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How To Avoid Boundary Disputes With Your Neighbours

Posted on 10/05/2022

Boundary fence in a garden

It is not uncommon for boundary fences to become hotly contested issues and we’ve all seen the news stories where neighbours have fallen out after one party chose to take matters into their own hands.

Whether it is installing a new fence or the replacement of a damaged panel, it is important to know your rights.

So to save you from costly mistakes and disagreements with your neighbours, we have put together answers to some of the most common questions.

Who owns the fence in my garden?

Unfortunately it is not as straightforward as the popular belief that all of the fences on the left side of your home are your responsibility.

The best place to discover which fences are your responsibility is on the property deeds. In most cases the boundary fence will have a ‘T-mark’ shown. If the ‘T’ is shown within the boundaries of your property, that fence belongs to you.

In some cases an H-mark (two mirrored T-marks) will indicate a boundary fence is shared.

Do I need my neighbours permission to put up a new dividing fence?

If you’re looking to install a new fence that is entirely within the boundaries of your property, there is nothing to stop you doing so.

Only if the fence intersects the shared boundary are you required to consult with your neighbours. In that instance, we would always recommend discussing it with your neighbours from the outset to avoid any disputes further down the line.

What is the maximum height fence I can install?

You may think that, if you own the fence and it is installed on your property, you can do as you wish. However, whilst there aren’t any specific rules, there is guidance that you should bear in mind.

For rear gardens, anything over 2 metres will likely require planning permission. Equally at the front of your property, if you want to install a fence above 1 metre in height, you may also need to get permission.

Before commencing any work, we would therefore recommend double checking to avoid the added cost of having to take it down again.

Can I force my neighbour to replace their existing damaged fence?

It is inevitable that, over time, a fence is going to experience general wear and tear. It may even get to the point where it has seen better days. However, if the fence belongs to your neighbour, they are not legally obliged to replace it just because you’re unhappy with how it is looking.

Only if the fence becomes a safety issue are they obliged to replace it. Until then, your best options are to either come to a mutual agreement with them or to erect a new fence on your own land.

Can I decorate my side of a neighbour's fence?

You may wish to decorate or hang flowers on your side of the fence. However, you should always consult with your neighbours first. Should it result in any damage being caused to the fence, you could end up being charged with criminal damage.

Hopefully that puts to bed some of the many myths that are in existence. If you’re looking to install new fencing, or need help replacing a damaged boundary, give us a call to arrange a free quotation.

You can call us on 01603 928494 or drop us an email to

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