Neighbour demanding we replace fence

Re: Neighbour demanding we replace fence

Postby k1970 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:10 pm

Spoke too soon! A letter arrived today (via tenants) from owner stating all he has previously said plus a copy of a solicitor's letter to previous owners of our house regarding exact situation, from 20 YEARS AGO!!!!

The solicitor only reiterates the fact that the boundary belongs to us and says "we are sure that an examination of your title deeds will reveal that they impose a responsibility upon you for the maintenance of the boundary structure". Well, they don't. Obviously neither actually saw the title deeds/register so are either ignorant or bullies.

Do I now reply and create a paper trail or continue to ignore? Tiresome is not a word I ever use but this is that!
k1970
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:09 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: Neighbour demanding we replace fence

Postby despair » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:44 pm

Any obligation is likely to have expired with 1st owners of your house

I would simply reply that you are not required to provide a fence
You are under no obligation to provide a fence
You cannot be forced to provide a fence
If the tenants want a fence its up to the landlord to install one on his side of the boundary
The landlord is in receipt of rental fees and in a position to afford it

If they continue to pursue this matter you will report them as vexatious litigants

(Every letter their soliticitor receives costs them money )
The landlord must have money to waste
despair
 
Posts: 16044
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:07 am

Re: Neighbour demanding we replace fence

Postby mr sheen » Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:06 pm

Civil procedure rules and the spirit of resolution of civil disputes means that a reply to a letter is preferable in terms of being in ones interest if the matter proceeds any further (even though this is unlikely).

I would be inclined to cover myself and reply to the solicitor who sent the letter......along the lines

We acknowledge receipt of your letter dated...xyz.

Our legal advisors have confirmed that your assertions are incorrect and that we have no legal responsibility to replace a fence on our land. If your client wishes to replace the fence wholly at his expense, we do not object. Obviously the fence would need to be replaced in exactly the same position as currently and we confirm that we have had photos and measurements taken.

We trust that this makes our position clear and we now consider the matter resolved and concluded.

And then I would forget the matter until the next letter comes......if it ever does.
mr sheen
 
Posts: 2093
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:33 pm

Re: Neighbour demanding we replace fence

Postby k1970 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:20 pm

Mr sheen - the solicitor's letter was just a copy of one sent in 1996 to previous owners of our house so won't be replying to that :lol:

Will send something suitable to neighbour though.
k1970
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:09 pm

Re: Neighbour demanding we replace fence

Postby despair » Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:49 pm

the neighbour really is a bully trying it on

do send Mr Sheens letter that should shut them up
despair
 
Posts: 16044
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:07 am

Re: Neighbour demanding we replace fence

Postby mr sheen » Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:25 pm

k1970 wrote:Mr sheen - the solicitor's letter was just a copy of one sent in 1996 to previous owners of our house so won't be replying to that :lol:

Will send something suitable to neighbour though.


Replying to a solicitors letter is considered reasonable and conforms to protocol ...and costs them money. It's irrelevant that they sent it before.
Sending a letter direct to the neighbour is contrary to protocol once they have engaged legal representatives.
This is a legal dispute which is best resolved civilly, responsibly and in accordance with civil procedure protocols and rules.

Can't understand why you would seek to turn it into a one-upmanship spat, especially since the neighbours are tenants with nothing to lose by engaging in the game and could make your life a misery and then simply move on.
mr sheen
 
Posts: 2093
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:33 pm

Re: Neighbour demanding we replace fence

Postby k1970 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:06 pm

I think there is some confusion here. The OWNER has not (yet) engaged a solicitor in this instance - the solicitor's letter he sent us, attached to his letter, is a copy of a letter sent to previous owners of our house telling them to replace fence and is dated 1996!

And when I said I would send our neighbour a letter I meant the OWNER not the current tenants- we have no argument with them.
k1970
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:09 pm

Re: Neighbour demanding we replace fence

Postby mr sheen » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:28 am

Ahhhhhh.....they have sent a copy of an old solicitors letter along with a letter from themselves about a fence that you have no responsibility to replace......don't see why you are wasting your (and our) time with this nonesense.

