neighbours using our fence as a leant

neighbours using our fence as a leant

Postby Joyce Kirkpatrick » Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:38 pm

In 1994 we erected a fence, at our expense, on our own property and on our side of boundary hedge. This hedge was subsequently removed by the neighbours and the original boundary posts removed, without discussion with us. In april of this year the neighbours decided to make this fence into a leanto between our fence and their garage. the roof of this leanto projects over our property. They also stole wood, which is different from fencing wood, and more expensive, from our garden to repair part of the fence which was starting to fall down. As over the past year we have been gradually replacing all our fencing on 3 sides we need to replace the fence which the leanto is attached to as all the posts are now rotting at the bottom. They have also put extra wood on top of our fence and battons between posts with screws projecting onto our side of the fence, and drilled a hole in the fence to put a bolt for their leanto door. They then painted the fence and their paint has run down our side, which I suppose doesn't really matter as the fence needs replaced. When I tackled them about this I was told "just go away". I then wrote to them, but this was ignored. A solicitor has written to them, they also ignored this. Can we remove our fence to put up a new one? What happens if any of their construction gets damaged, which is quite likely as it is screwed into our fence? We really want to get our garden finished. Any advice would be gratefully accepted.
Joyce Kirkpatrick
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:59 pm

Ads are not endorsed by www.gardenlaw.co.uk or the staff thereof and visitors should perform their own due diligence on the product or service offered.
 

Re: neighbours using our fence as a leant

Postby arborlad » Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:14 pm

Joyce Kirkpatrick wrote:In 1994 we erected a fence, at our expense, on our own property and on our side of boundary hedge. This hedge was subsequently removed by the neighbours and the original boundary posts removed,



You seem very unconcerned about the amount of land you have lost and any potential boundary issues this may cause, what was the gap between the two fences?




As over the past year we have been gradually replacing all our fencing on 3 sides..........



How do you know that you own all three fences, sometimes the desire to have things 'pretty' can overtake the requirements to correctly define and secure the limit of your land.




They then painted the fence and their paint has run down our side,




This is no more than a minor irritant compared to the much graver issue with your boundaries.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
arborlad
 
Posts: 7383
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: neighbours using our fence as a leant

Postby jonahinoz » Thu Dec 10, 2015 9:16 pm

Hi Joyce,

WHEN were the original fence posts removed? This could be very time critical, if not already too late.

When was the lean-to erected? Can the experts comment on estoppel and the neighbours right to support for their lean-to?

John W
jonahinoz
 
Posts: 1342
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:15 pm

Re: neighbours using our fence as a leant

Postby Joyce Kirkpatrick » Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:45 pm

We don't know when the original fence posts were removed as they were behind our fence, which we placed inside our boundary. The neighbours didn't inform us that they were removing these original concrete posts. The leanto was erected in April of this year.
Joyce Kirkpatrick
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:59 pm

Re: neighbours using our fence as a leant

Postby Joyce Kirkpatrick » Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:02 pm

I have photos but don't know how to download them onto this side. Our main concern wasn't to do with the small amount of land we have lost as we have discovered it is very costly to have boundary disputes resolved. All the fences round our garden were erected in 1994 by us at our expense with the agreement of all the neighbours on all three sides, and we have never had any complaints about this. The fences were all placed on our side of the original boundary posts. Our main problem at the minute is the leanto erected on our rear fence. This rear fence was placed on our side of the boundary hedge, which was later removed by the neighbours, along with the concrete boundary posts, without any consultation.The posts are rotting at the base and all were really want to do is to replace this so that we can complete the work on our garden. We have never done any work to our garden, which involved the neighbours with out discussing this with them. We just need to know if we can take our fence down to replace it. unfortunately we can't discuss this with them as when we tried to talk to them we were told to go away.
Joyce Kirkpatrick
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:59 pm

Re: neighbours using our fence as a leant

Postby span » Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:26 pm

Do it. Just get on and do it. Take your fence down, and don't be in any big hurry to replace any particular section of it either.

Any complaints, you know what to say to them: "Go away."
span
 
Posts: 1466
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:34 am

Re: neighbours using our fence as a leant

Postby Joyce Kirkpatrick » Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:00 pm

Thank you but our only worry is will they sue us for criminal damage if any of their wood or plastic roof is damaged. Although they shouldn't have put this construction up in the first place. :?
Joyce Kirkpatrick
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:59 pm

Re: neighbours using our fence as a leant

Postby span » Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:41 pm

Oh stop it. You're talking yourself out of doing anything to your own property just in case you upset ignorant people who had no scruples about upsetting you.

I believe the popular phrase amongst the youths of today is: "Grow a pair".
span
 
Posts: 1466
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:34 am

Re: neighbours using our fence as a leant

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:56 pm

Joyce Kirkpatrick wrote:Thank you but our only worry is will they sue us for criminal damage if any of their wood or plastic roof is damaged. Although they shouldn't have put this construction up in the first place. :?
Hi Joyce,

whether there is a case for charging you for committing 'criminal damage' is for the police/CPS to decide, not your neighbour.

to qualify as 'criminal damage' there are four criteria:

"A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property belonging to another intending to destroy or damage any such property or being reckless as to whether any such property would be destroyed or damaged shall be guilty of an offence."

you have lawful excuse - their structure is a trespass and the law allows you to take reasonable steps to abate a trespass.

the first reasonable step being to make the perpetrator aware you consider it a trespass and that you expect them to desist.

in your shoes I would give them plenty of notice of my intentions and recommend they use the time to detach the structure.
if they choose to do nothing I would press ahead as planned, taking care so as to avoid causing any unnecessary damage.
in the event that I do cause more damage than I expected (eg an accident occurs) I'd immediately apologise and offer to make good.
if I didn't want the structure attaching to my new fence I'd make this known in the first instance and again, if required, when the fence was up.

