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Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 33540
Experience:  Barrister at Self Employed Barrister
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How is responsibility arranged of boundary

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How is responsibility arranged for maintenance of boundary fences between neighbouring properties?
whose wall is it?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The cracked wall is at the back of our freehold property on the ground floor. The neighbour is trying to make us pay for the new fence from front to back of the property. She refuses to share the cost, but we have said we will do so if she keeps her trees under control, by doing more cutting back of the adjacent trees..

The starting point is actually to determine whether the fence is yours on the neighbours - the best way to do this is to obtain a copy of your property deeds which will often hold this information (usually on the plan) - you may also hold the information from the conveyancers when you purchased the property. If it is your neigbour's fence then they have to pay to repair it. You do not have to contribute a penny - equally the same applies if it is your fence then it is your responsibility. Where you share the fence (because it sits on the boundary) then the normal arrangement is it is shared 50-50 - sometimes where you have a difficult neighbour it is easier and cheaper (in the long run) just to pay for it yourself. However if she has trees which have caused the damage then she should be paying to make good such damage. Please rate positively.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The deeds do not show who is responsible. Our property dates from 1902. She won't share 50/50 as we have suggested but is trying to make us pay for it entirely and has been trying to get us to replace the fence for a number of years. We have in fact done substantial work in the past at our expense.We have also suggested we pay 75% and she pay 25%. We now want her to do further work on the offending trees at her expense or we pay for the further work to the trees (quite expensive) and she then must pay 25% towards the fence. Is there no hard and fast rule as regards ***** ***** it is for a boundary fence if it is not shown in the deeds? Our neighbour insists it is the fence on the left of the house and that she has taken responsibility for the fence on her left and therefore our boundary fence is our fence. Your comments please..

Unfortunately there is no hard and fast rule. A surveyor may be able to help by looking at the land and visually on site (but again no guarantees). It is not as simple as my fence is the one to the left either. If branches from her trees overhang the fence you are allowed to simply lop them off - if her trees are damaging the fence and she says it is your fence then you have a claim against her for compensation arising from the damage to the fence.Please remember to rate
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