1. Visiting from the US? Why not try DIYnot.US instead? Click here to continue to DIYnot.US.
    Dismiss Notice

Boundary dispute of rear garden fence

Discussion in 'In the Garden' started by blackbirdxx, 9 Oct 2021.

  1. blackbirdxx

    blackbirdxx

    Joined:
    5 Jun 2011
    Messages:
    193
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Location:
    London
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hi,
    I am writing on behalf of a friend of mine who has a rear garden boundary issue.

    My friend lives in a Victorian terraced house which she has lived in for the past 20 years. There is a terrace of identical houses to the rear of her property and the issue is the position of the rear garden fence.

    A new neigbour has moved into the property to the rear and has requested the fence be repositioned to match the alignment of the neighbours fences either side. He is saying that my friends fence encroaches approximately 1.5m onto his land. This is despite an existing fence currently being there for the past 20 years whilst she has been living there, albeit in a poor condition.

    My view is that as the fence has been there in its location for the past 20 years with no comment from anybody it should remain there. Unfortunately, the deeds are inconclusive with regard to fence locations. The neighbour obviously purchased his property knowing where the fence was located as did my friend.

    My question is, has the neigbour got a case and what should my friend do to protect this strip of land which my friend considers to be part of her garden. Not sure what a surveyor would make of this situation as my friends garden is appx 1.5m longer than that of neighbouring houses.

    Any assistance will be much appreciated.
     
  2. Sponsored Links
  3. blackbirdxx

    blackbirdxx

    Joined:
    5 Jun 2011
    Messages:
    193
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Location:
    London
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hi,
    I am writing on behalf of a friend of mine who has a rear garden boundary issue.

    My friend lives in a Victorian terraced house which she has lived in for the past 20 years. There is a terrace of identical houses to the rear of her property and the issue is the position of the rear garden fence.

    A new neigbour has moved into the property to the rear and has requested the fence be repositioned to match the alignment of the neighbours fences either side. He is saying that my friends fence encroaches approximately 1.5m onto his land. This is despite an existing fence currently being there for the past 20 years whilst she has been living there, albeit in a poor condition.

    My view is that as the fence has been there in its location for the past 20 years with no comment from anybody it should remain there. Unfortunately, the deeds are inconclusive with regard to fence locations or ownerships. The neighbour obviously purchased his property knowing where the fence was located as did my friend.

    My question is, has the neigbour got a case and what should my friend do to protect this strip of land which my friend considers to be part of her garden. Not sure what a surveyor would make of this situation as my friends garden is appx 1.5m longer than that of neighbouring houses.

    Any assistance will be much appreciated.
     
  4. blackbirdxx

    blackbirdxx

    Joined:
    5 Jun 2011
    Messages:
    193
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Location:
    London
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Moved to 'In the Garden' forum
     
  5. big-all

    big-all

    Joined:
    12 Jul 2004
    Messages:
    18,973
    Thanks Received:
    1,490
    Location:
    Surrey
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    is the bigger garden by chance an end off terrace[house width and pathway width]
    and the smaller garden mid terrace [house width only] hence the smaller garden with fence lining up with the internal walls between the house ??
     
  6. jacko555

    jacko555

    Joined:
    5 Feb 2005
    Messages:
    599
    Thanks Received:
    78
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    No is the answer your friend should give.

    When buying a house it's clear you are buying it "as is" and any boundary disputes are to be investigated and sorted before exchange and you are buying as is.

    [Edit]
    The seller, as part of the standard seller pack also has to say if there's ever been any boundary moves. This also applies to your friend - their seller will have completed the same.

    If neither previous owner thinks there's been a boundary move, and, this new owner didn't raise it when they went through the conveyancing process, I think there's little that can be done. Pile on your friend having 20years of continuous use of the fenced off land. Pretty sure, even if it wasn't their land, they've gained a right to use it.

    As big-al says, sometimes you get a larger garden when the house is smaller. It could be by design.

