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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 31300
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am a tenant of the local council. Just over 4 years ago I

Customer Question

Hi, I am a tenant of the local council. Just over 4 years ago I replaced our front garden with a car hardstand.
I completed the council's alteration documents and after some discussion this work was approved.
At the same time I replaced a broken boundary fence. I didn't ask for permission to do this as it was a like-for-like repair.
A few months ago I was contacted by the council asking me to lower my fencing because it is higher than 1 metre, it is actually 1.7m, and contravenes planning because it is next to a highway
Having explained this is not an alteration, and that I had spoken to County Council planning I didn't need planing permission they have sent me another letter stating that the fence is considered a new installation and permission is required for both planning and an alteration to their property and I am expected to lower the fence as requested.
They have stated this is a misunderstanding but it seems a little unfair given I did everything to make sure my alteration met planning and council requirements and I wondered if I could stop them forcing me to reduce my fence?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  propertylawyer replied 10 months ago.

Hi

Whilst the fencing may be in accordance with planning you may be in breach of you tenancy agreement. It may stipulate in the agreement that you need landlord's consent. If so then the council can request it be altered.

Do you have a copy of the agreement? I can check the terms of it znd advise.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi, thank you for the response.
I don't have to hand, and can't find on their website, a copy of my tenancy agreement but I have attached the guideline and web page requirements.
I've also included all other correspondence to date to give the fuller picture.
Looking at the wording on the website it would appear your thoughts are correct, however, having replaced a fence I didn't originally install at my own cost, informing them the build was completed 4 years and not having any concerns shown at that time still leaves me with the possibility for paying again for the removal, hoping they approved the replacement and paying again for replacing the replacement
They way I read the second letter seems to suggest the 1m is necessary due to "planning"?
Expert:  propertylawyer replied 10 months ago.

Hi, thanks. I will review the docs and come back to you during the day.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I'm not sure why this was closed as I'm still waiting for a reply!
However, as an update I have confirmed with the council planning that they do not require anything from me, I have completed and had approved the Alteration application and finally today I spoke to the Housing Trust's manager.
He is now trying to tell me its the highways agency that object to the fence.
It appears my neighbour has appealed against not being allowed his own driveway and someone is trying to force it through.
I've spoken to the highways agent I met a few months ago and he has also confirm there is no issue with the fence.
So the question now is under what legal right could the highways agency expect the fence to be lowered?