Which side of the fence belongs to your property?

Disputes over fence ownership

tulips and fence

Fence ownership disputes are as old as the hills. Is it true that it is always the left-hand side of the fence? Can I force the neighbour to repair his fence? Do I need to disclose the dispute over the fence when selling the property?

There are loads of questions when it comes to the boundary fences, and we will answer them for you. The problem has arisen recently as many homeowners are assessing damages after the Storm Eunice. Many wooden fence panels have fallen down that day and many disputes have started.

Love thy neighbour

We all know that it’s best to keep a good rapport with a neighbour. Take their parcel, borrow some sugar. So what to do when the fence falls down? The general rule of thumb is to try to have an informal conversation with your neighbour. Try to figure it out without having a third party involved.

Land registry documents

The first step to determine who owns the fence would be to check the deed. You can buy it from HM Land registry website. For £3 you can order a copy of the title register or title plan.

With the title plan on hand, it should be clear which fence you are responsible for.

 

T-mark and H-mark, what do they mean?

T-mark and H -mark even though they sound very technical, they just help to determine the ownership of the fence on the title plan. Wherever the top bar of the letter faces that side of the fence belongs to the property the letter is placed on. Accordingly, think about the letter H as two T’s joined together. A mirror image. That means that both you and the adjoining property owner are responsible for the said fence.

how to read a property deed

What is my fence responsibility?

There is no legal obligation to repair or replace a fence if you don’t wish to. You could be legally responsible though if the damaged fence causes any injuries or destroy your next-door neighbour’s property.

Keeping the garden fence in good condition is an investment. If you decide to sell the house, a well-maintained boundary fence will definitely add to the overall property appeal.

Can I force my neighbour to fix his fence?

No, you cannot force your neighbour to repair the fence. The best way to solve the issue is to calmly talk to your neighbour and explain what is the problem with the fence. Usually, the agreement can be reached without having a third party involved. If that is not the case it is advised to talk to a legal expert. You could also hire a professional mediator but it is a very costly move. It would be much more financially friendly to erect an adjoining fence on your side of the property. This way, fence ownership stops being a problem.

 

What if I want to sell a property?

You might be surprised but boundary disputes with your neighbour may affect the future sale! You are legally obligated to disclose any disputes on a sellers property information form. It is good to think ahead before raising an issue. As mentioned above it may be more beneficial for you to fix or replace the fence panels yourself as it may affect the sale process. Do not stress, fence ownership debates are the most common debates between neighbours.

 

Is there another option?

Yes! Selling your property to a professional property buying company like Speed Property Buyers will save you time and unnecessary stress. Our experienced team will guide you through the process and answer all your queries. As we are cash buyers you will receive – after independent valuation – up to 85% of the market value directly into your bank account within the timescale agreed upon earlier. Fill out the form below to receive a FREE non-obligatory cash offer!

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