Who Owns Your Garden Fence? UK Boundary Rules And Neighbour Disputes Revealed!

Find out about fence boundaries and what to do when you have an issue with garden fence condition and placement.

Boundary Rules And Neighbour Disputes
Boundary Rules And Neighbour Disputes

Buying a property is one of the most stressful things that a person can go through. It is also one of the most exciting things that we do in our lifetime.

Buying a new home is such a milestone, and it doesn’t matter if this is your first, second or sixth property, that sense of a fresh start never goes away.

Sadly, it isn’t always plain sailing as time goes on, particularly in regards to neighbours or planning permission. There are lots of problems that can arise from noisy neighbours and neighbours not getting on.

However, some of the most impactful and problematic disputes occur about boundary rules. Even with areas as little as a few inches, massive legal disputes can arise. These can be stressful and costly.

To help you avoid boundary disputes and potential fence issues, we’ve some useful information and handy tips you’ll want to read:

Always Check Your Mortgage Deed
Always Check Your Mortgage Deed

There’s No Law Saying You Have To Fence Your Land

Drive around your neighbourhood, and you’re likely to see walls, fences and hedges creating the boundaries for properties. So you might be surprised to know that there is no law that you have to border your property.

If you have boundaries around railway lines, mines and quarries then there are laws saying you have to add fencing. The same goes for livestock ownership and when there are building sites near public walkways.

However, for the majority of properties, there is no official need for fencing.

When A Neighbour Will Not Repair Their Fence!

Unsightly Fence Issues
Unsightly Fence Issues

When a neighbour refuses to repair their fence, there is nothing you can do. There is no law saying there has to be a fence and so if their wall is in disrepair, you can gently speak to them, or you could erect a wall next to their fence ensuring your fence remains on your boundary.

How High Can My Fence Be?

UK Fence & Gate Height Rules
UK Fence & Gate Height Rules

It depends on the local council rules, but in general, 2 metres in height, but you should check with your local authority before erecting any fencing.

How High Can My Neighbours Fence Be?

They have to operate within the same local council rules that you do, so if you know that their fence is too high, you can dispute this. However, you may wish to avoid taking legal action first and instead, speak to your neighbours to try and seek a resolution.

If the neighbour has increased their fence size drastically recently, then you may be able to dispute this on the lines of privacy. Again, it is always worth speaking to your neighbour before taking legal action.

Fence Ownership Rules

Fence ownership rules can become a little complex. When the person initially sells the land and the properties on it, they break up the area and boundaries, which is why the official rules about who owns which fence side will be on your deeds.

As a rule, your fence will 99% always be on the left side looking into your garden from your backdoor!

The Wezaggle Experts!

All the houses in a row could be responsible for properties on the left side with one being responsible for both the left and the right. All the houses in a row could be accountable for the homes on the right with one house being accountable for the house on the left.

SO, Who Owns Your Garden Fence?

Understanding Your Property Deeds!
Understanding Your Property Deeds!

The deeds could say the boundaries that you are responsible in the form of a T on the conveyance. Or, there could be an H mark that suggests that both sides own the fence!

If there is nothing to suggest who owns the garden fence, then the answers could lie in the Seller’s Property Information. If that holds no answers, then understanding the general pattern of ownership in the row of houses you live in could provide solutions.

The Verbal Agreement!

It is essential to tread carefully with verbal agreements with neighbours about these things, as this is where issues can arise. There could be fallouts, and a boundary dispute may arise.

Where there is no legal agreement written, they can dispute a verbal conversation, and you may end up in hot water.

Using Your Neighbours Fence

Choosing to hang things on your neighbour’s fence like plants, or leaning things on your neighbour’s fence should not be done without their express permission that you can do so.

She was hanging something like a coat hanger and a wetsuit on it to dry it, or attaching the end of a clothesline to a fence panel.

If you damage their fence in any way, you are liable for fixing it and even painting their wall on your side counts as criminal damage.

My Neighbours Fence Is Ugly, Help?

If your neighbour’s fence is ugly, it can be a real issue when you’ve tried to make your garden look lovely. Who wants a colossal eyesore running along the entire side of the garden?

Sadly you cannot do a thing to change that fence. You can’t paint it, varnish it, attach supports to it – you cannot touch it.

What you could do is consider planting large trees or bushes that cover up the fence along that side. You could also add your wall next to it as we suggested above.

Further Information

If you want to find out more about property boundaries, you can get advice from your local council from https://www.gov.uk/your-property-boundaries.

If you have a problematic issue then you may wish to seek professional legal advice. This is especially true if your relationship with your neighbour is tense, or if your quality of life has been dramatically affected by boundary issues.

If you’re happy with your boundaries and you want to improve your property fencing, we have lots of ideas and information on our Wezaggle blog. We’re always adding handy tips and guides so please stop by and check it out.

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