Fence installed. Neighbour furious. Need advice.

Fence installed. Neighbour furious. Need advice.

Postby easyboss » Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:56 pm

Hello to all members. First post in this forum so will try and outline issue best I can.

Been at my property for 13 years. Live in a 4 in a block. Our garden has been open plan for years even before I got here but from the moment we moved in we were always bullied and intimidated to stay off the garden. Our kids who were very young at the time used to complain about the man upstairs knocking on the window telling them to get off the garden, my garden!
Our neighbours, both upstairs and to the right of the boundary wall would plant flowers pots sheds and what not on our side as if they owned it all. Not wanting to cause a fuss myself we just relegated ourselves to the common path near my window while watching both neighbours use and abuse our land. This was from 2004 to last week. I used to get upset at being unable to enjoy my garden while both my neighbours seemed to be enjoying theirs and mine. They would not hesitate to tell us to get off the grass.l, don't do this, don't do that and I just had enough of it.

So Last week I contracted a fencer who installed a 5 foot high fence along my boundary. We agreed the boundary line and all the rest of it with immediate neighbour upstairs who was a little miffed at it but had no choice other than to cooperate.

The neighbour over the boundary wall and who sits in a 3-4 foot low position than our garden is up in arms because he says his kitchen window is unable to get full use of the Sun. We are a south facing garden. He wants me to slice an 8 foot by 2 foot panel and leave it like that which would again invade my privacy which is one of the reasons for fence going up in the first place.
The fence looks about 10 foot high from his ground level but perfectly legal and level with my immediate neighbour upstairs at 5 foot high.
I have researched this right of light law and it's not so much as how much so called light he is losing but rather how much it can be shown he still has.

My local planning department advised the same saying as long as my fence is up to 6 foot of height and within the boundaries agreed with immediate neighbour and according to our title deeds, then the fence height will be measured from OUR ground level and not the neighbour of the wall. So his so called right to light doesn't matter. I have also spoken to builders who have advised the same saying that if his kitchen window was facing my fence then perhaps he would be onto something but it isn't, his window is facing the garden just like ours.
He also has a mini amazon jungle growing right infront of his Windows which would block light too.

My own feelings are that they are just annoyed they can no longer trespass upon my property after all these years and my fence now blocks them from peering into my front room and bedroom. I can now freely move about without closing my blinds because the neighbour is cutting the grass or hanging up washing. ( for her friend upstairs) and basically walking around as they please. It also allows my family and I after years of being deprived the use of a proper garden. I was gobsmacked how big my garden really is.

I have tried to be the considerate neighbour and contacted mediation to discuss how we could cooperate but he just wants that section of the fence halved. I offered to allow him to replace some of the fence with trellis style so I still retain some privacy while he gets some of this light that he claims is missing but he's not interested.
I paid for the fence, I own it and I gave both neighbours the good side even though I didn't have to.

Any advice most welcome. Thank you once again.
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Re: Fence installed. Neighbour furious. Need advice.

Postby Collaborate » Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:10 pm

I'm having trouble guessing the configuration of the gardens. Do you live in an apartment? Are there restrictive covenants in the deeds?

If you live in a row of 4 houses and there are no restrictive covenants you must disengage from them. You are entitled to erect your own fence on your own land. Don't give them the idea they have any say at all.
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Re: Fence installed. Neighbour furious. Need advice.

Postby despair » Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:42 pm

agreed its hard to figure this out
sounds like before the fence was installed there was a sheer drop down to the next property ....not safe situation for anyone
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Re: Fence installed. Neighbour furious. Need advice.

Postby easyboss » Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:04 am

Appreciate your replies folks. There was indeed a drop of about 4 foot but there was a brick wall boundary about 2 feet high. My kids are grown now so no issues with anyone falling over before fence went up. There was also a 12 feet high tree which I've now removed to make way for the decking. This is also one of the reasons why I can't understand his right to light moans since the tree was slap bang infront of his kitchen window and had been for over a decade plus!

The houses are like apartments, I'm on the ground level with an upstairs neighbour, my door is to the side while neighbors to the front. we both have a shared front drive which I've monoblocked and separated years ago. The garden is also shared but we own our respective parts and are free to fence if we want to which I now have.
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Re: Fence installed. Neighbour furious. Need advice.

Postby mr sheen » Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:33 am

You need to consult your deeds because what you describe suggests that there may be communal areas and there may be restrictive covenants that prevent the open plan arrangement being changed.

In flats there are often clauses included that prevent the sectionning off of the communal land. Flats are often Leasehold too so there may be issues in relation to the leasehold restrictions too. Check your deeds. You can post clauses here and people will be able to indicate if there are restrictions that may cause you issues, or see a solicitor.
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Re: Fence installed. Neighbour furious. Need advice.

