Neighbour doesn't want to replace their fence

Neighbour doesn't want to replace their fence

Postby treecol » Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:01 am

Hi, I'm sure this has been covered many times on here. But before we go ahead & replace two dilapidated fences which belong to our neighbours I though I'd better check things.
We have a great relationship with all our neighbours. An elderly couple at the bottom end of our back garden on one side, don't want to replace their fence as they say they cannot see it from their house. I've been round there & I know they can, but for the sake of keeping good neighbours happy, we've told them we'll replace the fence.
But new neighbours have moved in at the bottom of our garden in the next road. We went round to see them & were really polite (almost OTT!) but we had a very frosty reaction. We'd only gone to welcome them, but there we are. Subsequently, they are refusing to do anything about their fence, which again is falling into our garden. For them, it's behind a huge laurel hedge, so we're the only ones who can see it.
So we've decided to put up our own fence on our own land - up against theirs. We'll be doing this to both of those neighbours fences as this results in us having to fence all 3 sides of our back garden & in a third of an acre, it won't be cheap. As we only have a commercial vehicle, we cannot use the local council free tip, so this way at least we don't have to touch & dispose of their fence.
The fence will be 1 inch inside our land. It'll be a closeboard fence, currently theirs is panels & wooden posts. Does this sound like the most practical solution to you?
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Re: Neighbour doesn't want to replace their fence

Postby despair » Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:12 am

1) You will loose land

2) you will find they will remove their fence

3) you need to document , keep receipts , photos and preferably ensure the owners of both those houses sign undertakings not to touch your fence and acknowledge it is entirely yours on your land ..................this needs to be kept with your deeds and handed over to any new owners of their houses or yours
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Re: Neighbour doesn't want to replace their fence

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:20 am

Hi treecol,

sounds like a plan to me.

can I ask - how do you know it's their fence in the first place?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Neighbour doesn't want to replace their fence

Postby treecol » Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:56 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi treecol,

sounds like a plan to me.

can I ask - how do you know it's their fence in the first place?

Kind regards, Mac


Because we've only been here for 8 months & during the conveyancing process, it was shown as per the deeds that these two fences were owned by each of these neighbours. We would only lose 1 inch of land & it'd be worth it to have a tidy fence.
I know the elderly couple would be happy (hopefully) to sign stating their acknowledgement of the fence belonging to us etc, I cannot see the other very difficult neighbour would agree. If they don't how do you suggest we proceed.
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Re: Neighbour doesn't want to replace their fence

Postby span » Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:11 pm

treecol wrote:I know the elderly couple would be happy (hopefully) to sign stating their acknowledgement of the fence belonging to us etc, I cannot see the other very difficult neighbour would agree. If they don't how do you suggest we proceed.


Well, the fun that you could have....

If you're placing your new fence up against their rickety old fence - paint the side facing them in "urban graffiti" style, or in garish colours, or with instructions painted on that they're not permitted to touch, paint, interfere, nail, glue or affix anything to your fence.

Be as imaginative as you like. After all, it's going to be hard up against another fence and will never be seen, right....?
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Re: Neighbour doesn't want to replace their fence

Postby arborlad » Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:25 pm

treecol wrote:The fence will be 1 inch inside our land. It'll be a closeboard fence, currently theirs is panels & wooden posts. Does this sound like the most practical solution to you?



On a closeboard fence, the posts and rails should be on the owners side.

The amount of land at risk is a lot greater than the 1 inch you are already ceding.

Don't be tempted with any graffiti, which you couldn't carry out anyway.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Neighbour doesn't want to replace their fence

Postby treecol » Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:20 pm

arborlad wrote:




The amount of land at risk is a lot greater than the 1 inch you are already ceding.

[/quote]

No - the amount of land is definitely 1 inch wide.

The neighbours side of the fence is inaccessible due to the hedge, so the slats will go on our side due to the fact it's impossible to do it any other way. Our neighbours fence is like that due to their neighbours hedge.
thank you for the suggestion of putting things in writing. I'm going to attempt a friendly chat tomorrow with the difficult neighbour & inform her of our plans. Depending on her attitude, I may then consult our solicitor to put things in writing to both neighbours.
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Re: Neighbour doesn't want to replace their fence

Postby stufe35 » Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:10 pm

Aborlad,

You wrote....On a closeboard fence, the posts and rails should be on the owners side.

