neighbour removed joint fence

sheilaleat
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neighbour removed joint fence

Post by sheilaleat » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:45 pm

Can our neighbour remove a joint fence without our permission.

We currently live on a newish housing estate (16 years old) All the houses on the cul de sac are detatched and have matching fences between us. Our houses are at the front with gardens at the back which have 6ft fences surrounding them on three sides. The side which joins our neighbour runs from the back of the garden to the front of the house. Approximatley 10mtrs long. Our neighbour recently approached us to ask if they could remove the 6ft fence which goes between our two houses to put up a higher fence to allow them more privacy. We said no as the fence they wanted to put up would not match the back or other side of our garden and we thought it would look odd on our side. We did say that we wouldn't mind if they got the same fence but made higher so it would still match our remaining fences. We also couldn't understand their reasoning as a 6ft fence seems very adequate but we didn't say this.

The neighbour has removed the fence anyway and intends on replacing it with a higher fence which is completely different and although I understand it is a matter of taste the fence he intends putting up is very ugly and would almost surely devalue our home.

Relations with the neighbours are not good and they are not easy people to talk to rationally. The police have actually been involved previously after a dispute with a front garden after he threatening to burn another fence down.

What can we do legally. Can we force them to put the old fence back up. They have taken it down without damaging it so this should be possible or do we have to live with the new eyesore.

Sudynim
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Re: neighbour removed joint fence

Post by Sudynim » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:06 pm

To be honest I'd be very happy to have a high fence between my home and people like that.

sheilaleat
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Re: neighbour removed joint fence

Post by sheilaleat » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:05 pm

I know that does sound good in theory but it really is going to look stupid in our back garden. The new fence is hideous and to be honest we can't see them at all with the 6 foot fence.

I am just trying to find out if they can just remove the joint fence and if not what do we do about it.

Mojisola
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Re: neighbour removed joint fence

Post by Mojisola » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:26 pm

They shouldn't have removed a joint fence. "Joint" means nothing should be done to it without both sides agreeing.

Without planning permission the highest a backyard fence can be is 2m.

Once they have removed the fence, it's not easy to get it reinstated. You have to weigh up the cost and the hassle against any possible result.

You could talk to the council if they have put a higher fence up.

Sudynim
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Re: neighbour removed joint fence

Post by Sudynim » Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:30 pm

sheilaleat wrote:I am just trying to find out if they can just remove the joint fence...
They should not do so without your agreement.
sheilaleat wrote:and if not what do we do about it.
You would have to demand it's reinstatement by formal letter, and if they didn't comply then commence a case against them in the county court. You would have to decide whether the cost and bad feeling is justified.

Mojisola
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Re: neighbour removed joint fence

Post by Mojisola » Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:45 pm

sheilaleat wrote:Our neighbour recently approached us to ask if they could remove the 6ft fence which goes between our two houses to put up a higher fence to allow them more privacy.
How high is the new fence?

CoffeeDrinker
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Re: neighbour removed joint fence

Post by CoffeeDrinker » Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:36 pm

Mojisola wrote:They shouldn't have removed a joint fence. "Joint" means nothing should be done to it without both sides agreeing.
I don't think that is right. You can do something to 'your' side of a joint fence i.e paint it or attach a higher fence to it but cannot remove it without their permission.

kwhite
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Re: neighbour removed joint fence

Post by kwhite » Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:49 pm

Why don't they replace the original fence, and attach a trellis to their side? Or erect another fence on their side? I think the height limit is 6.5 feet (hope so, cos I'm having all my garden fencing replaced next week with 6.5ft fences!).

I'm not commenting on your situation, but from my experience with my rear NFH, I think different people view privacy differently. Our rear NFH don't seem to care about privacy at all, but my wife and I feel like they are watching us all the time. They may not be, but since they cut the tree down, we feel like they are.

I don't know the laws, but I would've thought you can make them replace the existing fence, as that is still partly your property. Although as others have said, that might be a long trek.

