Title deed query - Fence argument

Post Reply
Steev180
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:43 am

Title deed query - Fence argument

Post by Steev180 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:30 pm

Hi everyone, new to this site having not long owned my own house. I find myself in a bit of an argument with the daughter of our late neighbour, about a replacement fence we've erected.

Long story short, March this year we moved to a house with a shared alley between us and our neighbour (neighbours house is unnocupied and currently on the market, being sold by the late owners' sons and daughters). We've tried to catch members of the family next door to have a friendly chat about the waist-height, rickety fence (our left hand side looking out from the house) between our back gardens. Posted a letter in mid August explaining what we'd like to do (approx 6ft fence using existing fence posts, and new taller gate, closing off our back garden to the shared alleyway), explaining that it's purely for security given the number of break ins around the neighbourhood, we'd cover all costs, please knock, call or drop us a letter of you have any issues etc. Friendly, we thought.

We gave them a month to reply before starting the work, and as I did the work myself in stages at weekends etc it took best part of 4 weeks to complete, during which they came and went from the house as the garden was obviously being cleared for, time to time. The DAY AFTER I finally finish, we have a knock on the door and it's an irate daughter telling us she never gave us 'permission' for the new 'illegal' fence, the right hand side is hers and can she have the gravel boards we removed put back in her garden! :roll:

I stayed polite and explained that we tried to reach them, wrote a letter, left both my wife's and my own mobile number etc, she claims they've tried calling, knocking and had no answer - rubbish.

My question! Looking through the various sets of title deeds we were provided with during the buying process (luckily I have the original house builders', to first owner, owner 1 to owner 2, and owner 2 to us). Original deeds shows a 'T' facing into our land, on both sides of the garden! The later two deeds do not show the 'T' nor mention in writing.

Do we in reality still own both sides, as ownership doesn't appear to have changed during the various sales? I'd much rather sort this out with them amicably but if push comes to shove, how far can this go?

Thanks in advance everyone, do let me know if you need any more info.

despair
Posts: 16216
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:07 am

Re: Title deed query - Fence argument

Post by despair » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:30 pm

I would find a fencer who has some old gravel boards he has just removed and get some from him and return them to the ungrateful daughter for whom you have just made their house much more valuable

The fencer will be glad not to have the cost of disposal

ukmicky
Posts: 4675
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:13 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20
Location: London

Re: Title deed query - Fence argument

Post by ukmicky » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:54 pm

If the title plan has T marks and the register states the boundary with those T marks is yours , the legal presumption is the boundary fence is yours unless they can provide evidence to rebut the legal presumption.

Evidence like at some stage the original fence was removed and they placed their fence on their own land in order to secure their boundary.

It’s not down to you to prove it’s your fence ,it’s down to them to prove it’s not.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

MacadamB53
Posts: 6286
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:13 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 100
Number of topics per page: 50

Re: Title deed query - Fence argument

Post by MacadamB53 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:57 am

ukmicky wrote:If the title plan has T marks and the register states the boundary with those T marks is yours , the legal presumption is the boundary fence is yours unless they can provide evidence to rebut the legal presumption.

Evidence like at some stage the original fence was removed and they placed their fence on their own land in order to secure their boundary.

It’s not down to you to prove it’s your fence ,it’s down to them to prove it’s not.
the "and" I've put in bold because if the wording of the original deed doesn't refer to those T marks then the T marks on the plan are irrelevant.

on what basis is the neighbour asserting they owned the fence you removed?

kind regards, Mac

Steev180
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:43 am

Re: Title deed query - Fence argument

Post by Steev180 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:24 pm

Thanks for your replies, Mac - I see what you’re saying and i’ll check again the wording of the deed. As far as her “proof” of ownership of the fence, she simply stated that “houses along here own the fence to the right hand side”. I said “fair enough, do you have anything to back that up?” It was glossed over and she moved onto the next part of the telling off.

If they occupied the house, then I’d consider their views a little more, but seeing as it will be sold in the coming weeks, I can’t see what they’re getting at. Particularly as they’ve paid nothing towards it and it secures their house/garden as much as ours. Takes all kinds I suppose.

MacadamB53
Posts: 6286
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:13 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 100
Number of topics per page: 50

Re: Title deed query - Fence argument

Post by MacadamB53 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:57 pm

Steev180 wrote:Thanks for your replies, Mac - I see what you’re saying and i’ll check again the wording of the deed. As far as her “proof” of ownership of the fence, she simply stated that “houses along here own the fence to the right hand side”. I said “fair enough, do you have anything to back that up?” It was glossed over and she moved onto the next part of the telling off.

