Whose fence is it anyway?
With Storm Ciara having already caused plenty of fence damage and Storm Dennis on its way, it looks like we’re all braced for a difficult few days of weather. These storms often have a huge impact on our property, but whose responsibility is it to put it right? A cost we could all do without!
We would all prefer to avoid a neighbour dispute but when urgent repair works are required and with the threat of further bad weather, tension is high. Therefore, it’s better to be in a position to discuss matters with your neighbour with the correct knowledge of both parties’ legal position behind you.
Whose responsibility is it to repair fence damage?
Many people assume ownership of garden fences or walls on the basis of old wives’ tales, general word of mouth or a misunderstanding. Before you assume responsibility or carry out works (which can often be costly) it’s important to know your legal obligation.
The title deeds of your property can be a good starting point, but it’s not unusual for them not to hold the answer. Often, a good dig into the documentation given when you purchased your property, such as the seller’s information form, may provide the answer. However, looking at the position ‘on the ground’ will often also assist.
What if I rent the property?
If you rent a property and your fence (boundary) has been damaged by the weather or something else, check your tenancy agreement. This will set out if it’s your (tenant) or your landlord’s responsibility.
If you’re a landlord and your tenant has requested repairs from you, double check the tenancy agreement to see if it is your responsibility.
How we can help
If you’re unsure as to who is responsible for boundary repairs, including fence damage, or you think your documents are out of date, our property litigation team can advise on your rights and responsibilities.