Author Topic: What Can You Do When Your Neighbour Refuses To Repair His Fence?  (Read 1819 times)

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New Home Expert

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How can I make my neighbour repair or replace his fence?
There is no legal requirement that will force a neighbour to spend his money to repair a fence he owns.
It is his fence and if he chooses to let it rot and fall down it is his choice.

There is no general obligation in law that requires him to fence his boundaries, so you cannot depend on the forces of law to make him change his mind.

So what can you do?
You could do nothing and just watch his fence rot away.
You could leave the old fence exactly where it is and erect your own fence right alongside of your neighbour's fence. Then be two fences, one on your land and one on your neighbour's land. The problem with this is the rotten fence could knock against your new fence, possibly causing damage to it overtime.

You may have to rely on your powers of persuasion and negotiation with an indifferent neighbour, no matter how hard this might be, as agreement by negotiation is always better and cheaper to legal costs.
It may be worth offering to split the costs.
If even this isn't agreeable it will be quicker and cheaper to pay for the work yourself.
Even if the legal responsibility is shared you cannot force neighbours to do the repairs. Even if you decide to go ahead, swallow your pride, and do the repairs yourself, it is still best to consult with your neighbours and check that they do not have any objections.

But for new homeowners,    it is usually stated clearly in the deeds that owners must:
"maintain repair and renew any Boundary Structures marked on the Plan with a "T" within the boundary of the property"

Whilst falling out permanently with the neighbours is a distinct possibility, if a clause like this is in your deeds,  you can resort to legal action to either force the neighbour to repair the fence or failing this give notice that you will arrange for the works to be done and seek reimbursement of all reasonable costs involved, through a small claims court and bailiffs should it become necessary.  Those with legal expenses insurance add to their home insurance cover, may be able to use this  to cover all the legal expenses.

Unfortunately, with issues regarding fences, doing nothing is not an option. Sooner or later the issue will be brought to a conflicting head.
Property owners should note that they have a legal obligation to keep their dog within their property.
There may be also a privacy issue and legal advice should be sought.

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