Postby easyboss » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:47 am

All paperwork thoroughly checked. Deeds checked and solicitor has checked. All above board. Every property in this area has the gardens fenced off. If there was an issue I'm sure that's the first thing they'd have told me. The deeds mention absolutely no restrictions and they outline which side of the land is mines.
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Re: Fence installed. Neighbour furious. Need advice.

Postby easyboss » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:48 am

What we probably have here is someone who has had their trespassing rights removed after 20 years lol.
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Re: Fence installed. Neighbour furious. Need advice.

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:49 pm

Hi easyboss,

ignore the neighbour until such time they provide evidence that what you have done is wrong - which may be never ;)

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Fence installed. Neighbour furious. Need advice.

Postby easyboss » Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:55 pm

Cheers all. There is nothing they can do to remove the fence in so far as legalities are concerned. I am not the type to go all gung-ho and do things without checking what i can or cant do. I guess one of the major frustrations for me was seeing every other householder do their gardens up as they please, and yet here i was being tolerant and understanding but unawares that somebody was actually taking the proverbial P*** all this time. The only thing i was unsure of due to the complexities of it was this right to light law. However, in order for such law to work for an individual, providing they had the financial means to actually sue for it, is to prove that light was reduced by at least 50 percent, or rather, for us to show he still has access to at least 50 percent of light. Thats how it works. Nigh on impossible unless i nailed my fence to his kitchen window, then maybe he would have had a claim.

Just planning some nice decking now and getting up a few sheds.
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Re: Fence installed. Neighbour furious. Need advice.

Postby easyboss » Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:13 pm

mr sheen wrote:You need to consult your deeds because what you describe suggests that there may be communal areas and there may be restrictive covenants that prevent the open plan arrangement being changed.

In flats there are often clauses included that prevent the sectionning off of the communal land. Flats are often Leasehold too so there may be issues in relation to the leasehold restrictions too. Check your deeds. You can post clauses here and people will be able to indicate if there are restrictions that may cause you issues, or see a solicitor.


There are indeed communal areas, communal being the path up to my window and fence as well as to the side of the building. I have a latch on my garden gate and a padlock bolt set up. I usually leave me gate unlocked but have given the neighbour upstairs a key for the padlock so she has free access to that area for repairs, roofs, ariel and window cleaners. That does not mean she can come down and lay a lounger on it but legally she must not be restricted for repairs or any work that may done for her own home.
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Re: Fence installed. Neighbour furious. Need advice.

Postby copperman » Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:50 pm

easyboss wrote:The only thing i was unsure of due to the complexities of it was this right to light law. However, in order for such law to work for an individual, providing they had the financial means to actually sue for it, is to prove that light was reduced by at least 50 percent, or rather, for us to show he still has access to at least 50 percent of light.


I went through the whole Right to Light trauma with a neighbour so hopefully have a pretty good understanding of the easement. First of all the RTL actually concerns itself with the amount of visible sky in a room. The amount of light coming in doesn't really matter - RTL still applies at night time!

Generally speaking you're only going to fall foul of RTL when you build directly facing a window. From the sounds of things you haven't done so you have nothing to worry about.
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Re: Fence installed. Neighbour furious. Need advice.

Postby easyboss » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:25 am

Cheers copperman.

The mediation from our local authority has now pulled out seeing how fruitless the discussions have been with this neighbour of mines. I offered a small compromise which many would not but i did it to keep the peace i guess. He asked me to take my fence from his wall/window down 2 feet and 8 feet across. I agreed but insisted the lost height was replaced back up to 5 foot with a trellis section seeing how the fence would look totally stupid the way he wanted it. He refused saying he wants it without trellis.
So i have now pulled out myself from all discussions and will not be giving him a mm of anything let alone 2 feetx8. He has been told that any alteration or wilful damage to my fence will be reported to the police. The negative side is how i get onto his end of the property to repair or paint the fence when needed. Cant have it all i guess lol
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Re: Fence installed. Neighbour furious. Need advice.

Postby despair » Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:02 am

just keep the fence treated with either Ronseal /cuprinol or Wickes equivalent Shed and fence preserver
its in a tall oblong shaped tin not those buckets of fence paint stuff
its not cheap at circa £20 but it goes a long way and you only have to do it every 3 to 5 years on one side as it soaks into the wood
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Re: Fence installed. Neighbour furious. Need advice.

Postby arborlad » Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:21 am

easyboss wrote: The negative side is how i get onto his end of the property to repair or paint the fence when needed. Cant have it all i guess lol




Any correctly installed boundary feature will have an element of trespass in its installation and any subsequent maintenance, you are reliant on the neighbours goodwill to achieve any maintenance, your fence is no different to any other in the land in this respect.
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smile...it confuses people
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Re: Fence installed. Neighbour furious. Need advice.

Postby easyboss » Sat Oct 15, 2016 6:12 am

Fence issues with neighbours and `Goodwill` don`t always go hand in hand. Nevertheless, i believe you can get an access order from a court if urgent repairs are required but access is being denied out of spite.
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