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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
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Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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32 years ago I erected a fence about 8 foot long, on the boundary

Customer Question

32 years ago I erected a fence about 8 foot long, on the boundary with one of my neighbours. I was helped at the time by the neighbour who lived on the other side of the fence. I had a copy the plans with a scaled drawing which had been attached the deeds my property. George my neighbour in 1983 was satisfied with position of the fence, so was I. George died in 1990. His son and daughter sold the property, and new neighbours moved in during November 1991. Nothing was mentioned about the fence until we received a recorded delivery from the "new" owners in May 2015, saying when we removed conifers from our garden in 2012 we damaged the asbestos/cement to an outbuilding at the bottom of his garden, as an afterthought it also said that the fence I had erected was 3 feet into his garden and I had until the end of that month to remove it or I would be hearing from his solicitor. We (my wife and I) sat in anticipation of a letter from his solicitor, but heard nothing. Then on the 30th June He used a sledge hammer to remove two concrete posts which held the fence in position, I also asked him what happened to the fence panel, he said it fell onto his garden and therefore became his property. My wife telephoned the police, who said this was low priority situation but would send someone along. My wife phoned again the next day, after phoning again the eventually turned up. We said surely this was criminal damage and theft, but were fobbed off that it was a boundary dispute. We were to by one police officer to go ahead and renew the fence which did. Then this neighbour again tried to smash the fence down. We tried to mediate with him, but unfortunately because he appears to mental health issues, we find this impossible. We have had 3 different police officers call in the last 3 weeks but not one of then was willing to speak to the neighbour. We had spent out over £400 on new fencing, which he said he will smash down when we are out. What do we do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to answer this for you.
I am not sure that there is a practical legal remedy here. Even if your neighbour is right about where the boundary used to lie, if you have had the extra land for 32 years it is yours by way of adverse possession (squatters rights).
It is a matter of criminal law and I have certainly seen people arrested for less. All you can do is gather evidence, perhaps film him as he damages the fence to show the police.

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