More fencing disputes!

More fencing disputes!

Postby sandydee » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:08 am

Our neighbour asked if he could remove the fence between our properties (which we are responsible for) in order to improve access to the rear of his property whilst he was building an extension. He said he would replace the fence when finished so we were happy to agree and said it was fine by us as long as the fence was put back in the same position.

Eight months later as the extension is nearing completion, the neighbour came to us and said he wants to put the fence back up but thinks that it had been in the wrong position and it should be closer to our property. Obviously Land Registry plans are not detailed enough to show where the boundary between our properties is.

We'd really like to keep the fence in its original position as although we don't use this side it is the wider access to the rear of our property. My question is should we just bite the bullet and replace the fence ourselves in its original position or do we ask our neighbour to replace it in its original position knowing he's not going to be happy with our request? We have lived here for 9 years and up until now the position of the fence has never been an issue for our neighbour. Advice please, particularly in communicating with our neighbour so that whatever we say cannot be misconstrued.
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Re: More fencing disputes!

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:24 am

Hi sandydee,

Our neighbour asked if he could remove the fence between our properties (which we are responsible for)

says who? did you put the fence up during your nine years?

anyhow, seems you both think it was your fence so...

what is he basing his claim on?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: More fencing disputes!

Postby Roblewis » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:14 pm

Just bite the bullet and put some form of fence up on the original line. It does not have to be pretty but functional enough to mark the line until you want to put something better in its place. You both purchased with this boundary in place and I doubt that he could furnish any real evidence - after all he only thinks it might be wrong but 9+ years of existence is pretty good evidence of an established boundary. Might have been harder if it had been a hedge.

Take photos of existing post marks with some form of measurement from fixed untouched points
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Re: More fencing disputes!

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:42 pm

Hi Rob,

the OP does not actually state outright the old fence had been there for nine years...

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: More fencing disputes!

Postby despair » Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:18 pm

Stand your ground

on no account allow the fence to be put back in a different position

your neighbour has a B cheek but its par for the course

You have already given them 8 months of being far too lenient when you should have had a written agreement /measurements and firm compensation for your inconvienience
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Re: More fencing disputes!

Postby Collaborate » Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:34 pm

Is there any record of the agreement that they put the fence back in the same position?

What you have is a contract. You can enforce it through the courts. They must put the fence back where they found it, and if they want to argue the toss over where it actually should be they can still do that later.
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Re: More fencing disputes!

Postby Collaborate » Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:37 pm

nothingtodowithme wrote:Best to avoid a boundary dispute; why not negotiate?


Because negotiation implies that there is some middle ground. In this instance, either the existing boundary was correct, or it wasn't. The OP has a contract with the neighbour that neighbour will put back the fence in the same place. Neighbour is in breach of that.

Avoidance of a boundary dispute at the cost of giving up some of your land? Unless OP is willing to give up some of their land, there's no middle ground.

If I say that I want £10 from your wallet, are you going to negotiate with me? Or are you going to tell me to get lost?
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Re: More fencing disputes!

Postby ukmicky » Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:01 pm

Collaborate wrote:
nothingtodowithme wrote:Best to avoid a boundary dispute; why not negotiate?


Because negotiation implies that there is some middle ground. In this instance, either the existing boundary was correct, or it wasn't. The OP has a contract with the neighbour that neighbour will put back the fence in the same place. Neighbour is in breach of that.

Avoidance of a boundary dispute at the cost of giving up some of your land? Unless OP is willing to give up some of their land, there's no middle ground.

If I say that I want £10 from your wallet, are you going to negotiate with me? Or are you going to tell me to get lost?

I have too agree will collaborate
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: More fencing disputes!

Postby arborlad » Fri May 01, 2015 10:55 pm

sandydee wrote: Advice please, particularly in communicating with our neighbour so that whatever we say cannot be misconstrued.



Was the previous fence a panel one, at eight or nine years old it was probably reaching the end of its life, take the opportunity to erect yourself a new one.
arborlad

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Re: More fencing disputes!

Postby Sudynim » Sun May 03, 2015 7:24 pm

Collaborate wrote:
nothingtodowithme wrote:Best to avoid a boundary dispute; why not negotiate?


Because negotiation implies that there is some middle ground. In this instance, either the existing boundary was correct, or it wasn't. The OP has a contract with the neighbour that neighbour will put back the fence in the same place. Neighbour is in breach of that.


I agree. If the issue was just an inch or two and you felt like being generous, then just agree and forget about it. But in reality they will be wanting more than that, and it's a shameless landgrab. They bought their house with the fence where it was, they knew what they were buying. Now they're hoping to take a bit of your garden.

Tell them you want the fence replacing in exactly the same place. If they refuse, then expect the worst. You should then immediately erect a temporary fence on the correct line. £50 of treated timber and a few bags of postcrete, installed the next day, might save a lot of grief. Don't wait for them to erect the old fence in their preferred location.
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Re: More fencing disputes!

Postby sandydee » Sat May 09, 2015 12:05 pm

Thanks for all your thoughts - not so dissimilar to mine.

I think we'll have to bite the bullet and sort the fence out ourselves if we want to get the fence back up in its original position. I'm just feeling aggrieved that the fence we allowed to be taken down to help our neighbours, we will now be paying for to put back ourselves after being inconvenienced for so long.

The actual fence posts that were removed have probably been in place for about 20+ years so the boundary has been established for a long time - I felt as it has been challenged, that I need to prove the boundary was in the right place.
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Re: More fencing disputes!

Postby arsie » Sun May 10, 2015 9:18 am

I would make a move sooner rather than later: time leaves him a window of opportunity to act on his proposed land grab, which would give you a real problem. I don't know how or if you responded to his suggestion to relocate the fence? presumably he is waiting for your response.

Best to respond swiftly and decisively and without forewarning. Perhaps tell him, but only on the evening before your contractors come to replace your fence along the established boundary line.

As a matter of interest, does any of his new extension impede or reach over the fence line?
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Re: More fencing disputes!

Postby arborlad » Sun May 10, 2015 12:18 pm

sandydee wrote:Thanks for all your thoughts - not so dissimilar to mine.

I think we'll have to bite the bullet and sort the fence out ourselves if we want to get the fence back up in its original position. I'm just feeling aggrieved that the fence we allowed to be taken down to help our neighbours, we will now be paying for to put back ourselves after being inconvenienced for so long.

The actual fence posts that were removed have probably been in place for about 20+ years so the boundary has been established for a long time - I felt as it has been challenged, that I need to prove the boundary was in the right place.



Much better to do something yourself now, that you know is correct, rather than react to something your neighbour does which will likely be contentious.
arborlad

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Re: More fencing disputes!

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun May 10, 2015 2:42 pm

Hi sandydee,
arborlad wrote:Much better to do something yourself now, that you know is correct, rather than react to something your neighbour does which will likely be contentious.
I think this is very good advice.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: More fencing disputes!

Postby Collaborate » Sun May 10, 2015 3:18 pm

Personally, I wouldn't tell him before you do it. That would imply that you don't have the absolute right to do what you like on your own land. Given he's tried to make incursions in to your property, you don't want him getting the wrong idea. Present him with the bill when it's been done.
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