Fences can be a source of contention
to say who should and why.
The notice should also clearly state that if your neighbours don’t come back to you within 21 days they agree to the proposal by default, effectively lose their right to complain and will have to split the cost as proposed.
A neighbour objecting to your proposal or not wanting a new fence should serve you with a cross-notice, outlining exactly why they object, suggesting alternative options, and reaching you within 21 days.
The point of the fence notice process is to get both parties’ objections out on the table in order to come up with a solution that everyone agrees on.
Ongoing disputes can be taken to the Small Claims Tribunal, Disputes Tribunal or a district court for a fee.
A new fence should be built right on the boundary line or as near to it as practical. Boundary fences shouldn’t be erected on private land, unless the owner of the property agrees.
The posts should be planted on the boundary line and if there aren’t any posts the centre of the fence should be positioned on it.
Remember, the construction of a fence shouldn’t make either side lose out. A landowner can ask the council to remove any fence infringing on their property at the expense of the person who erected it.
If the worst comes to the worst, you’re free to build the fence yourself on your own property – as long as it’s entirely on your land and you pay for it.
You’ll probably risk the friendship of your neighbours, plus there’s nothing stopping them from asking for a boundary fence further down the track.
These rules don’t apply to damage though.
You have no obligation to help pay for a new fence that a neighbour has backed into with a car.
If they destroyed need to pay.
Visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Google ‘Fencing Act 1978’ for more information about fences and managing fence-related disputes with your neighbours.
Fence rules – is it built on a boundary? Has everyone agreed to pay? What are your rights?