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Most landowners - whether they own a small patch of garden or a landed estate - want attractively defined borders. But what do you do when the fence bordering your property is in disrepair - but the fence in question belongs to your neighbour?
Talk to your neighbour
The first and most obvious step is to talk to your neighbour and try to resolve the issue amicably. You may find that they are unaware of the problem or willing to shoulder or share the cost of repairing or replacing the fence. If you have a good relationship with your neighbour, this may be the easiest and quickest way to deal with the situation.
However, if your neighbour is uncooperative or hostile, you may need to take further action. In that case, you should keep a record of your attempts to communicate with them and take documentary evidence (photos or videos) of the fence's condition.
Boundary demarcation and disputes
Check title deeds and any other relevant documents to establish the exact location and ownership of the boundary fence, whether it is on the true boundary line, and who is responsible for maintaining it. A surveyor (look for one who specialises in demarcation and disputes) or a solicitor may be able to offer professional advice.
If you and your neighbour disagree over the boundary or the fence, you may try to resolve the dispute through mediation or arbitration, which are cheaper and faster than going to court.
Take responsibility for yourself
Finally, if you are unable to reach an agreement with your neighbour or enforce your legal rights, you may decide to take responsibility for the fence yourself. This means that you will have to bear the full cost of repairing or replacing the fence, but you will also have more control over its appearance and quality.
You should inform your neighbour of your plans and give them reasonable notice. If they are still uncooperative you have the complete legal right to build a new fence on your side of the boundary, rather than on the existing fence line, to avoid any future disputes.
At Norfolk Prestige Fencing, we can help you with all your fencing needs. Whether you need a new fence, a repair, or a replacement, we can provide you with high-quality products and services at competitive prices. Contact us today for a free quote and consultation. Call us on 01508 549082 to organise a site visit.