    The conveyancing process is very clear, especially when land registry and deeds are inconclusive.
     
    Last edited: 10 Oct 2021
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  7. JohnD

    JohnD

    Joined:
    15 Nov 2005
    Messages:
    74,238
    Thanks Received:
    4,289
    Location:
    Crossgates, Europe
    Country:
    Cook Islands
    I think he means the back fence, not the side fence.

    I wonder if there was ever a back alley.

    try to look up a historic large scale ordnance survey map.
     
  8. blackbirdxx

    blackbirdxx

    Joined:
    5 Jun 2011
    Messages:
    193
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Location:
    London
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    For clarification, neither house is end of terrace and there has never been a back alley....HTH

    Some good info, thanks for the ongoing help...
     
  9. RandomGrinch

    RandomGrinch

    Joined:
    15 Jun 2021
    Messages:
    1,168
    Thanks Received:
    244
    Location:
    Wales
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    On a sidenote:
    The National Library of Scotland has a large online archive of UK Ordnance survey maps:
    https://maps.nls.uk/os/index.html
    ...absolutely fascinating!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Sponsored Links
  11. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

    Joined:
    30 Dec 2018
    Messages:
    8,309
    Thanks Received:
    1,146
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    They both bought their properties with the existing fence and boundary, so that is the legal boundary. Your friend should tell them to go whistle, fence stays put - unless the new purchaser wants to buy the extra land.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    • Like Like x 1
  12. John D v2.0

    John D v2.0

    Joined:
    26 Aug 2016
    Messages:
    6,370
    Thanks Received:
    883
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    It's quite possible that an owner 50 years ago transferred the land by agreement. Perhaps there was an awful tree at the bottom of the garden and they said if you get rid of the tree you can have the land.
    Although moving a fence doesn't in itself transfer the ownership, boundaries do move for all sorts of reasons, some of which may be legitimate.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  13. charliegolf

    charliegolf

    Joined:
    7 Jan 2014
    Messages:
    2,099
    Thanks Received:
    188
    Location:
    West Glamorgan
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Ask for all the documentation they hold that supports their assertion that the fence is in the wrong place. If they have anything suggesting all the fences were ever all in line*, claim the land under adverse possession. The Land Registry has a page on it.

    *Even if they do, it don't make it so!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  14. big-all

    big-all

    Joined:
    12 Jul 2004
    Messages:
    18,973
    Thanks Received:
    1,490
    Location:
    Surrey
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    other things to keep in mind

    if you plan on moving in the near future do nothing official about the boundary as it then can becomes a dispute which has to be declaired to the new purchaser and may loose you money and or make the sale fall through??
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  15. charliegolf

    charliegolf

    Joined:
    7 Jan 2014
    Messages:
    2,099
    Thanks Received:
    188
    Location:
    West Glamorgan
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Encourage your friend to google the 'Garden Law' website. It's a font of useful info and case studies.

    Big-all. It's already past that point. If the friend moves and keeps schtum, it could be awkward really quickly if the neighbour pipes up and can show they raised it...
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  16. telnet

    telnet

    Joined:
    28 Mar 2013
    Messages:
    57
    Thanks Received:
    2
    Location:
    Brecknockshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I can not cite case law but it was my understanding that boundary lines are slightly fluid because land can move, be eroded or deposited. As a consequence boundaries are not defined by title deeds but by natural features and existing fences.

    My neighbor was the foreman of the groundwork department of an English council. He once pointed out another neighbor who had expanded his garden by fencing in an extra piece of ground. He said this was a shrewd move as once enclosed a piece of land becomes yours after 7 years.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  17. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

    Joined:
    30 Dec 2018
    Messages:
    8,309
    Thanks Received:
    1,146
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    The Law on adverse possession. You usually need to enclose it and maintain your exclusive use of it for a number of years throughout the period, but last I heard I did it was 10 years, but the law was tightened up a few years ago.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
Loading...

Share This Page