Monday 7 July 2014

Put An End To Fence Disputes...

The Myths Of Boundary / Fence Responsibility!

fence disputes, garden fencing
Fence disputes are one of the most common reasons neighbours fall out; often down to a misunderstanding over who is responsible for a boundary. If you are unclear over who owns your boundary fences, put an end to fence disputes with our definitive guide.
"If I’m looking from the front of my house, I have ownership of the fence on the right (or left!)."
"The post and horizontal rails of a fence are always on the owners side."

True of false? The above arguments are often put forward as the defining criteria for determining who is responsible for a fence but in reality, there is no legal foundation for these beliefs. So how do you know who has responsibility for a fence?

Fence Disputes: Check The Deeds

A title register which provides details about the ownership of boundary features such as fences, may be included in the title deeds for a property.

‘T’ marks are the most common marking on deed plans which confirm boundary feature ownership or simply who has the responsibility to maintain and repair the fence. However, the Land Registry advises not to ‘live and die’ by the title deeds as it is often the case that information was only sent to the Land Registry when the property was first registered and has not been updated since then. Your property may originally have been part of a bigger parcel of land or indeed part of another estate, or perhaps new boundary features have been built by previous owners - all these situations can influence a conclusion that the original boundary responsibilities may simply be no longer relevant. Add to that the fact that it is not unusual for the deeds to contain no information about boundary ownership or responsibility and it is clear that deeds don’t necessarily have all the answers…

12-year rule

If you are trying to resolve a fencing issue, it is worth remembering that there is also ’12 year rule’ which may be put forward in boundary dispute cases. Known as ‘adverse possession’ this is when one party has been using the ‘disputed’ area of land continuously for the past twelve years. It is quite a complicated area and the best advice would be to seek legal guidance if this crops up and you can’t reach an agreement.

Take The "Dispute" Out Of Fence Disputes: It's Good To Talk

Whether you have written documentation or not, undoubtedly the best way to resolve any kind of issue relating to a fence is to either talk through the problem with your neighbour, or put it in writing. Regardless of whether you are installing a new fence, or repairing an old one, traditionally the posts are installed on your land and the face of the fence, should point towards your neighbours. It is worth giving up a tiny portion of your land if it helps to avoid any disputes. This is especially relevant given that in the future, you will need cooperation from your fellow homeowner to gain access to their land to enable any fence repairs. 

fence disputesLove Thy Neighbour

In the interest of promoting good neighbourly relations, Jacksons has designed a fence that looks equally good on both sides. Usually it is accepted practice to have a rail or two to strengthen the fence across the horizontal and to attach the pales to. The Chilham fence was specifically designed to offer a premium fence panel that features no rails on either side, ensuring a beautiful view from both your own, and your neighbours’ garden.

If you would like a free quote for your fencing project, complete our online enquiry form or contact Jacksons Fencing on 0800 408 2234.

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