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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My back garden backs onto cattle grazing

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Dear Sir or Madam
My back garden backs onto cattle grazing land and the cattle have damaged and broken through my fence. I have contacted the farmer who has replied as follows;
"Thank you for your letter dated 7th July 2015 the contents of which have been noted however I do not consider myself responsible for the damage to your fence and property.
I would draw your attention to the Deed of Conveyance dated 24th Jan 1962 regarding the purchase of the land by the Council for property development. This document contains a covenant regarding the ownership and maintenance of the boundary fence of these properties.
The covenant states that the purchaser is required to erect a "substantial stockproof fence". Unfortunately the fence you have erected does not meet this criteria. Currently the pasture land adjacent to your property cannot be used for grazing cattle until you undertake work to ensure a stockproof fence is in place and this is resulting in loss of earnings for the farm.
I am therefore giving notice that you make arrangements for a suitable "stockproof fence" to erected at the boundary of your property in order for the cattle to released into the pasture securely.
Please note that this work needs to be commenced within 14 days from receipt of this letter failure to do so will result in legal proceedings being initiated."
I have not been able to get a copy of the covenant, does it still still apply even though this property has changed hands a number of times?
I also doubt that the farm is losing earnings as the cows are still being fed and can be milked?
Even if I did erect a stock proof fence, why should I or my neighbours be held responsible for damage his cattle are doing?
Am I legally bound to have to carry out this work within 14 days? The work cost is approximately £675, not a small amount for me.
Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated
Thank you very much
Nicholas Owen
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
You are sure his cows have damaged your fence?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

there were numerous large cow pats in the garden and lots of hoof prints in the soil and pats

You need to write and set out your losses and request they do the work or pay the cost within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.
If they do not then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: or by completing form N1 and take it to your local County Court.
The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial. If you are on a low income or pension then you may get fee remission and not even pay any Court fees.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So in essence, this is a counter court proceedings letter to his letter I received today?

If the only thing to prevent further damage is a stock proof fence, should I claim for the cost of this (~£675) or am I only allowed to claim damage costs?

But most importantly, where do I stand with his statement that he will pursue legal proceedings to reclaim lost revenue etc if I don't replace the fence in 14 days? Is this legitimate or just 'hot air'?

I will not have this money together in 14 days, so where do I stand?

Yes that is correct. I think this is hot air. Once 14 days has gone by you can issue proceedings to sue HIM to get the damage fixed and fence put back.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** need something a bit more robust if I'm to take this firmer, so in your professional opinion does he have any right and/or legal standing to issue proceedings based on what you've read today.

I apologise if this is blunt but I need to understand my position and rights before I take action.

No he does not. He needs evidence to show the contrary.
He is responsible for his own animals. If they are doing damage then he is negligent.
Does that help?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I think I need a solicitor's letter to settle this once and for all, can you tell me how I go about getting one please?

Additionally, have you had to deal with similar examples of Deeds of Conveyance, does this only apply to the first purchaser, i.e. the local council who initially purchased the land, or does it carry over as it wasn't presented in any searches when I purchased the property.

I need to clarify my responsibility regarding this deed as it could prove very expensive for me to pursue this legally if I'm in the wrong before I even start.

You can get a local Solicitor to write one but as this will be a small claim, it wont be recoverable as a legal cost.
You can find a Solicitor to write a letter for you at:
It does not carry over to you - it only goes to the first purchaser.
Does that help?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes it does thank you. I don't have any other questions at the moment, but should I have anything further in the next couple of days will it be covered by this payment?

As long as it is related to this question yes.
If this answers your question might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.
If you need more help please click reply.
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thank you very much for all your help

Good luck. Please do take a moment to rate before you go.

I am just following up to see if there is anything else I can help with?

If you have not done so already might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.

If you need more help please click reply.