Replacing A Shared Fence

Replacing A Shared Fence

Postby gravey » Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:09 pm

Hi there.

Have spent some time reading many posts, specifically regarding fences and boundaries.

Apologies in advance if this has already been discussed, though I couldn't find an exact same scenario.

According to our deeds, we share responsibility for a timber fence between ours and our neighbours back garden.

The neighbouring property is privately owned but let to student tenants.

In recent months, the condition of the fence has deteriorated due to its age, the tenants kicking balls against it and hanging washing lines from the posts which have become wobbly.

We'd like to have repairs made, or preferably have a new, taller fence installed. We have written to the Landlady to discuss this and also ask her to provide suitable facilities for her tenants for clothes drying but she has not replied (she's notorious in the area for being a rogue landlady and the local Council have had numerous run-ins with her for her failure to manage her property and ignore any correspondence).

We'd be happy to simply get a new fence installed on the same line as the existing fence and pay for it ourselves (is this considered gifting a fence to her...possibly not if she's not interested?). However, without her consent, can we do this or can we wait a reasonable amount of time and if still no response just have it installed?

The bottom line is that we could probably do it anyway and she wouldn't care. We do feel however that we should attempt to go about this properly.

Once we have installed the fence, am I right in thinking it will still be a shared responsibility or because we will have paid for it, will we have ownership?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Replacing A Shared Fence

Postby arsie » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:35 pm

Check your deeds to see EXACTLY what they say. The wording is vital.
It would be helpful if you could quote the precise words for us to see.

It would not normally be wise to put up a duplicate fence along the boundary on your land but if you did it would be yours 100%. But would you really want to do that with pillocks the other side who would wreck your fence anyway. Do you have to have a fence, is there pressing reason such as pet dogs or children?
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Re: Replacing A Shared Fence

Postby gravey » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:59 pm

The student tenants can be a bit of a nightmare what with their constant barbecues, garden parties and the like, so yes we really do want a fence. We want some kind of privacy: the previous lot all ended up getting ASBOs for intimidating our 5 year old daughter when she played in the garden so a substantial screen is what we're after.

Will check the wording of the deeds though as I recall they say very little.

The rogue landlady is unfortunately a solicitor so we want to approach with some caution.
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Re: Replacing A Shared Fence

Postby COGGY » Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:07 pm

Hi Gravey

A house near us, where the garden joins a public footpath to the local shop, has a 6 foot high chain link fence, with metal posts. It always looks tidy and their garden is completely private as they have shrubs growing the other side of the fence. Some shrubs will grow really quickly if well watered. Also bamboo is not covered by the high hedge act so as you already have some bamboo you could have a mix of shrubs with various coloured leaves. We have a pyrancanthus planted in a very large pot. The label says it will grow to 17 feet which is why it is in a large pot. It has grown a lot already, we bought it about a year ago and it is at least 7/8 feet high. It has been well watered during the summer and has been fed with miracle grow. A few prickly shrubs may help to deal with the football. :roll:

Kind regards
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Re: Replacing A Shared Fence

Postby despair » Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:29 pm

The very last thing I would do with student tenants who have no respect for anyone is install a new wooden fence
As already said a chainlink fence would be much better and withstand balls etc
I would install it tight up to the existing fence so its wholly yours and you do not loose land and then plant a pyracantha and laurel or privet hedge

if the students attach washing lines to it ,,,,,,,,,,,,cut them off
if balls come over ........do not return them

Both the landlady and her tenants need to start respecting other peoples property
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Re: Replacing A Shared Fence

Postby gravey » Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:12 pm

Thanks all.

We have a pyracantha along one portion of the boundary already. Needless to say it's being allowed to flourish.

Aside from possible solutions I'm interested to know from a legal standpoint what she (or at least her tenants) can and cannot do with the existing fence.

I understand that they're not bothered with having a fence or the condition of it. Conversely, we do want one and are bothered by its condition. Do all parties just agree to disagree as clearly no suitable solution can be found and things remain as they are?

We've cut down the washing line already as when we requested it be removed, no action was taken. Were we right to do this? I don't know but it felt right!
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Re: Replacing A Shared Fence

Postby COGGY » Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:35 pm

Well Plod clearly is not interested and I cannot see the neighbour taking you to court for cutting a washing line belonging to her tenants. :lol: You cannot force a neighbour to erect a fence or contribute to the cost of a fence. Clearly your neighbour will not be wanting to spend money on a fence.