Can you still get hold of fencing in the same design as your original fence?

andrew54
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Re: neighbour removed joint fence

Post by andrew54 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:34 am

kwhite wrote: I think the height limit is 6.5 feet (hope so, cos I'm having all my garden fencing replaced next week with 6.5ft fences!).
Just to clarify... The maximum height allowed under permitted development is 2 metres for most fences, one metre for any fence 'adjacent' to a highway that includes includes a carriageway. So your fence at the front, and possibly the side, should be only one metre high. Higher fences than that require planning permission, which is sometimes granted.
kwhite wrote:....from my experience with my rear NFH, I think different people view privacy differently.
Yes, agreed. Privacy is very important to me, but only in the bedroom and the bathroom. People gaze at me through windows when I'm sat at the dining table - doesn't bother me. I'm very happy with my 5 foot fence - I can chat with the neighbours if I want, but we are out of site if we are both sitting on opposite sides of the fence. I have friends with no fence at all between their back garden and the neighbours. We are all different.

kwhite
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Re: neighbour removed joint fence

Post by kwhite » Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:59 pm

Should've said, all my fences are at the rear. So my 6.5ft is ok as thats just a smidge under 2mtr.

We have nothing at the front, its all open plan.

Any updates from the OP about the neighbours possible intentions?

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WILL*REMAIN*STRONG
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Re: neighbour removed joint fence

Post by WILL*REMAIN*STRONG » Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:08 pm

A joint fence should not be replaced without both sides agreeing to its replacement. Some would be fine with a new fence and not having to pay for it. It just depends on what the old fence is replaced with I suppose. You can always hide one fence with another, but it doesn't help when one fence will be the maximum 2m.

If your neighbour is a bully, quite possible if he/she goes over your head. Then they will count on you not being able to do much unless you take expensive legal action. Not worth it in my opinion. If you don't like their choice of fence and height you have three choices...I won't point them out.

sheilaleat
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Re: neighbour removed joint fence

Post by sheilaleat » Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:16 pm

Is seems everyone is agreed that they can't remove the fence without our permission, which we didn't give, but we really can't do anything about it.

The height of the new fence isn't an issue for us, its the fact that it looks absolutely hideous from our side. As it runs the full length of our garden as well it is a real problem for us.

Is the only answer expensive legal action. I was hoping someone knew a simple way to force them to put the previous fence back up.

kwhite
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Re: neighbour removed joint fence

Post by kwhite » Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:38 pm

Were replacing our rear fencing and paying for it all - the back and right hand side our ours anyway, and the left side is the neighbours, but they won't pay for the current decrepid one to be fixed, so we're doing it. They are perfectly happy to have a new fence, although they will get the "post" side and not the featheredge side, even though good practice says the owner (them) should have the good side. They didn't question this, and my take on it is that although its their fence, I am paying for it!

When you say the new one is hideous, in what way? Can you get a picture?

Don't forget also, that although they have done it, it still remains a joint fence (I think) so can't see any reason for you not to paint it....would be terrible if you chose a horrible colour and it seeped through? :roll:

I've asked our neighbours not to paint the new fence cos its tantalised and doesn't need it - the side who own the fence (I am assuming they still own it, even though I'm paying for it?) agree it shouldn't need painting and said they would if we did, but I don't want too, cos once you start, you gotta keep it up! Although technically I think they could if they wanted to.

arborlad
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Re: neighbour removed joint fence

Post by arborlad » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:24 pm

kwhite wrote: even though good practice says the owner (them) should have the good side. .
who says?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

kwhite
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Re: neighbour removed joint fence

Post by kwhite » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:40 pm

I don't know, I just thought it was convention that the property that owns the fence also had the "good" side pointing them, from a cosmetic point of view.

I might have got it the wrong way around, but I thought it was one or the other, but in this instance I am having the good side purely cos I'm paying for it.

Another thing actually that might mean I've got it the wrong way around, is it was once suggested to me that with featheredge fencing, the good side should actually be pointing away from the owner, with the posts on my side, as that makes it more difficult for someone to climb over, i.e. security.

My take on that is that if someone wants to climb over, they will, so I would rather have the good side looking at me.

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