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Laws on owning fences – and who has to repair or replace them

today2 July 2022

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Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a good relationship with their neighbour. We have all witnessed or heard about disputes between neighbours that went too far – and disagreements about fences are among the most common.

And part of the problem is that it is not often very clear who owns which fence, and who’s responsible for the upkeep. As a result, even simple maintenance tasks can quite easily become flashpoints between neighbours, reports Birmingham Live.

So, before you make any major decisions about your garden fence, it’s a good idea to work out who’s responsible for what. Here’s what you need to know about the laws surrounding fence ownership.

READ MORE: Radford woman ‘too scared to sleep’ after fence falls to ground leaving garden open on main road

How do I know who owns the fence?

There’s often a common assumption that fences on the left side of your house are your responsibility. This isn’t necessarily the case, however.

Instead, you should take a look at your transfer or conveyance deed. Look for the T-marks on the deed – if you see a letter T on your side of the fence, this means that the fence in question is your property and hence your responsibility.

However, responsibility for some fences may be shared. This is denoted by what’s known as an H-mark – two T-marks mirroring one another, with one on each side of the boundary – denoting that both homeowners are jointly responsible for that fence.

Some deeds may not state who owns a certain fence. Alternatively, if you don’t have the title deed for your property, you can search the Land Registry.

If your property is registered, you can also apply to have the exact boundary between your property and that of your neighbour officially recorded. However, if your neighbour disputes this, they may take the matter to a tribunal.

Can I get my neighbour to repair the fence?

Even if a fence is your neighbour’s responsibility, there’s no law requiring them to mend it even if it’s in a state of disrepair, unless it poses a safety hazard on your side. One alternative may be to erect a new fence on your side of the boundary.

How high can a fence be?

Legally, fences in back gardens must be no more than two metres high. If you want to erect a fence that’s any higher than this, you’ll need to apply for planning permission.

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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