Kind regards, Mac
MacadamB53
 
Posts: 6023
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:13 am

Re: neighbours using our fence as a leant

Postby jonahinoz » Fri Dec 11, 2015 10:36 pm

Hi,

A question for the experts ... if the OP cuts a gap in his fence, adding a gate if it makes him feel safer, would it stop the clock ticking on the prescriptive easements and adverse possession matters? And maybe plant a few (cheap) shrubs in his strip of land on the other side of the fence.

But hey ... if he is going to erect a new fence anyway, it might as well be on the original fence line, seeing as the neighbour cleared the ground for him.

John W
jonahinoz
 
Posts: 1342
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:15 pm

Re: neighbours using our fence as a leant

Postby cleo5 » Sat Dec 12, 2015 12:49 am

Remove anything that is on your fence straight away.
Replace the rotten posts and any fence where necessary. Do it ASAP .
The longer you leave it the worse the situation will be. If the repair of your fence affects his lean to then...TOUGH!
It should not have been affixed to your fence.
If he should complain tell him if he fixes anything else to your fence it will be removed.

Neighbours have no right to attach anything to your fence unless you have given your permission.

Since you have erected all the fences on your own land then they are yours.
Neighbour had no business removing the origiinal boundary hedge and posts unless they were his and mentioned on his deeds. If the hedge was a joint boundary he should have consulted you before removing it.

It is a pity you have left it so long. His lean to should have been unfixed from your fence the day it went up.
Do not let your neighbours do anything on your land unless you are happy about things.
cleo5
 
Posts: 272
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 12:33 pm

Re: neighbours using our fence as a leant

Postby COGGY » Sat Dec 12, 2015 1:13 am

Take plenty of photos showing how the lean to is attached to your fence before removing it. This will be your proof. Your neighbour is totally in the wrong. Take plenty of photos and then remove anything he has attached to your fence. As has been said if he starts shouting, which is very likely, tell him to "Go Away". He will in all probability threaten to phone the police and may even do so. The police will be able to see that the fence is on your side of the boundary and you have nothing to worry about. The photos are suggested to prove your case and make you feel safer. You are allowing your neighbour to walk all over you. Do not be a doormat any longer. Stand up for yourself. Would you allow him to come into your house and watch your tv? Why allow him to mess with and destroy your fence.
Coggy
COGGY
 
Posts: 1355
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:58 pm

Re: neighbours using our fence as a leant

Postby jonahinoz » Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:02 am

Hi Joyce,

I suspect that you have already "lost" the strip of land on the other side of your fence ... I was thinking 20 years for Adverse Possession, but now realise it's 10 years. Trying to claim it back will probably cost a lot more than the value of the land.

I suppose that if your neighbours ever wanted to sell their house, you could raise a dispute, offer to settle the dispute in return for cash. A rather nasty thing to do, but then so was removing the original fence posts ... I'm guessing that your neighbours knew exactly what they were doing. Maybe they kept a record of when they removed the posts, to prove their claim. But that would work against them if they did not have the authority to remove the posts. (But don't tell them, let them dig their own hole)

If your house was leasehold, things might be a little more interesting .... eventually.

John W
jonahinoz
 
Posts: 1342
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:15 pm

Re: neighbours using our fence as a leant

Postby arborlad » Sat Dec 12, 2015 12:36 pm

Joyce Kirkpatrick wrote:I have photos but don't know how to download them onto this side.



Sometimes photos are helpful, but not on this occasion.



All the fences round our garden were erected in 1994 by us at our expense with the agreement of all the neighbours on all three sides, and we have never had any complaints about this.



From what's been posted, you've got three neighbours you have donated land to, probably not intentionally, but that is the reality, why would they complain?



This rear fence was placed on our side of the boundary hedge, which was later removed by the neighbours, along with the concrete boundary posts, without any consultation.



Whilst talking to neighbours is always a good idea when it comes to boundary features, there is no requirement to do so. Do you know who owned the hedge and posts, it may be that your neighbour did, have a search at Land Registry if you haven't already done so: https://www.gov.uk/search-property-info ... d-registry

The layout suggests this rear fence would originally have run in line with other fences on either side, if this is the case there will be a visual discrepancy somewhere.



We just need to know if we can take our fence down to replace it.



The short answer is yes, will you be doing the work yourself or using contractors, either way you need to be more assertive and inform your neighbour of the date the fence will be removed and that he needs to remove anything that is attached to it. Is there a neighbour,family friend or contractor who can pass messages to ensure there is no misunderstanding on the day.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
arborlad
 
Posts: 7383
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: neighbours using our fence as a leant

Postby Joyce Kirkpatrick » Sat Dec 12, 2015 12:47 pm

Thank you all for your advice, at least we are not the only ones who think this shouldn't have happened in the first place. The reason we were waiting was because we had engaged a solicitor, who had written to our neighbours but received no reply. We think we have wasted money on this as the solicitor seemed to want to turn it into a case of trespass re the small piece of land which we have lost (this would seem a very costly excerise as the fence has been there for 20 years). After the new year we are definitely going to get to work in removing the structure and hope we don't cause any damage. Again many thanks.
Joyce Kirkpatrick
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:59 pm

Ads are not endorsed by www.gardenlaw.co.uk or the staff thereof and visitors should perform their own due diligence on the product or service offered.
 
Next

Return to Fences

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest