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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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We have recently purchased a new build house. The builder

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Hello. We have recently purchased a new build house. The builder put up a fence to divide this properties back garden and an access road that runs to three houses behind our house. There is a whole in the fence approximately 50cm by 50cm. To cover the whole I put a piece of wood on hinges over it. The piece of wood opens into our garden. The reason for this was to improve the look of the fence on both sides and so my small children can squeeze through to pick dandelions for their tortoises on the other side of the fence (they have permission to be on the access road). The owner of one of those houses that the access road supplies has told me that I must block up that hole in the fence. He claims that he owns the access road. Do I have to fill in this hole in the fence? We don't actually like the fence and so to get rid of the hole we thought we could just take the whole fence down and put up a nice hedge on the boundary line (not sure where that is but I suspect it is on the other side of the fence to our property because there is a line in the foliage there that I presume was where the old railings/hedge were before the builder of our house put up a fence). Thanks for your time. Rev. James Stephenson
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.

You mention that you have rights over the access road please. Do you know exactly what these rights are - presumably for access to and from your property etc?
Is the other owner you refer to that claims to own the road also a new build owner as part of the same estate or is he an existing house which has nothing to do with the builder that built your house?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi. We do not have access rights to the road I guess. It is behind our property's back garden so no access to our house is needed.

The claiming owner of the road moved in a few years ago. It is not part of the same estate. It is a village. Our house's entrance and drive way goes on to a public road. Hope that helps. James

Thanks for the above. May I clarify your above statement in that case "they have permission to be on the access road". Have you reconsidered that based on what you say above or have you received some sort of permission? I assume the access road is private?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The man that claims to own the road said that the children can play on the road. That was the permission.

He now says I missed fill in this gap in the fence (that is covered by the wood I have used). Do I have to? If I do I guess we'll just take the fence down. It's our fence. Thanks.

Thank you. There is no legal obligation to legal obligation to correct or maintain a fence along your boundary. The only circumstances in which such an obligation would exist is if you had entered into a binding covenant with the gentleman in question when you purchase the property which would be highly unusual. In the absence of a binding covenant entered into by you to erect or maintain a fence, there is no legal way in which the individual can require you to do as he asks.If you have no legal right to enter onto the access road, of course he may withdraw permission for you or your children to enter onto his land and if they continue to do so, this would be an act of trespass. Trespass is not a criminal offence providing no damages caused to his land but he could seek an injunction to prohibit future trespassing if you your children accesses land against his permission. Seeking an injunction is relatively rare because of the cost involved and the difficulty of proving trespass has occured but it is a potential option.In terms of taking down the fence and planting a hedge, if the fence belongs to you which I assume it does, there is a difficulty with taking the fence down and planting a hedge and its place. The hedge would need to be planted on your land or you would need permission from the landowner on his land you wish to plant the hedge. The hedge belongs to the person who owns the land on which the hedge is planted.I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. If he calls the whole in the fence (50cm by 50cm approx) and the wood I have attached 'a gate' is there a problem?

How do i find out exactly where our land finishes and his starts? If we take the fence down and plant a hedge we'll need to know to the earnest centremetre. Between our fence and the tarmac of the road there is approx 5 foot of grassland. Thanks - James.

if he decides to attribute the term "gate" to your installation, this does not alter the above position. However, if it is the gate, this may make a landowner more nervous than if it is not because a landowner will be keen to prevent you obtaining any rights through long use of access onto his land. A gate may encourage an application for an injunction as above but if it is not really a gate fit for adult use, whether a landowner would bother to apply for an injunction for the odd access of children onto his land is regards ***** ***** location of your boundary, the first place to start is by obtaining a copy of your title plan from the land registry which if you do not already have one can be obtained for 3 pounds. Alternatively, your solicitor that acted for you in the purchase will have a copy of his file. The plan is to scale and often by reference to other structures shown on the plan, the location of the boundary can be determined fairly accurately. However, the scale of the plan is not sufficient to always enable the termination of the boundary line with absolute precision. Sometimes measurements will appear on the plan which if they do appear, will be conclusive but this is relatively rare. If it is not relatively clear where the boundary line lies, it is a question of either agreeing the position with a neighbour or proceeding unilaterally as to the location of the boundary by erecting a fence or hedge but the risk in this case is that a neighbouring landowner may take issue with your assessment and may raise boundary dispute. If he does, a boundary dispute can be resolved through the land registry or through the County Court bbut ideall of course you would avoid engineering circumstances that would potentially give rise to a boundary dispute in the first place.I hope the above is helpful? Can I help you with anything else or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily? If you could drop me a quick message to let me know I'd be very grateful.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Brilliant. Thank you. I have rated as excellent service.

Many thanks. I hope you resolve the situation satisfactorily