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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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OK our neighbour put up a fence in 1997 which is legally our

Customer Question

OK our neighbour put up a fence in 1997 which is legally our boundary , we moved here in 2005. The fence has now blown into our garden in the wind. We have said we shall replace the fence however she is stating that she wants to keep this fence and we errect one in front of it . The fence is rotten and some of it at a 45degree angle. anyone can see it needs replacing. Where do we stand. Also when new fence is erected is it to be exactly where the existing one was or 2 inches to right where the boundary stone is? and behind or in front of stone?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

You refer to a boundary stone. May I ask what this is please? Do you believe it shows where your actual boundary lies - ie a slightly different location to the fence?

JACUSTOMER-35e3daq9- :

it is a concrete post whereby chicken wire was attached to- it is approx 2 inches from the fence that lies in our boundary which the neighbour put up. I am awaiting a copy of my deeds also

JACUSTOMER-35e3daq9- :

basically the old woman next door has an emotional attachment to the blown down fence as it was put up by her deceased partner

Joshua :

Thanks. Do you believe the stone shows where your actual boundary lies - ie a slightly different location to the fence?

JACUSTOMER-35e3daq9- :

i dont know - it may not even be the exact boundary line or stone - the fence was what we beleived to the be the boundary

JACUSTOMER-35e3daq9- :

as we can see under the fence the original chicken wire used to map out the boundary

Joshua :

Thank you.

JACUSTOMER-35e3daq9- :

what can she do legally if we just replace the rotton fence that is our boundary side even if she put it up in the first place

Joshua :

If the neighbour accepts that the fence is hers then she must remove it from your garden or alternatively you can remove it and return the panels to her. That deals with the fencing material itself and is quite straightforward. The position with regards to the location of the boundary line is less straightforward...

Joshua :

What you have effectively here is the potential for a boundary dispute. If there is a dispute with regards to the location of the boundary line then the first thing to look at is your title plan which you can obtain from the land registry if you do not already have it. Occasionally though not often measurements can appear on the plan. Where this is the case the measurements will be legally binding. More often than not however the plan will contain no measurements but will be expressed to be for the purpose of identification only.

Joshua :

In these circumstances the plan is, whilst drawn to scale only for the purpose of identification can will not necessarily establish the exact location of the boundary line very precisely. Where this is the case you can either agree between you where the boundary line lies or failing which you would need to resolve the matter either using the RICS boundary resolution service or through the land Registry adjudicator or alternatively the County Court.

Joshua :

It can often be difficult to determine the exact position of a boundary in terms of centimeters or inches but a plan should enable identification of land in terms of several feet usually. As above, properties are generally registered with a plan for identification purposes showing the general position of a boundary. Sometimes it can be relatively straightforward to determine the location of the boundary by reference to another structure such as the house but not always and even then not necessarily with the degree of accuracy that may be required.

JACUSTOMER-35e3daq9- :

its just a concrete block cemented in the ground so it may not even be the boundary stone - the fence is built on chicken wire so I presume that was fairly accurate at the time.

JACUSTOMER-35e3daq9- :

can we not take down the damaged fence and replace it as it is our responsibility?

Joshua :

If you are unable to agree the location of the boundary line, you can ask the Land Registry to determine the boundary on the title plans by instructing a surveyor to prepare a a very precise plan showing the exact line of the boundary in the surveyors opinion. You will need to use a RICS qualified surveyor to draw up a plan. You then complete form DB (link below) and send to the Land Registry who will inspect the same and serve a notice on your neighbour offering him the opportunity to object to their proposals. You can include the evidence such as you have with your application and can show this to your surveyor when he is preparing his plan.

Joshua :

http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/_media/downloads/forms/DB.doc

Joshua :

There is a fee of £90.

Joshua :

If your neighbour agrees to this proposal you can share the cost of a surveyor. If she refuses then this amounts to a boundary dispute which can be determined by the Land Registry Adjudicator

Joshua :

If the boundary is determined in the above manner then your title deeds will be updated with precise measurements which are legally binding going forward.

JACUSTOMER-35e3daq9- :

I think we shall await the deeds and if it is not clear then we will errect a fence in front of the damaged one - we are only talking 2 inches! and it was her that put the fence up in that position in the first place!

JACUSTOMER-35e3daq9- :

does the fence have to be behind the concrete boundary stone or in front of?

Joshua :

Sorry for the short delay - I have just had to take a phone call. With your permission I will be with you in a few moments...

JACUSTOMER-35e3daq9- :

ok i have to leave shortly though

JACUSTOMER-35e3daq9- :

i have to go out now - can you just respond to the last question so that we know where to put up fence either behind the stone which is line with the remaining garden fence or in front of

JACUSTOMER-35e3daq9- :

I will be home later around 930 when I will close chat

Joshua :

I am very sorry for the delay. Would you like to continue?

Joshua :

If it is more convenient to continue later circa 9-9.30 that is fine?

Joshua :

With regards to the location of the fence, as above the first step is to wait for your title plan to arrive and check it for measurements for the dimension of your land. If there are measurements on the same then you can hold the neighbour to these and insist that the fence is located at this point. However measurements are comparatively rare on plans so the likelihood is there will be none.

Joshua :

If this is that case then as referred to above you will either need to agree with your neighbour as to the location of the fence or in default of which set in motion a boundary dispute to settle the location of your boundary line using the above procedure. As you say whether you would want to do this in respect of two inches is a matter for you to decide as there are costs in terms of surveyor fees and so on associated with the same.

Joshua :

Notwithstanding the location of the boundary line you agree upon, you can put up a fence at your boundary whether or not she chooses to put up her own fence as well.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?

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