Double fence line

Replacing fence with wall

Postby Fig Roll » Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:34 pm

Evening

I would appreciate some opinions/advice regarding an issue that was raised today with my neighbours (Mr X).

We live in a pair of semi detached properties. Looking from the front we are on the right.

When we moved in about six years ago, the previous homeowner had planted leylandi as a hedge between the attached property next door and between us and the property to the other side.

About 2 1/2 to 3 years ago I took both leylandi hedges out which was about 7 foot high. Before doing so I discussed with Mr X and he was more than happy as he hated it (and clarified that it was mine as it was planted by the previous homeowner). Upon removing I found there was a fence on Mr X's side of the hedge which I was not aware of. It was very old, approx. 5 foot high and quite unstable. Mr X confirmed he and the previous owner of our property installed it around 25 years previous.

The fence is pretty much on the boundary (in my opinion - both house being a mirror image of one another so its easy to establish a mid point between us) and the panels sit within the posts so no one appears top have a good or bad side. Given the installation was a joint venture I assumed it was a jointly owned fence.

Given its state of disrepair I offered to fully remove and replace with a fence the same as I installed on the other boundary (concrete posts and gravel boards with timber infill panels). Mr X advised I was not allowed to touch it as it was as good as the day it went in etc etc. Therefore I duly left it alone. In the intervening period it has had to be bodged back together with bits of wood propping it up.

About a month ago we started on an extension to our property (on the gable end so no where near the fence in question). Just before we started Mr X popped round, confirmed the fence had seen better days and would I get my builder to price up a wall. From our discussions I understood it would be a joint venture and was happy enough with this. However Mr X then went on to detail how high he wanted the wall - about 4 blocks high with a small trellis on top - resulting in a waist high wall. I stated this was a touch low for my liking, the main reason being I want the garden to be used by our two young children - a low wall is easy to throw balls over and tempting to try to climb. He disregarded these points but intimated it was open for compromise.

I did state, in easy to understand terms, that I would not want the wall started until we had finished the extension to minimise additional disruption and to avoid getting in my builders way when he re-dashes our rear elevation (allowing room to saw cut the render between the two houses). I was also open to his request to allow the work to be done on our side given the current state of our garden.

Earlier today he announced that work is starting on the wall later next week (not by my builder). Its the height he wants, on the line he wants (same as fence to be fair) and when he wants. The fact it may cause my builders additional hassle is no issue as 'they will just have to get on with it the best they can'. I stated I thought we were sharing costs and he said if I paid half we could have it built when I wanted but at the height he wants. He refuses to accept that I have previously offered to replace it all with a fence at my cost as he 'didn't understand what I meant at the time'. Oh and the work is being done from our side despite the fact we already have the contents of a builders yard deposited on our driveway and side return.

They are an elderly couple and I have known them most of my life so I want to remain on reasonable terms - but I don't want to be railroaded to have something I am not happy with.

I am going to suggest that if they want to build their own wall then it should be set out such that it is there side of the boundary (granted the footings will be part on our side). This will allow me to then build a six foot fence on my side of the boundary without losing too much garden. For me a wall straddling the boundary is a joint venture (party wall?) and needs to be to the satisfaction of both parties. As we are never going to agree on height I see it as necessary to have separate features?

Is this reasonable? Is there other solutions I may have overlooked in my stressed state? Am I being taken for a ride for being too approachable? Or am I out of order?

Thoughts/pointers/advice welcomed.

Thanks for reading

Fig Roll
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Re: Replacing fence with wall

Postby MacadamB53 » Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:05 pm

Hi Fig Roll,

The fence is pretty much on the boundary

if you mean straddling the boundary then he can't remove it without your consent.

how have you decided this though?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Replacing fence with wall

Postby COGGY » Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:45 pm

Hi

Could you stress the point that as your children grow you do not wish them to annoy the neighbour with balls going over etc?

Kind regards
Coggy
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Re: Replacing fence with wall

Postby Fig Roll » Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:00 pm

Mac

Thanks for the response.

The houses are mirror images of each other. Where the fence starts of at 90 degrees from the house wall it is pretty much the exact mid point between the two downstairs windows. its also the point he paints his render to and the soffits/gutters suggest this is the mid point. Plus there is an internal wall that's easy enough to measure to from the window reveal. Air bricks are also equally spaced so I am confident this seems a reasonable boundary. At the bottom end of the garden it abuts an existing 'country' hedge so its a bit woollier but there is a change in the hedge feature that reflects change in ownership plus some long term features either side of the fence (plants, washing line poles etc)

Coggy

Thanks also.

The safety and security of our children are our main concern and has been stressed. Our youngest has suffered a brain trauma and is disabled. Therefore his stability, ability to move and ultimately sense of danger is somewhat limited. He has only just started walking and has never really had the ability to freely roam the garden on his own terms. The idea is to finish the extension and have the garden 'done' so its accessible and safe. It will make life easier if they can both be let out in the knowledge they are safely contained in the back garden. A low(ish) wall is simply something to throw balls over and try to climb over. Seemingly this is not an issue. I imagine when he has fished a ball out of his prize fish pond just the other side of the fence he may see the light - but then again maybe not.

Cheers

Fig Roll
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Re: Replacing fence with wall

Postby MacadamB53 » Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:02 pm

Hi Fig Roll,

Where the fence starts of at 90 degrees from the house wall

is it really 90 degrees?

pretty much the exact mid point between the two downstairs windows.

"pretty much" is not precise.

its also the point he paints his render to

does he paint to the centre of the fencepost? (not that this legally defines anything anyway...)

the soffits/gutters suggest this is the mid point

how do they "suggest" it?

plus there is an internal wall that's easy enough to measure to from the window reveal

have you done this yet?

Air bricks are also equally spaced

"equally" in what sense? (are you suggesting the wall is perfectly square and true?)

so I am confident this seems a reasonable boundary

I'm not - the boundary would typically be along one face of the fence.

where does m'laddo think the boundary is?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Replacing fence with wall

Postby jonahinoz » Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:49 am

Hi,

My understanding (based on a "little learning", picked up on this forum) is that your neighbour can enter your property to maintain his fence. Maintenance does not include replacing the fence with a wall. ???

Personally, I want to know what is mine, and what is yours. Something that is "ours" is a dispute just waiting for a "hissy fit".

What I would do (and I'm not suggesting that you do the same) would be to tell my neighbour, that whether he builds the wall or not, I am going to erect a fence to the height I want, to protect my children. It would be better if we did it together, but if that is not acceptable, then so be it. If I got the wall I wanted, good. If not ...

My fence would be on my side of the wall. Would it be his wall, or our wall? If its "our" wall, I would make regular written claims to it, including informing any estate agent who may be interested. Fence posts would be my side of the wall, which would mean sacrificing a few inches of my garden, but worth it. I would use sturdy timber posts, and substantial planks (decking?) from a supplier who offers a 30 year warrantee (can I mention their name on forum?) I'd also use stainless steel screws ... I love hex-headed coach-screws.

If, at any time in the future, I decided to remove my fence, a few hours with a ratchet spanner would give me a pile of salvagable planks, and a few minutes with a chain saw would drop the posts. Lo and behold, there would be a wall on the other side. In the mean time, a sturdy fence would be great for my children to play against.

Would this upset your neighbour? Dunno! But from what you say, HE is adopting a dominant stance. Blood is thicker than water.

John W
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Re: Replacing fence with wall

Postby Fig Roll » Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:57 am

Mac

Again thanks.

Is it 90 degrees - probably not. In plan view the fence is approximately at 90 degrees to the rear wall of the house. Hopefully the house hasn't moved since it was built but the fence has. Its been propped back up, held up with string, bits of window frame, etc etc. If I put my folding square on the back wall and against the fence its probably anywhere between 87 and 92 degrees. I have taken 90 degrees as I believe this is what the fence is meant to do.

Pretty much is as near as it gets. The original fence was a joint neighbourly venture hence my understanding its a jointly owned fence. The panels sit in between posts so neither neighbour has a good or bad side. The post I believe to have moved least is the first one i.e immediately adjacent (but not fixed to) the house wall. In my view, taking into account the accuracy of the original setting out, discrepancies in the original brickwork, their original method of finding the mid point, I would pretty much stake my mortgage on the fact that this post is spanning the boundary (plus or minus about 10 mm depending on which bit I measure to).

The painting reference was a bit more clarity and can only be as accurate as an 80 odd year old bloke hanging of a ladder with a fairly blunt brush loaded with sandtex magnolia smooth.
Again the changes in guttering and soffit were not taken as definitive boundary markers but as comforted me that I was in the right field.

I am pretty sure that both houses are symmetrical (to a point) about this 'party' line. I am comfortable I can measure this reasonable accurately and mark the wall with a line of marker to the agreement of both of us, but I also accept that I will be plus or minus 10mm or so never 100% accurate but moreover pretty much as good as it will get (and as good as it needs be - it is a fence not a motorway bridge we are setting out). Plus I understand that defining a boundary to millimetre accuracy is a non starter.

My worry is his adamant stance that he builds his wall (at his cost) on the same 'party' line thereby increasing his footprint into our garden, limiting any future plans I may have for, what I consider to be, a more robust boundary feature on my side. Add to this the additional burden this will place on my builders which has been dismissed out of hand as he has said that we then cannot touch his wall even though it will limit access for my planned re-dashing works to my house.

He has been good enough to give me 24 hours to go back to him with my decision (i.e. today) despite the fact that they fence has been falling down for the last two years it has to be addressed this week? I intend to suggest he builds his wall on his side of the boundary and I will accept the extent of the footings into our side. I don't envisage this will be what he wants to hear but time will tell.

Thanks for taking time to respond.

Fig Roll
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Re: Replacing fence with wall

Postby arborlad » Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:19 am

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi Fig Roll,

so I am confident this seems a reasonable boundary

I'm not -



I am.

Every process described, on its own, would be an acceptable method of establishing the boundary, all together, they will achieve a result that a surveyor would support - or couldn't refute.

You need to put away the I-Spy Book of Surveying.
Last edited by arborlad on Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Replacing fence with wall

Postby Fig Roll » Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:22 am

John

Cheers

Posts must have crossed.

I was always ok (to a point) with putting up my own fence and sacrificing a small amount of garden.

The sticking point at the moment (for me at least) is that his proposed works will have an impact on my ongoing building works making work at this location difficult for my builder - given his statement that we then can't touch his wall. If he waits a couple of months (as we originally discussed) I would probably share costs with him.

Bit disappointing really but I think this may be the point all along.

Nowt as queer as folk eh? Pending todays get together I may post an update

Fig Roll
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Re: Replacing fence with wall

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:48 am

arborlad wrote:
MacadamB53 wrote:Hi Fig Roll,

so I am confident this seems a reasonable boundary

I'm not -



I am.

Every process described, on its own, would be an acceptable method of establishing the boundary, all together, they will achieve a result that a surveyor would support - or couldn't refute.

You need to put away the I-Spy Book of Surveying.

Hi arborlad,

I'm not sure who you're addressing?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Replacing fence with wall

Postby mugwump » Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:07 am

The sticking point at the moment (for me at least) is that his proposed works will have an impact on my ongoing building works making work at this location difficult for my builder


If he is building the wall then it should be totally on his side of the boundary and not affect you at all. When you have finished then you put up your own fence of whatever height you wish tight against, but not affixed to, his wall
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Re: Replacing fence with wall

Postby Fig Roll » Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:31 pm

Evening again

Quick update fwiw.

I called around earlier today to discuss a way forward. Seemingly there is now nothing to discuss as the works are not proceeding and have been cancelled. Things have been a bit frosty since mind.

Not sure where this leaves us for the future buts its a bit of a let off for the time being given we have enough on our plates at the current moment.

Thanks to those who commented.

Fig Roll
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Double fence line

Postby Fig Roll » Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:50 pm

Evening

I posted a while ago about the party fence between myself and our adjoining neighbour. In my previous post I assumed it was a joint 'party' fence owned by both properties due to its layout. I have checked our deeds and it does refer to party fences being jointly maintained.

Essentially I would like to replace with a new fence on the same line as the present fence is on its last legs (about 30 yrs old) as part of a long overdue garden make over. I had a minor disagreement with my neighbour who wanted to replace it with a wall. This ended with toys out of the pram and him confirming and no work allowed. He had planned all works and access via our garden so as not to disturb his own garden which I was ok with, up to a point.

Fast forward to today when I decided to broach the subject of renewal and he again refuses to discuss any kind of replacement. So I confirmed I would install a new fence just on our side of the old fence. He advised he was ok with this. I am happy to buy and install a new fence and not overly worried of a small amount of lost garden. My worry is there will be two parallel fences in situ which I understand from reading on here this is a bad idea.

What are the obvious problems from doing this please? I think the boundary doesn't change as such just the boundary
feature, so does this present any immediate and longer term issues?
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Re: Double fence line

Postby despair » Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:12 pm

Since your neighbour refuses to honour his party fence commitment theres nothing to stop you installing your own fence slam tight to the party one

Just be sure to take photos
Keep the bills
Ensure that in writing you warn your neighbour

1) party fence stays in place
2) the new fence is solely yours
3) he cannot ...touch it,paint it,stain it,lean anything against it, grow anything up it, attach anything to it or allow anything to hit it

Its your property end of
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Re: Double fence line

Postby Collaborate » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:40 pm

Also I also suggest you paint on the side facing away from you "this fence is the property of Fig roll, and stands wholly on their land". Make sure that it is clear to your neighbour that you will never agree to the fence in shared ownership, or its posts, being removed.
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