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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9348
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Our fence is falling down due to the ivy growing on it. The

Resolved Question:

Our fence is falling down due to the ivy growing on it. The ivy was planted by our next door neighbour some 30 years ago & it has been difficult to control as it has grown over the top & into our garden. There have been a number of owners to the house next door, but the present owners have cut back the ivy on their side leaving an uneven weight. Last winter, 3 fence posts broke. Our next door neighbour is expecting us to repair the fence, but has not made any suggestion of help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.
Who owns the fence?If you do not know who owns it, who has maintained it, if anyone?If the Ivy is growing from his side, on what basis does he want you to repair the fence if it is the weight of the Ivy which has caused it to break?If the fence has been there for 30 years is it the weight of the Ivy which broke it or have the post rotted over the years?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We own the fence, therefore he considers we should get it repaired.The posts could have rotted given the time they have been standing, but the ivy has grown from his side onto our side, which has been a problem & I consider its weight to be a contributing cause for the posts to break
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.
You are not obliged to repair the fence. If it is your fence, you are able to remove it completely. If he does not like that, he is at liberty to put up his own fence.If the fence has fallen down as a result of the ivy growing on it which was exacerbated by him unbalancing it by removing the ivy on his side, you have a claim against him for damages in negligence for failing to cut the ivy down in a timely fashion. It is not likely to be the full cost of a replacement fence quite simply because it was probably on its way out and would have needed replacing anyway in the near future albeit not immediately.If this is a problem which he inherited when he moved into the property, that is unfortunate. He takes the property warts and all.It comes down to whether you want to pursue the issue with him, through court if necessary.If you both want to avoid court, my suggestion would be to agree between you to pay half of the cost each. If he is expecting you to repair the fence, he may get a bit of a surprise. There is one thing I must mention and that is that if the fence falls down and injures someone, you would be liable although you may be able to pass part of the blame onto the neighbour as a joint defendant.Can I clarify anything for you?Please don’t forget to rate positive. It’s an important part of the process so that experts get credited.Best wishesFES
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