Boundary fence

Postby andrew54 » Sun Mar 23, 2008 12:46 pm

Conveyancer wrote...

"It is a bit of a nonsense for the ownership of a wooden panel to be severed vertically "

I'm not so sure that this is a nonsense. If each owns their side but has a duty to support the neighbour's side then any replacement has to be by both parties agreeing. And each owning their own side means they can paint it any colour they want and can attach things to their side so long as it does not de-stableise the whole structure.

When people want to choose to share the cost this seems a good way to do it.
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Postby Conveyancer » Sun Mar 23, 2008 12:52 pm

The problem is though that a party fence that has passed its sell-by date cannot be replaced without consent. Obviously the same applies to walls, but the problem is not so acute as walls need replacing less often.

Of course a lot of this is theoretical. Whatever the position, in practice what is more important is having a reasonable neighbour.
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Postby teeny » Sun Mar 23, 2008 2:34 pm

Great stuff Conveyancer

I think a lot of people on this forum can learn from your posts and it is great to get pieces of legislation to back up the theory. That way everyone can learn and the way you explain it, it makes sense.

All fences between plots on my estate are party fences and the estate is 10 years old. Is this the easy way out for developers to write the deeds this way.

Therefore, a fence that is a party fence is divided in the middle and the line of junction is at this point. If a 100mm fence (width) is replaced by a 200mm fence and the fence is against a garage wall on one side and a garden on the other side, will the line of junction still be in the same place or does the legislation state that the line of junction is always in the middle of the party structure. (fence still built on two different owners land).

cheers
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Postby arborlad » Sun Mar 23, 2008 2:53 pm

[quote="teeny"]Great stuff Conveyancer

If a 100mm fence (width) is replaced by a 200mm fence and the fence is against a garage wall on one side and a garden on the other side, will the line of junction still be in the same place
cheers
Teeny[/quote]

Is this a hypothetical situation, I'm having problems trying to visualise a 200mm wide fence.
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Postby teeny » Sun Mar 23, 2008 3:27 pm

arborlad

No this is not a hypothetical situation. I am referring to the width of the party fence (party structure) 150mm post+ 50mm horizontal timber pieces on front of post with 10mm fence panels nailed to timbers (it is actually wider but not splitting hairs over it).

I am looking at what the legislation states with regards this situation. There are many posts stating replacing a party fence with their own fence on their side of the boundary but nothing referring to this situation.

cheers
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Postby arborlad » Sun Mar 23, 2008 3:52 pm

If the original fence was 100mm, and against the garage, then the line of junction/boundary line would be 50mm from the garage, I dont think changing the structure/width of the fence, will change the boundary line, still at 50mm from garage.

150mm posts seems excessive, is there any reason for them?
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Postby Conveyancer » Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:50 pm

"Is this the easy way out for developers to write the deeds this way?"

It is not so much an easy way out for the developers (after all it does not matter to them when they have disposed of the estate) as for their conveyancers. I think there is a tendency to try and produce a "one size fits all" legal document that will suit not only each property but each estate.
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Postby TrevR » Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:34 pm

On the "can a fence be a party wall fence" - they are referred to in the PWA notes as "wooden structures" and "Party Wall Fences", and while I can see Cnveyancer's points, they are practical points about the application of the law, rather than something that demonstrates that the law was not mean that way? I've added a Q Mark at the end to demonstrate it's an unqualified opinion :D

On the 200mm wide fence vs the 100mm one, I think arborlad is right - it wouldn't change the boundary position - would replastering or drylining one side of a party wall move the boundary? It would obfuscate the boundary position on future examinations, though.
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Postby Conveyancer » Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:49 pm

It is best not to bring the Party Wall Etc Act 1996 into this discussion as it will only confuse the issue. I just add that the phrase "party wall fence" (which means a party wall that does not form part of a building) is an unfortunate choice of words and that I think the Act deals with walls and not fences.

The reason I do not think the draftsman of the 1925 Act had fences in mind is that he refers to rights of support. It makes to think of one half of a wall supporting the other half, but I doubt many people think of one half of a wooden panel supporting the other half. You can take down half a wall even if it is only one brick thick, but you cannot, unless you have exceptional carpentry skills, divide a fence vertically.
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Postby Maverick.uk » Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:03 pm

[quote="Conveyancer"]
The reason I do not think the draftsman of the 1925 Act had fences in mind is that he refers to rights of support. .[/quote]

Wooden fences are not covered under the PWA, quote from explanatory booklet.

"A wall is a "party fence wall" if it is not part of a building, and stands astride the boundary line between lands of different owners and is used to separate those lands (for example a garden wall). This does not include such things as wooden fences."

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Postby teeny » Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:48 pm

Conveyancer

Do you agree that the boundary line on a party fence is at the midway point of the first structure built and after that the boundary will always be at this point. This seems sensible and logical.

Over ten years owners come and go, new fences built, some parts of the fence removed and parts of the fence now built on the owners property. No owners know about the width of the original fence and an owner reads his deeds and it says all fences are party fences between properties. Therefore using the above case an owner states that the boundary line is 100mm away from the wall of the garage as the existing fence is in this position. No one knows any different and nothing in the deeds will say otherwise. Therefore, a logical approach, I believe, to the solution is to state that the boundary is at the midpoint of the existing structure standing. Do you agree?

I now see why a fence should not be a party fence in a deed.

cheers
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Postby TrevR » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:47 am

[quote="Maverick.uk"][quote="Conveyancer"]
The reason I do not think the draftsman of the 1925 Act had fences in mind is that he refers to rights of support. .[/quote]

Wooden fences are not covered under the PWA, quote from explanatory booklet.

"A wall is a "party fence wall" if it is not part of a building, and stands astride the boundary line between lands of different owners and is used to separate those lands (for example a garden wall). This does not include such things as wooden fences."

Cheers

Mav[/quote]

Sorry, my bad, I remembered it referred to them, but forgot it mentioned them in order to exclude them!
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Postby chicken » Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:07 am

Hi,

So, your with your statement that:

If a party fence is replaced by a new fence its position has to be exact to make it a party fence. If it has been sited one side or other of the boundary, the position of which was fixed by the position of the old fence, then (in the absence of agreement) it cannot be a party fence since it is the rule that what is planted in the land belongs to the land.


is it the case that, if the fence is clearly not on the legal boundary, the fence is not a party fence but owned by whoever's land it is on? Does this apply if both parties (the owners of each side of the fence) paid for and re-erected a new fence in the past ignorant of the legal boundary?

In our case, the fence is clearly not on the legal boundary as set out in our deeds - the legal boundary being clearly identified by the physical, unmoveable walls of each of our houses - and we are trying to identify who owns it, is it a party fence, and can we take it down as it is on our land by at least 1 metre?

Many thanks.
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Postby arborlad » Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:00 pm

chicken wrote:
In our case, the fence is clearly not on the legal boundary as set out in our deeds - the legal boundary being clearly identified by the physical, unmoveable walls of each of our houses - and we are trying to identify who owns it, is it a party fence, and can we take it down as it is on our land by at least 1 metre?

Many thanks.


Irrespective of who paid for, who worked on, or whatever else transpired during the erection of the fence - if it is wholly on your land, it is your fence.
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Postby chicken » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:10 pm

That sounds promising - thanks. Is there some documentation that I can refer to - Land Reg practice guide or something?

Our neighbours are sure to question the validity of this.
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