If they occupied the house, then I’d consider their views a little more, but seeing as it will be sold in the coming weeks, I can’t see what they’re getting at. Particularly as they’ve paid nothing towards it and it secures their house/garden as much as ours. Takes all kinds I suppose.
her explanation is very likely to be based on rumour/misinformation - possibly the deceased swallowed and regurgitated this oft spun myth and so,in their grieving eyes, it must be true...

they almost certainly have not seen a copy of the deeds for every property on the street, that's for sure.

do you have the gravel boards?

kind regards, Mac

Steev180
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:43 am

Re: Title deed query - Fence argument

Post by Steev180 » Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:47 pm

My thoughts exactly Mac.

Luckily enough I’ve kept them in the garden and planning to chuck them in a skip one day but seeing as they now want them back, it’ll save me some skip space!

despair
Posts: 16216
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:07 am

Re: Title deed query - Fence argument

Post by despair » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:19 pm

Ha ha ...beat her at your own game

Return every shred if the fence she erroneously claims is theirs plus a copy of deeds which prove otherwise

She wanted it back she has it

arborlad
Posts: 7679
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Title deed query - Fence argument

Post by arborlad » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:20 pm

Steev180 wrote:Hi everyone, new to this site having not long owned my own house. I find myself in a bit of an argument with the daughter of our late neighbour, about a replacement fence we've erected.

Long story short, March this year we moved to a house with a shared alley between us and our neighbour (neighbours house is unnocupied and currently on the market, being sold by the late owners' sons and daughters). We've tried to catch members of the family next door to have a friendly chat about the waist-height, rickety fence (our left hand side looking out from the house) between our back gardens. Posted a letter in mid August explaining what we'd like to do (approx 6ft fence using existing fence posts, and new taller gate, closing off our back garden to the shared alleyway), explaining that it's purely for security given the number of break ins around the neighbourhood, we'd cover all costs, please knock, call or drop us a letter of you have any issues etc. Friendly, we thought.

We gave them a month to reply before starting the work, and as I did the work myself in stages at weekends etc it took best part of 4 weeks to complete, during which they came and went from the house as the garden was obviously being cleared for, time to time. The DAY AFTER I finally finish, we have a knock on the door and it's an irate daughter telling us she never gave us 'permission' for the new 'illegal' fence, the right hand side is hers and can she have the gravel boards we removed put back in her garden! :roll:

I stayed polite and explained that we tried to reach them, wrote a letter, left both my wife's and my own mobile number etc, she claims they've tried calling, knocking and had no answer - rubbish.

My question! Looking through the various sets of title deeds we were provided with during the buying process (luckily I have the original house builders', to first owner, owner 1 to owner 2, and owner 2 to us). Original deeds shows a 'T' facing into our land, on both sides of the garden! The later two deeds do not show the 'T' nor mention in writing.

Do we in reality still own both sides, as ownership doesn't appear to have changed during the various sales? I'd much rather sort this out with them amicably but if push comes to shove, how far can this go?

Thanks in advance everyone, do let me know if you need any more info.



What was there before you started any work, how did you accommodate the extra height of the panels in the existing posts?

You need to give very careful consideration to what you do with the gravel boards, if you accede to the request to 'return' them, it is at least a tacit acceptance of their claim to fence ownership.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

jonahinoz
Posts: 1483
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:15 pm

Re: Title deed query - Fence argument

Post by jonahinoz » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:15 am

she simply stated that “houses along here own the fence to the right hand side”

Hi Steve,

Ten houses, for example, will need eleven fences. Somebody, somewhere, has two fences. Sensibly, it will be the last house built, but it needn't be. It could even mean that two houses have two fences, and the house in between them has none.

If this lady watched you erect this fence over a period of several weeks, without dropping a note through your "unanswered" door, can ESTOPPAL be invoked? I understand ESTOPPAL to mean that she cannot watch you do something, but not complain until you have finished.

John W

jonahinoz
Posts: 1483
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:15 pm

Re: Title deed query - Fence argument

Post by jonahinoz » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:18 am

PS ...

Your neighbour is trying to sell her father's house ... and SHE has raised a dispute?

John W

Post Reply