To whom does a fence belong?

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To whom does a fence belong?

Postby Lynda » Wed Dec 25, 2013 6:43 pm

When the fence between our garden and our neighbours' fell down on Monday night - the wooden posts were rotten and the wind just sheered through at ground level - I expected to have to replace it. However, I've just supervised the dog in the garden and waving the torch around I caught side of the fence on the other side of our neighbours' garden. There is absolutely no sign of fence posts which seems to indicate that the fence belongs to No. 5. If the fallen fence belongs to us that means that No. 6 don't actually own a fence at all. Does that seem right? Dave did mention to me this morning that the neighbour said she would get on to the Community Association after the holiday - they are tenants.

We've never seen the deeds to our house because it's all done online these days. How do I find out? I'm rather hoping the fence is ours because the CA have a habit of putting up 3 ft wire fences and I prefer the 6 ft wooden fence that was there.
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Re: To whom does a fence belong?

Postby Lynda » Wed Dec 25, 2013 6:56 pm

I should have mentioned that we are end terrace so the brick wall on the other side of the garden is definitely ours and so is the fence at the end of the garden. Is it usual to own all the fences/walls surrounding your garden if you live in a terrace?
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Re: To whom does a fence belong?

Postby Nick » Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:08 pm

You can get hold of your deeds for £3 and it is entirely possible that the deeds will identify either ownership of the boundary, or a definition of who is to maintain it. However it is most likely that there is no definition. At various times I have heard different local traditions like "you maintain the fence on your right". If the type of fence is more important to you than who pays for it I would get a price for replacing it and then send a copy of the quote to the owner offering to pay half if they pay half. It seems quite likely that a joint boundary would require joint funding, and that way you will get the fence that you want. If they put up a fence that you don't like you can always erect your own alongside theirs.
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Re: To whom does a fence belong?

Postby Lynda » Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:17 pm

We're quite prepared to pay for the fence ourselves. Until tonight we've always thought it was ours and we were thinking about replacing it before it fell down anyway as it was becoming a bit tatty and did wobble a bit during the gale we had in October. It's rather urgent to get it replaced - the neighbours have four children, three of whom are old enough to want to play in their garden and it's a pain that we have to supervise the dog every time he wants to go out so I think I'll have a word with them as soon as they return home and see what they think about the type of fence. All the houses around here have 6 ft fences so hopefully, we'll be able to sort something out if it isn't ours.
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Re: To whom does a fence belong?

Postby keith » Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:31 am

This is Easy

if the posts are your side it's your fence !
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Re: To whom does a fence belong?

Postby Lynda » Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:02 pm

It's hard to tell where the boundary is even with the fence down. If anything, the holes where the posts were are right in the middle.

I rang the Community Housing Association this morning because they must have a record but they are closed until 2 January.
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Re: To whom does a fence belong?

Postby Nick » Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:40 pm

keith wrote:This is Easy

if the posts are your side it's your fence !


Well that's one of the local traditions I was thinking of. Typical panel fences have the concrete posts in the middle, and the panels slot down the channels. I've heard it said that the fence owner should face the panals outward.
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Re: To whom does a fence belong?

Postby Lynda » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:08 pm

The fence on the other side of their garden does not have the fence posts showing so that must belong to their neighbours. That seems to indicate the fallen one is theirs but I'll have to wait and see until next Friday.
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Re: To whom does a fence belong?

Postby Nick » Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:07 pm

Ask not for whom the bell tolls
It tolls for thee.
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Re: To whom does a fence belong?

Postby Lynda » Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:15 pm

I'm pretty sure it's going to end up being our fence but Dave won't go ahead with getting quotes until we know for certain. I can't see the harm in getting quotes but the stubborn begger won't shift.
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Re: To whom does a fence belong?

Postby Lynda » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:03 pm

I was wrong. It's not our fence. Unfortunately, there will be a wait of about six weeks before a new one is erected. They seem to think they can repair the old one despite having been told the posts have rotted in the ground and all but one of the panels have snapped in half.

Now, I've only got to worry about keeping footballs and other missiles out of our garden and keeping our dog out of theirs and away from their rabbit who has a run and is on full view. It's not much smaller than Rocky but despite that I think he fancies rabbit for dinner.
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Re: To whom does a fence belong?

Postby Lynda » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:18 pm

They've just rung again to say they got the timeframe wrong. There is a wait of at least 150 days. That takes us up to the beginning of June. I have to admit to having had a rant and for once, it seems to have worked. They will erect some security fencing tomorrow. Goodness knows what security fencing is but at least it will keep the thugs out of our garden and the dog out of theirs.
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Re: To whom does a fence belong?

Postby Lynda » Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:54 pm

Dave has just pointed out that 150 days probably refers to working days in which case in will be the end of July/beginning of August and we shall have a new grandchild by then - even though that news isn't yet official.
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Re: To whom does a fence belong?

Postby Nick » Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:42 pm

I don't think that there is an obligation to fence your property, but I do think that 150 Days to repair/replace a fence is ridiculous.

I would keep on good terms with your neighbours (who probably want a fence as badly as you) and send a quote to them giving them 30 days to replace the fence or you will instruct the contractor to do the work and send the invoice to them. As you've said you are happy to pay you have nothing to lose.
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Re: To whom does a fence belong?

Postby Lynda » Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:49 pm

The fence is being replaced by the Community Housing Association, Nick, because next door are tenants. The CHA is the equivalent of council housing in this area. The Council sold off all their houses to the CHA a few years ago.

Witham has suffered quite a lot in recent storms and that is why there is such a long wait before the work can be done. There are so many CHA properties in Witham - almost as many as owner occupiers.

I'm glad that we haven't got to replace the fence ourselves and not just from a financial point of view. We haven't had a single response from any of the fencers that Dave contacted on Christmas Eve. It's the same with all workmen around here. Getting anyone to do any kind of building/gardening/decorating work is harder than getting an audience with the Queen.
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Re: To whom does a fence belong?

Postby Lynda » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:45 pm

The temporary fence has been erected and it is much better than we expected. 2 metres high and made of strong metal. The type of fencing that is put around the perimeter of building sites. Not quite as attractive as the wooden fence that was there but very functional and will serve its purpose until the job can be completed next summer - or whenever.
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Re: To whom does a fence belong?

Postby Steve Griff » Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:46 pm

You may as well but a birthday card or two for the fence, knowing what most HA's are like with maintenance :)
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Re: To whom does a fence belong?

Postby Nick » Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:57 pm

:lol:

Maybe that's why the temporary fence is so permanent!
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Re: To whom does a fence belong?

Postby Lynda » Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:10 pm

Well, at least they were quick in putting that one up. We don't have to supervise the dog any more which is a bonus.
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Re: To whom does a fence belong?

Postby Lynda » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:13 pm

On Monday I was getting fed up with the temporary fence so I emailed the Housing Association to ask when the permanent fence would be done. They responded sometime in the summer.

This made me rather cross because they've recently started building huge planters on the concrete outside the local shop. This work has been going on for several weeks because they dug up the concrete and are putting wooden raised beds in. I pointed out what a waste of time and money this is and they didn't bother to reply to that email.

This afternoon I had to dash out in to the garden because Rocky was barking fit to bust. A man with a Greenfields Community Housing logo on his sweatshirt was measuring the length of the fence. It seems we will be getting a new fence at the end of next month. Result! It pays to complain.
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