A cowboy installer and a threatening (81yo) neighbour.

A cowboy installer and a threatening (81yo) neighbour.

Postby PHILJAYJ » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:12 am

Hi All,

I know this is a bit of a long one but I could really use your help, so if you can spare the time, I would really appreciate it.

I've ran in to a spot of bother with my neighbour and I'm hoping you can tell me where I stand.

I bought a 70s house a few years a go - the original back garden boundary fence was still in place when I moved in. It was the only fence on my side, albeit unstable, dilapidated and a bit wonky.

Way before I moved in, my neighbour erected a second (higher) timber fence on his side because (from what he said) the original fence wasn't high enough. Over the years (again, before I moved in) his fence started to lean and force over the original boundary fence. I'm not saying his fence was the sole reason for the original starting to lean, but it didn't help.

So, about six months a go, I told him I was going to replace the original fence. He didn't have any problems and was quite happy, but he told me to leave his fence in place. We didn't ask him for a contribution, we paid for the lot. After the fence was installed, he came around, had a look and left happy.

Now before I go on, let me explain...the guy that installed the fence had to bring the new fence in to my garden a bit which created a void between the two fences. If he ran it along the original boundary fence line, it would have been wonky due to trees, roots etc. Also, there's a couple of trees on my neighbour's side which would have been too close. So to make it straight, I lost a bit of garden, no big deal.

So, surprise surprise, my neighbour has now decided to remove his old fence and discovered concrete still in the ground from where the installers removed the original fence's concrete posts - they essentially snapped the posts off at ground level and left the concrete in the ground. However, up until now, this was obscured by my new fence and his old one - the concrete is in the void between the two fences which was only revealed when he began to take his fence down. He is extremely unhappy with this and insists it's knocking value off his house!

The neighbour is insisting I pay to have the concrete removed. I've tried contacting the original installer but he won't get back to me. I'm being threatened with legal action and at one point, he did threaten me - something along the lines of "don't make enemies of someone you don't know the past of"!

Leaving the threats to one side, I'm not saying I won't sort it, but I can't afford to right now.

However, where do we both stand legally? A quick conversation with an estates guy at work says the concrete is maintaining the boundary line and doesn't have to be removed. Also, is it correct that any land the neighbour has gained by the fence being made straight won't be his for another ten years, because by the sounds of it, he's already laying claim to it?

If you've got to this point, thank you, I appreciate your time and any feedback.

Cheers

Phil
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Re: A cowboy installer and a threatening (81yo) neighbour.

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:09 am

Hi Phil,

your pal is right - the concrete marks the boundary and, although it's on the wrong side of your fence and in full view of his garden, it's your land not his.

that said, the situation you both face is what it is and your contractor has eyesore for your neighbour and you understandably want to get it sorted (regardless of the threats).

is the neighbour selling his house?

Kind regared, Mac
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Re: A cowboy installer and a threatening (81yo) neighbour.

Postby easyboss » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:19 am

Fence disputes really bring out the scum in folk mate, it really does. First thing is first IMO. Any more threats, go straight to the police and report him, no matter who he thinks he is. Disputes are just that and can be got around but threatening direct or underhand violence is totally uncalled for.
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Re: A cowboy installer and a threatening (81yo) neighbour.

Postby PHILJAYJ » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:25 pm

Thanks for the replies, much appreciated!

MacadamB53 wrote:is the neighbour selling his house?


He says he's looking at his options. I'm hoping he is :D
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Re: A cowboy installer and a threatening (81yo) neighbour.

Postby despair » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:40 pm

regretably many fence installers will leave old concrete in the ground they just relocate fenving panels to duit and avoid the situation

i am sick of having to dig them out because every fence my neighbour has had installed only lasts 5 years no matter who they employ and the concrete has never yet been removed
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Re: A cowboy installer and a threatening (81yo) neighbour.

Postby arborlad » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:42 am

PHILJAYJ wrote:
However, where do we both stand legally? A quick conversation with an estates guy at work says the concrete is maintaining the boundary line and doesn't have to be removed. Also, is it correct that any land the neighbour has gained by the fence being made straight won't be his for another ten years, because by the sounds of it, he's already laying claim to it?

If you've got to this point, thank you, I appreciate your time and any feedback.

Cheers

Phil




The law presumes you will fence to the fullest extent of your land, whenever you don't you create problems and if your neighbours property were sold today, the new owners would be viewing your fence as the limit of their land. Any fencer will have no problem in dealing with any of the issues you've described.
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smile...it confuses people
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Re: A cowboy installer and a threatening (81yo) neighbour.

Postby COGGY » Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:03 am

I think the answer to your question is that the neighbour cannot force you to remove the concrete but by moving the fence forward you are in danger of losing some of your land. Are you able to get access to this strip of land, do your fence panels lift out? If so would it be possible to put up a barrier to show the true boundary? That would prevent anything being attached to your new wooden fence. A post and wire fence would be ok imo but I am not an expert. Regards Coggy
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Re: A cowboy installer and a threatening (81yo) neighbour.

Postby jonahinoz » Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:30 am

Hi,

If your neighbour has removed his fence, there is no longer any need for your fence to be inside your side of the boundary. So move your new fence to the line of the previous fence. OK that will cost you money, so just tell your neighbour that is what you intend to do. At present, he has gained a bit of your garden, which he will lose if he "leans on you".

You are expected to fence right up to the boundary. But you don't have to fence your boundary at all. Confusing, that! There is nothing to stop you taking your new fence away, altogether. Or replacing the panels with a string of gates. Which would reinstate the original boundary.

Who was responsible for the original fence? If it was you, then you still own the concrete that the posts were set in, and the holes they were set in. As your neighbour has been good enough to reveal them, do him the courtesy of recording them on film. Bring along some friends to take some photographs too.

If they were your neighbours posts, then they are still his, and he should discuss the damage to them with your contractor, who will be insured.

John W
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Re: A cowboy installer and a threatening (81yo) neighbour.

Postby arborlad » Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:23 pm

nothingtodowithme wrote:
The law presumes you will fence to the fullest extent of your land, whenever you don't you create problems and if your neighbours property were sold today, the new owners would be viewing your fence as the limit of their land. Any fencer will have no problem in dealing with any of the issues you've described.


Attention to detail is paramount when quoting the law.

The law presumes you will build to the fullest extent of your land

Note fences are not included in this presumption as one is not obligated to fence their land in law.




As things stand, there is a high probability that the OP of this thread is going to lose some land. In another thread, a member lost a metre of land because of your advice................

For the OP - I stand by what I have stated.
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Re: A cowboy installer and a threatening (81yo) neighbour.

Postby Collaborate » Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:05 pm

According to an article I've just been reading in the Solicitors Journal it is stated
In the case of wooden fences, it is likely to be inferred that the owner of land will use his land to the fullest extent
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Re: A cowboy installer and a threatening (81yo) neighbour.

Postby ukmicky » Sun Oct 30, 2016 12:47 am

The concrete holding the post in can be dug out by yourself. I've removed a few in my time and your only talking about half an hour per post
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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