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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33538
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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We have a joint fence with our neighbour which needs repairing. This fence was erected by

Customer Question

We have a joint fence with our neighbour which needs repairing. This fence was erected by the builder at the time the houses were built about 1988. The 100 foot length wooden fence is supported by posts with the vertical boards facing my neighbour only. In other words my neighbour has a nice outlook whereas we had an unsightly one. After purchasing (2002) we set about erecting trellis panels and affixed them to the existing posts. No explicit permission was sought from from our neighbour but nor did he object except to say he personally didn't like them
It now transpires that his and our Deeds states that ".... deemed to be joint and party walls and fences and shall be repaired and maintained at the joint and equal expense of the Purchaser ...."
So we have a fence which was the original fence (but not constructed properly by the builder) but added to and fixed to the original posts at our cost and funding some new posts which had rotted
It seems unjust that I am being asked to shar
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is***** shall do my best to help you but I need some further information firstWhat is the problem with the current fence?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The remaining posts (that is excluding the posts I have installed at my expense) are rotten and need replacing. The original fence boards (these face my neighbours property) are also rotten and need replacing.
I notice the last sentence of my original submission to you is incomplete and should read "It seems unjust that I am being asked to share the repair costs (50%)"
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I am disappointed that I have had no response since I responded to your request for further information. When can I expect a further communication?
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.
My apologies for the delay - I have been in Court.So your part of the Fence is still ok?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Yes. In very good condtion
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.
For clarity - the Trellis part is still a full fence - not just added to the top?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Yes. Most of the panels are 6 foot wide. Several of the panels have had the width altered to fit the total length of the fence. The total length is 102 feet. The top is curved making the maximum height at the centre 6 feet 3 inches.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I should add that the trellis panels are substantial not the flimsy panels that you often see
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.
Excellent.is this a separate fence?If not how much of the fence is yours and how much is not?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I thought I had made that clear in my original submission. I will explain in more detail.
The original 1988 fence (installed by the builder of both our houses) was was made up of 17 posts with a fence attached to it facing my neighbours side made up of vertical boards with a small (about 1/2") gap along the total length. There was no fence attached to our side. (I could speculate that as our house was built after our neighbours and maybe the last on the estate it was an oversight on the builders part). We bought this house in 2002 and didn't like the appearance.
Early in 2003 part of this fence collapsed (due to rot) and I helped my neighbour replace 4 or 5 posts so that the neighbours side of the fence could be re-attached. We decided to make our side more attractive and bought some substantial trellis panels and affixed them to some of the existing posts as well as the replaced posts.
Not long after another section of the original fence collapsed and I undertook buy some more trellis fence for our side and paid a contractor to supply and fix some new posts and attach the trellis panels. Part of the original fence was then attached to these posts by our neighbour
Later on we bought some more trellis panels to complete the 100 feet length with trellis fence but the existing posts in this section had by this time rotted and so I paid a contractor to fit new posts and attach these new trellis panels. The intention was for our neighbour to affix the original fence to these new posts.
So what started as a 100 feet long fence lined only on side with boarding panels is now a 100 feet fence lined with boarding panels on our neighbours side and trellis panels on our side fixed to some of the original posts and some posts supplied and fitted by me with the objective of the original boarded fence to be attached to the new posts. It was never completely done by my neighbourThe current problem is that the original boarded fence and some of the original posts that have not been replaced are totally rotten and need urgent replacement. My neighbour wants me to pay half which I find totally unfair
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.
Thank you that is very clearSo on your side there is a fence the entire length that does not need replacing and can stand alone.Is that right?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No.
Both fences need the support of posts which are common to both. Simply there is a 100 feet line of posts 16 feet (approximately) apart . On our side there is a 100 foot length of approximately 6 foot trellis panels fixed to these posts.. On our neighbours side there is running parallel with our trellis fencing 100 feet of a fence made with vertical 6 inch wide boards again fixed to the same support posts.
Our trellis fence is newer, more substantial and properly treated against rot. The posts that we installed have been treated and actually 2 were steel. The board fence is not as substantial and together with the original posts have obviously not been treated against rot hence the relatively short life. (Treatment is expected to give a life of at least 25 years and yet posts were collapsing after about 15 years).
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.
RightAre you being asked to contribute tot he posts - or to the neighbours whole fence?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I am being asked for 50% of the total bill. This bill will be for all the posts that are being replaced (there are some that I have replaced and paid for) AND the total length of the boarded fence facing my neighbour. The estimate is about £2100 so my neighbour is asking me for £1050.
I have done a very rough calculation showing the 50% of the fitted posts cost (labour and concrete have to be added to the basic cost of the post) at about £300 which I have offered to pay. The balance £1800 is made up of £1500 for the boarded fence facing my neighbour plus £300 for the share of the posts.
Bearing in mind I have paid for the complete superior quality trellis fence on our side and some posts without without any contribution from my neighbour (I didn't ask for any) my offer seems wholly fair.
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.
Your offer is indeed wholly fair since you have in fact paid for and maintained a fence down the boundary of the property - which is all that is required.under the terms of the deeds.Please ask if you need further detailsClare
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Excellent news
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.
You are most welcome
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33538
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I have had a response from my neighbour who has consulted his Solicitor and has got a different opinion on a number of points
Firstly the fence is a party fence (not a joint fence)
Secondly I shouldn't have put up my trellis fence and attached it to the original posts
Thirdly I should detach all the trellis fence from the posts I haven't put in and re-attach them with my own posts.
If I don't concede he will take me to court using his solicitor (not the small claims court) and the loser pays the court costs.
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.
Of course he has - if there was no disagreement on the law courts would be empty and lawyers would be out of workThere was a fence between the properties and it is the responsibility of both of you to keep that boundary fenced.You have your own fence - attached to the joint post - as you are entitled to do.There is nothing that says it has to be a board fence - you like the trellis and that is just as valid as a fence as the board is.You are responsible for helping pay for the JOINT Posts - and have offered to do soYour neighbour can take the boards down and share the trellis if he wishes - you cannot stop him!

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