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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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Our neighbour is unapproachable and refused to put a fence

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Our neighbour is unapproachable and refused to put a fence on his boundary 27yrs ago when our daughter was 1yr old - leaving our garden open to the road. We had to resort to putting trees on our side of the boundary that didn't do very well. Eventually we decided to put a 6ft fence on our side of the boundary about 3yrs ago as we had no privacy front or back. We had the fence put up to a bit of established hedge that was between the road and the new fence. The neighbour did not raise an objection to the fence when it was erected, but now the hedge has deteriated and we had it taken out on Wednesday ready to finish the fence to the road next week. We informed him this was happening. He has now come round shouting that he never wanted the fence, and certainly doesn't want the extra land that the fence has created on his side. He has said we are not to put any fence up to the road, but keep it open to his property. We thought we could put it up as it is on our land, and certainly don't want to leave @ 25ft of open space along the boundary.
Hello, I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor in a High Street practice. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects. Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes. Please bear with me in that case

It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me while I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully.

Unless I have all the facts that I need, my answer would not be accurate.

Do you have a specific question?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The neighbour does not want us to put the last @25ft of fence up that would complete the boundary, and wants it left open. Are we able to put the remaining fence up if it is on our land?

This neighbour
sounds a bit of an idiot.

If there is a
covenant on your property preventing you putting a fence up he can enforce the

However as the
fence has been up for 27 years and the breach of covenant has therefore been
continuous for more than 20 years, under the rule in Hepworth v Pickles, the
covenant is no longer enforceable.

You can put a
fence up under 2 m high without planning permission and you can put it up right
along the border or if you wish, some feet from it. That choice is yours. If
the neighbour does not like looking at the fence, that is indeed unfortunate
and he had better look the other way!

On the fact that
you have given me, you are quite free to put the fence up adjacent to the
boundary or anywhere within your land you cannot actually straddle the boundary
with it without his consent.

Does that answer
the question.? Can I assist any further?

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The fence that we have erected has only been there for 3yrs, there was no fence before that, only trees and shrubs. He has objected to the extra land on his side that the fence has created, saying that we should maintain it, but he has cleared along the back fence himself and filled it with rubbish! so we can't get to it. On reflection we are prepared to spend extra money to reroute the fence next to the boundary at the front of the property so that no maintenence is needed. Is this allowed?

Our daughter has tried to speak to him since I contacted you, and he has told her to f****** off!!!!!

You can of course put the fence right adjacent to the boundary.


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