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Good Neighbours: Setting up Boundary Agreements

Posted on 21/06/2017
Close board fence between two properties

If you are not sure whether the responsibility for maintaining a boundary lies with you or your neighbour (or both), the first thing you need to check is your property deeds. These should contain the details of prior boundary agreements that will tell you which fences are your responsibility and which are the responsibility of your neighbours. However, what should you do if you want to erect a fence and there are no details of boundary agreements in your deeds?

Talk to Your Neighbour

Hopefully, you are on good terms with your neighbour and in broad agreement about where the boundaries of your respective properties lie. In this situation, the Land Registry advises that you draw up a formal agreement. The agreement can detail individual or joint responsibility for any particular boundary marker. You paint your side of the fence, your neighbour paints her side of the fence and you share any maintenance costs. You should also decide what to do in the event one party wants an upgrade and the other doesn’t. 

Disagreement on Demarcation

A problem might arise if you and a neighbour disagree about precisely where a boundary lies. The Land Registry doesn’t define boundaries and won’t wade in to resolve any disputes – so what can you do? Your best bet is to consult a Chartered Surveyor – make sure they are Boundary Demarcation and Disputes specialists. Even with the weight of evidence produced by a surveyor on your side, the Land Registry still prefers an application to determine a boundary to have the signatures of both parties on it. So, you may have to be prepared to negotiate with your neighbour.

Neighbour’s Fence in Disrepair

It may be that a boundary agreement decrees that a fence is your neighbour’s responsibility, but what if it is an eyesore that he refuses to do anything about? In this instance, you can simply have a new fence built on your side of the boundary. A boundary is an invisible line with no width so your new fence can literally touch your neighbour’s fence – let his fence rot out of sight behind your new close board fence.

If you would like to use our fencing services, please get in touch. You can call us on 07914 840995 or email

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For more information on the legalities of boundary disputes, check out the Boundary Problems website.

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