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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3840
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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Two years ago we attached a bamboo screen 2m high to a fence,

Customer Question

Two years ago we attached a bamboo screen 2m high to a fence, this was done under the gaze of the neighbour. Ther reason for the screen was constant observation of our house and garden by the neighbour.
Three weeks ago the same neighbour wrote to threaten legal action if we did not immediately remove the screen and pointing out that any damage to his fence would constitute criminal damage.
The neighbour and his wife have been verbally abusive and difficult since we objected to an extension last year, he verbally misrepresented his plans, he got permission. He came round to see us who he discovered that we had objected, stood in our garage and told me "I can do anything I want and you can't do a thing about it". They still constantly observe any activity in our garden and monitor movement to and from our house. They have had a separate dispute with their neighbour on the other side.

In his second contact he claimed that he wanted to raise the fence to improve privacy but wanted our screening down first. In view if the planning misrepresentation we are not inclined to believe this.
In response I have suggested one of three actions might be available.
1. Status quo
2. That he arrange for his new fence, the contractor to be paid by us to remove the screening on the same day the new fence goes up, but that it is a written contract involving the three parties to ensure he keeps his word. We would then agree as part of any contract to allow the contractor only to work from our side of the fence as well.
3. He takes the option of legal action.

He has responded by saying he will remove it himself, and maintain his own fence, but that some damage to the screening is likely and that he will place it on our property.
In order to do this he would need to access our property to access the fixings to remove the screening.

I think I understand that trespass would apply in that he would be on our property without our permission. I understand that this is a civil matter which would likely be a pointless and expensive legal action. I am sure he has moved away from threatening legal action because of cost. I suspect that after two years it might be perceived as implicit consent since he was fully aware of the screening during its erection, over three weekends, and has been visible from his home for that period. Not sure how that would be read though.

He cannot access the area without breaching the boundary.

Are there any grounds for police action? Would his potential behaviour be regarded as intimidation, or likely to cause a breach of the peace? How would this play out if he accesses the property while we are at work? Or uses a contractor, without telling them we would object? Something he has tried in the past, again over a boundary line.

Any help would be gratefully recieved.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question and welcome.

My name is AJ and I will assist you.

Do you have a record of the incidents of intimidation?

Is the fence on that side your responsibility?

You are correct he cannot enter your property without consent.

Kind regards


P.s as it is the weekend I am online periodically. Please do not be concerned if you do not hear from me right away, I will respond.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

no, we did not keep a written record.


I did have to leave work on one occasion when contacted by my wife. She had been subjected to a tirade of abuse when returning from the school run. A neighbour and her husband had taken her in and were looking after her. My wife did not want to call the police.

On another occasion the neighbour's wife was shouting abuse over the garden fence at me for using an electric saw, mid-afternoon, mid-week. The husband shepherded her into the house when she started to shout about our religious beliefs, and when I asked him why she was shouting he denied she had said anything at all.


The wife quite regularly watches from windows, front and back, and when seen waves two fingers or shouts from the window.


when my wife leaves or enters the house the husband stands and stares straight at her, he doesn't do this if I am present.


My children have noticed that the husband had been standing back from a bedroom window and watching them playing on the trampoline.

When he realised he could be seen, I stood and looked straight at him, net curtains were put up the next day.


Each time we go into the garden they open their upper floor windows whenever we sit down, presumably to listen, the windows are rarely open when we go out.


The wife was shouting abuse at my son, 17, for playing music she didn't like. He has an excellent behaviour record at school, scouts, and is a junior leader for the 'cubs'.


The fence is the neighbours property, he removed 95% of a dense mature bushy border on his side of a pre-existing wire fence and replaced that with a 5ft gravel board and panel fence. This meant because of the angle at which his garden is set that he can and does look straight into our living room and kitchen/dining room. Which was why we put up the screening, though we still find he stands behind that and observes through the gaps.


Sorry if I've rambled on, but this is really upsetting my wife.


Expert:  Alex J. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you.

I completely understand this is clearly causing upset that should not have to be tolerated. I am afraid however it is not as simple as just going to the police and alleging these incidents. You really do need a detailed record of any harassment. If you do either want to make a criminal complaint or civil you will need to start by compiling a detailed diary of the incidents as and when they happen, time day etc in as much detail as possible. If the time then ever comes that you need to make a complaint you will have solid evidence which he probably wont be expecting.

Turning to the issue of the fencing the fact that he has to maintain the fence does not mean you cannot attach something to it on your side. What you must not do is cause irreparable damage to it, otherwise you will be responsible for it. I would only suggest you put your position in writing and say you are a) happy to remove the netting if he needs to carry out essential but b) you will under no circumstances consent to his contractors accessing your property without you being present.

What you need yo do is move this a way from a verbal spat and take the higher ground by putting your position in writing. That is firstly something you can rely on in court and secondly it will stop your neighbour thinking he can "do what he wants".

I look forward to hearing from you,

Kind regards