Regards
Coggy
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Re: Replacing A Shared Fence

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:25 am

Hi gravey,

I'm interested to know from a legal standpoint what she (or at least her tenants) can and cannot do with the existing fence.

that would depend entirely on whose fence it is - you say it is "shared"?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Replacing A Shared Fence

Postby despair » Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:54 am

If the deeds designate the fence as "shared " then neither side can remove it or damage it or replace it without the others agreement

hence if you install your own chain link fence tight up to it
I would be inclined to find a way to wire in /attach the shared fence in some way to protect your new one

that way you have every right to tell the tenants to naff off and leave it alone

whatever you do take photos and keep the receipts for your new fence
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Re: Replacing A Shared Fence

Postby arsie » Sun Sep 21, 2014 3:49 pm

As a matter of interest it would be good to see the wording of your deeds and exactly what makes you think the existing fence is a shared/joint responsibility. Under the circumstances I would agree with installing a stout chain link fence wholly on your land to keep the wild animals at bay. Take pictures. A brief note to the landlord saying what you are doing and why would be a good idea so that your fence is not taken for the shared fence/on the boundary in future. I would point out that the tenants are not allowed to attach anything to your fence and would she ensure that they are made aware of this legality.
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Re: Replacing A Shared Fence

Postby ukmicky » Fri Sep 26, 2014 11:07 pm

Who said you can't replace.

If the fence is shared then both side are legally entitled to retain but more importantly maintain a shared fence astride the boundary. What's the point in someone have rights over something if they couldn't maintain it and ultimately renew once it got to the stage that it couldn't be repaired. It's called derogation from grant and It would be inequitable .its like saying I couldnt replace crumbled bricks on a shared garden wall.


It's a form of easement. Not that much different to a party wall where I have a right to demolish and renew a party wall ,which includes my neighbours side if it was in need of repair. The only difference being there is no partywall act for fences which allows me to place some of the cost onto my neighbour.

The right to retain and maintain lasts forever unless it can be shown that one or both parties has given up the right and it would not be equitable for one party to enforce the right. Circumstances like I give permision to my neighbour to remove an old shared fence and place a new one Wholley on his land and for me to then place a shared fence back on the boundary would mean removing the fence I allowed him to erect. Acquiescence can also be seen as permision.

A fence serves a purpose and if the fences condition is such that it purpose can no longer said to be served then either owner can repair or f that was not possible replace like for like. Neither owner can force each other into any expense unless they are bound by contract. I would take photos showing it no longer serves its purpose and I would offer the old parts to the neighbour so it couldn't be classed as theft even though the chances are it would be laughed out of court. The only hard bit is determining at what point it no longer serves its purpose.

All that typed on my iPad ,I hate my ipad
Last edited by ukmicky on Fri Sep 26, 2014 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Replacing A Shared Fence

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Sep 26, 2014 11:30 pm

Hi ukmicky,

All that typed on my iPad ,I hate my ipad

can I have it then?

Wishful regards, Mac
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Re: Replacing A Shared Fence

Postby ukmicky » Fri Sep 26, 2014 11:36 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi ukmicky,

All that typed on my iPad ,I hate my ipad

can I have it then?

Wishful regards, Mac


:D No

Ok yes I love the iPad i just didn't expect to be using it to post on a forum. My computer died last week and it's a right pain using this thing to post with. Hopefully all my files are ok on the hard drives so when I build a new computer I won't have lost every .
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Replacing A Shared Fence

Postby jonahinoz » Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:41 am

Hi,

If a fence is SHARED, surely both parties are entitled to kick balls against it, or attach washing lines?

Or is it that neither party is allowed to do anything without the neighbours agreement? But that would mean no benefit to either neighbour, apart from the right to veto. I wonder if "shared tenancy" and "tenants in common" rules could be applied to a fence?

I'll get my coat.

John W
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Re: Replacing A Shared Fence

Postby despair » Sat Sep 27, 2014 10:33 am

Fences are not supposed to be for kicking balls against or tying washing lines to

either side is entitled to be pretty fed up at such mistreatment
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