They can't force you to replace the fence.....issue finished.
mr sheen
 
Posts: 2093
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:33 pm

Re: Neighbour demanding we replace fence

Postby k1970 » Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:40 pm

UPDATE

Having gone quiet for a while we received a solicitor's letter today (a shiny new one lol) saying that that there is indeed a covenant to keep fence in repair and a copy of the Transfer of Part saying as much was enclosed. So I was wrong about that as I am only in possession if the Title Register and thought all info was on that.

Are we bound by this? It is signed by the original purchasers (when it was a new build) so are we liable? Letter goes on to say that if we don't respond witjin 7 days he is going to replace himself and take us to small claims court.
k1970
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:09 pm

Re: Neighbour demanding we replace fence

Postby k1970 » Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:43 pm

To clarify, the Transfer is signed by original purchasers, not the letter.
k1970
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:09 pm

Re: Neighbour demanding we replace fence

Postby mr sheen » Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:12 pm

I would keep it short and sweet and reply to solicitor......

We acknowledge receipt of your letter dated xyz.
We note that you have forwarded a deed that has not been signed by us and hence cannot be enforced against us.
If your client chooses to replace or repair a fence then he does so entirely at his own expense.
To avoid any confusion we will not pay for any repair or replacement of any fence.
mr sheen
 
Posts: 2093
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:33 pm

Re: Neighbour demanding we replace fence

Postby k1970 » Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:47 pm

This is the bit in the Transfer that worries me though -

"THE TRANSFEREE HEREBY COVENANTS with the Transferor for the benefit of the remainder of the Land comprised in the estate or any part thereof and also as a separate covenant with every other person of any other part of the estate with Intent to bind the property hereby transferred into whosoever hands the same may come but not so as to render the transferee or the person deriving personally liable for any breach or omission after he or they shall have parted with all interest in the property that he the transferee and the persons deriving title under him will observe and perform the stipulations which are set out in the Fourth Schedule herto"

The fourth schedule includes the fence repair covenant.

He's obviously sure he has rights as he has spent money on a solicitor and getting our transfer document, I think the fence would have cost less. So I just want to be really sure he doesn't otherwise we'll just replace the bloody thing as it will be cheaper than consulting a solicitor ourselves or/and court cost (although it will be galling).
k1970
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:09 pm

Re: Neighbour demanding we replace fence

Postby mr sheen » Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:23 pm

These are positive covenants and are difficult to enforce against later purchasers. They can be enforced against the first buyer who signed the agreement but after that it gets more difficult although including onward purchaser clauses does make it possible.
You have to take the chance and the risk. They may pursue it relentlessly against you and a Judge will decide if you are liable for any costs or not. We cannot second guess what a Judge would do.

The contract does not outline what 'in repair' means so this gives you an option.....
You can claim that you don't believe that the fence needs repair or replacement since the contract is silent on how this is determined. 'To keep fence in repair' can mean all sorts of different things to different people so you can just claim that the fence is still 'in repair' as far as you are concerned.
Whatever you do I would ensure that it is clear that I have replied within the 7 days and that I intend to be reasonable and follow civil procedure rules.

The letter could add....
We note that the contract that your client is relying upon is silent in relation to the definition of 'in repair' and we believe that since the fence fulfills it's purpose of defining the boundary it is 'in repair'. If the fence does not meet your clients needs, we have no objection to him replacing it with a fence that meets his needs but we will not be contributing financially.

Please note that we have replied by return so that you can make our position clear to your client and you can make him fully aware that we will defend any claim if your client chooses to carry out any works on the fence in order to make it suitable for his needs.
mr sheen
 
Posts: 2093
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:33 pm

Re: Neighbour demanding we replace fence

Postby k1970 » Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:33 pm

Excellent mr sheen, thank you. Yeah, it's shabby but it wouldn't bother me if I could see it from our side and if it did then we'd replace it. Will send letter forwith and hope for the best.
k1970
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:09 pm

Re: Neighbour demanding we replace fence

Postby k1970 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:45 pm

Been thinking...isn't the original Transferee (in this case the builder) they only one that can take us to task for not complying with the covenant? What grounds does a neighbour have regarding this? Sorry, I'm a librarian and like to dig deep for facts and I can't find this info anywhere (plus all the legal jargon doesn't always make sense to me!) :lol:
k1970
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:09 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.
 
PreviousNext

Return to Fences

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests