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Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 8521
Experience:  Solicitor
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I will try to keep this brief but any help much appreciated.

This answer was rated:

I will try to keep this brief but any help much appreciated.
We own our property and our attached neighbour is housing association.
Our deeds state the boundary fences are our responsibility however our neighbour erected the rear fence before we moved in and we were told we could not replace it without her permission, which she denied. After much correspondence the housing association generously told us we could put a fence up within our boundary. Incidentally they have confirmed her fence does define the boundary. We have erected a new fence and did this on the basis that the housing association had confirmed our neighbour or any other tenant would be responsible for the maintenance of the boundary fence. She has removed the fence her side. The housing association have told us they would not ask her to replace despite there previous assurance which we have e mail confirmation of.
Is this encroachment or trespass? We have lost a small strip of land that she and the housing association are benefiting from.
This is the basics of the situation although it has been more complex. Any advice at this stage would be appreciated. With thanks.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Just to be clear, the neighbour has gained a inch or so?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi yes probably three inches over 160 ft length

Ok - actually you did need permission to change the fence but the neighbour could not have refused under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992.

As such you are now entitled to place a new fence on the boundary. If there is no doubt that this is indeed the true boundary they can not stop you.

If they try then you can get a Solicitor to write and set out your position. That is the boundary is true, you are entitled to put a fence there and they have to let you under the above Act. If they refuse then your Solicitor can say you will go to Court.

If they still refuse then you can issue proceedings using form N1:

http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/hmctsformfinder/n1-eng.pdf

And N16a:

http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/hmctsformfinder/n016a-eng.pdf

The Court will set the matter down and decide whether to make an order making them let you.

If the Court does and the neighbour refuses, this could be contempt of Court which they may be fined, warned or sent to prison.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thank you, ***** ***** had known that previously, could have avoided a lot of stress. We will have a think.

All the best. If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today, by clicking on the 5 stars or happy face, otherwise the site does not pay me for the time spent with you today. It is also an important part of the online process. Thank you in advance and good luck!

Jamie-Law and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear Jamie if I am able could I ask, do we have any case with the housing association not sticking to the agreed terms? Your advice re the act would put the burden of cost on us when shouldn't that be on our neighbour or her landlord?

No, I dont think so - they said you could put up the fence. They didnt say the tenant couldnt take it down.....

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No , they said we could put up a fence within the boundary, which we have done. They said neighbour would be responsible for maintaining THE boundary fence, which she has not and they aren't sticking to it. We only put our fence up on these grounds, no benefit to her of land. Sorry if I haven't been clear. This feels very unjust that we lose , albeit a small strip of land, and the housing association renage on the agreement, which I have in writing. We are ok with loss of land as long as this does not benefit neighbour or the other land owner. So avoidable if we had contacted someone sooner but here we are, sadly.

But then its not the Association fault the tenant hasnt done that - that is the tenant.

I am sorry

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm lost, does that mean we have recourse to the tenant despite her land lords assurances , is she liable for not following their instruction hence our loss of land? So sorry will leave you in peace , think we may need to see someone face to face with all the facts. I do appreciate your time, best wishes Lynda

Correct. Its not the Landlords fault. Its the tenant.