary ... but didn't make this clear to the buyer. Legal fees were £50,000, at the time of the report ... and rising. :shock:

John W
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Re: Can neighbour own land on my side of the fence?

Postby arborlad » Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:20 pm




As well as the above brackets, there are wedges that fulfill the same role, these are commercially available but I've been unable to find any to link to, these are very easy to make and I've often used the two halves of a wooden clothes peg opposed to each other to good effect.

When your neighbour erected the fence, he had the opportunity to erect it to the fullest extent of his land, in fact the law will presume he has done that, leaving 6" of unsecured land on your side of the fence as some sort of maintenance strip is just nonsensical. All of the land on your side of the fence is yours and you need to secure it, the best way to prevent your neighbour trespassing is to prevent the removal of the panels.

Quite how you proceed would depend on your knowlede of the neighbour but I would suggest fixing the panels in place first and then informing your neighbour what you have done and why.
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Re: Can neighbour own land on my side of the fence?

Postby kit2000 » Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:02 pm

I don't think that legally I can attach anything to his fence. I think that although it seems ridiculous and an unnecessary expense a second fence next to his might be the best option.
I could put our new fence 6 inches in from his and then he'd be happy. But I really don't think that when you look at the original old fence posts from when the house was originally built and the line of the hedges and other people's fences etc that he has given up any land at all. So if the law assumes that he will have fenced up to the full extent of his land then I think I'll put a fence right next to his. It will keep him off our land and I wont feel like we've given in to his ridiculous demands too much.

Can anyone for see any problems with this? And what's a prescriptive easement ukmicky?

Thanks
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Re: Can neighbour own land on my side of the fence?

Postby ukmicky » Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:20 pm

kit2000 wrote:I don't think that legally I can attach anything to his fence. I think that although it seems ridiculous and an unnecessary expense a second fence next to his might be the best option.
I could put our new fence 6 inches in from his and then he'd be happy. But I really don't think that when you look at the original old fence posts from when the house was originally built and the line of the hedges and other people's fences etc that he has given up any land at all. So if the law assumes that he will have fenced up to the full extent of his land then I think I'll put a fence right next to his. It will keep him off our land and I wont feel like we've given in to his ridiculous demands too much.

Can anyone for see any problems with this? And what's a prescriptive easement ukmicky?

Thanks
The law presumes a land owner will fence to the fullest extent of his land but that presumption can be rebutted through contrary evidence.

The line of the other fences is evidence in your favour a deed showing a change in boundary lines would be evidence in his favour.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Can neighbour own land on my side of the fence?

Postby jonahinoz » Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:27 am

And what's a prescriptive easement

Hi Kit2000,

Google PRESCRIPTIVE EASEMENT UK.

You might need the UK bit, as Google sometimes ramble into USA territory without warning you.

John W
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