I'm intrigued ...surely if you are putting your own fence up on your own land you can build it however you like ?
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Re: Neighbour doesn't want to replace their fence

Postby treecol » Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:34 pm

stufe35 wrote: ...surely if you are putting your own fence up on your own land you can build it however you like ?


Despite what you may be told, you can in fact build it how you like. There is no law which says you must have the rails your side of the fence. However, common etiquette (good old fashioned common sense) says keep your neighbours happy & either give them the choice of which side they would like ( I prefer to see the rails) or slats their side, rails yours. But if their side is inaccessible due to a great big thick impassable hedge, you have to build it from your side, there is no other way, so you get the slats.
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Re: Neighbour doesn't want to replace their fence

Postby stufe35 » Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:57 pm

Trecol, I tend to agree with you (but I have no specialist knowledge in this area), however arbor lad posts on here quite regularly and always appears very knowledgeable ....so I'm interested for him to expand on what he has said.
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Re: Neighbour doesn't want to replace their fence

Postby treecol » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:37 am

stufe35 wrote:Trecol, I tend to agree with you (but I have no specialist knowledge in this area), however arbor lad posts on here quite regularly and always appears very knowledgeable ....so I'm interested for him to expand on what he has said.


He may well do, but we run a fencing & tree surgery company & can assure you that there is no law, bi-law, regulation etc etc that states who has which side of the fence. It is just polite to give your neighbour the side which is considered the best side - in the case of close board, that's the slats their side, rails yours. In 35 years of fencing I've never come across householders who aren't delighted to have a neighbour pay to replace a dilapidated fence that they own. However, due to the fact they are my neighbours, I thought I'd ask here to see how many of you have done what we are proposing- just to get feedback based on experience & it's been good to chew things over with you. It seems that despite bending over backwards to accommodate the awkward one, they just want their fence left there. Never had an experience like it. Normally with our customers, the neighbours have said "I can't afford to replace my fence, but if they want to, go ahead."
I'm really happy to set the fence 1 inch into my property & leave their fence up in the hope that I don't have to repair my fence due to their hedge growing into it.
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Re: Neighbour doesn't want to replace their fence

Postby MacadamB53 » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:44 am

Hi treecol,

during the conveyancing process, it was shown as per the deeds that these two fences were owned by each of these neighbours

I take it they're relatively new builds then, otherwise you'd never know from "deeds"...

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Neighbour doesn't want to replace their fence

Postby mugwump » Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:05 am

stufe35 wrote:Aborlad,

You wrote....On a closeboard fence, the posts and rails should be on the owners side.

I'm intrigued ...surely if you are putting your own fence up on your own land you can build it however you like ?
It is more for security reasons than anything else. If the rails are on your side then it denies a potential intruder a 'rung' to use to climb over the fence
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Re: Neighbour doesn't want to replace their fence

Postby arsie » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:15 am

Hi treecol, just a few comments to offer.

If you set the fence one inch into your own land and use four inch posts and then put the slats on the inside (your side) surely you effectively lose the use of five inches of your land on 3 sides of 1/3rd acre, say 1600 sq yards: that's going to be roughly 100 sq yards lost, less than 1%: not a lot.

Even with all the receipts and proof, signed statements etc you are going to be hard put to prove 'in perpetuity' that the boundary is anywhere other than your new fence without dispute - and those are not good when/if people come to sell their property.

In the real world a few inches either way in a large garden is no big deal. I would just go ahead.
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Re: Neighbour doesn't want to replace their fence

Postby treecol » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:55 am

arsie wrote:
If you set the fence one inch into your own land and use four inch posts and then put the slats on the inside (your side) surely you effectively lose the use of five inches of your land


No not the way I'm building this close board fence I won't. It'll only be an inch along the back & 1/3 of the side at the back end - the other side is mine entirely & the other 2/3 of the other side belong to another neighbour.
Spoke to my solicitor who confirmed no law re: who gets which face of the fence (no surprise there then) she said just go ahead & she'll put it in writing so that if the difficult neighbour still won't enter into a sensible discussion, we can forward it to her. Solicitor says this is the only solution in a case like this. Not ideal but necessary sometimes.
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