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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I live next to a car repair garage, the 8 ft perimeter concrete

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I live next to a car repair garage, the 8 ft perimeter concrete fence is in disrepair. I have spoken to the owner and pointed this out, he agrees the fence is dangerous but he says I must contribute to a new fence. The fence was erected by the previous owner.
Regards *****
Joshua :

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

Joshua :

Is the wall/fence built on the neighbours land please from what you say?

Customer: It is along his perimeter on the boundary
Joshua :

Thank you. Is the fence posing any danger to you in its present state?

Customer: Yes the panels are unsafe as the concrete posts are crumbling
Joshua :

Thanks. Is it likely that the fence might cause injury to you do you consider?

Customer: Yes it could
Joshua :

thank you. Unless there is an enforceable covenant contained within your title deeds between you and the next-door landowner, which will only be the case if you and he have entered into a direct covenant between you, which is unlikely to be the case, it is not possible to require a neighbouring landowner to replace or keep in good repair a fence as a starting point. however, if the fence is built on his land and you can demonstrate that it poses a danger to you, you can require him to attend to the same either directly through the courts if necessary or by approaching the council and asking them to serve an improvement notice on your behalf.

Joshua :

However, there is a potential issue for you to consider which is that, again in the absence of an enforceable covenant between you and your neighbour as above, which is unlikely to exist, he may simply remove the fence or such parts of it as are in disrepair to leave no boundary between your property and his or a partial boundary.

Joshua :

Similarly, just as one cannot typically force one's neighbour to improve or maintain a fence, one cannot insist that a neighbour has a boundary structure at all. Therefore you may wish to consider carefully in how you decide to proceed.

Joshua :

You may calculate that he will want to boundary structure between your property and his in order to secure his premises and therefore taking action on the grounds that the fence poses a danger to your person either directly or with the assistance of the local authority may succeed in that he will wish to replace the boundary structure with another. Alternatively, there is nothing preventing you from erecting your own boundary structure on your land on your side of the fence.

Customer: As a business does he have no duty of care to his neighbours as he has vehicles parked in there all night
Joshua :

He has a duty to take steps on his land to prevent injury to those on his land and adjacent to it - hence your right to take action against the concrete fence if it is dangerous as above. You can contact the local authority building control department if you consider the fence to be dangerous. They can serve an improvement notice as above.

Joshua :

Alternatively, you could seek an order from the County Court that he attends to the danger but involving the council is the less involved approach as you will avoid a court fee and producing evidence of the issue to the court.

Joshua :

boundary structures are a difficult issue in that there is no legislation in England and Wales that covers responsibility the boundaries. Provisions in title deeds lapse typically as soon as one property or the other changes ownership and therefore are really enforceable and in practice it therefore normally is a question of neighbours reaching agreement between them as to how to maintain offence. As above, the exception to this is if one can demonstrate that the boundary structure is dangerous when one can rely on the Building Act to force a neighbour to repair as we have discussed above.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Joshua :

Have I been able to answer all the questions above?

Joshua and 2 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you