Fence & boundary line

23 Aug 2010
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United Kingdom
A fencer quoted for panels, concrete posts & 12" gravel boards - previous wooden posts had rotted. He said neighbour's decking goes over the boundary in places, so he can't put in a straight fence on our joint boundary. He told me to run a piece of string along its length to see for myself, & discuss with my neighbour. As it is, he can only put it inside my boundary at a bit of an angle to my house (this is a modern-ish estate of box houses).

A re-sited fence, like that, tacitly accepts a boundary change, & could annoy potential new owners when I move (next year ?). My neighbour has kindly said: "Do what you need to do." He doesn't 'use' or maintain the garden or decking - which may disintegrate in time.

The decking is higher near the house & you step down to the next level where a balustrade crosses it mid-way. Down to the balustrade on my side, a piece of 70mm wide 'trim' concealed unevenly cut decking along the fence line. The decking could now be cut along the boundary line.

The problems come with the vertical post that supports his balustrade on my side. It (+ a horizontal plank on top) extends over the boundary line in total by 4". At ground level, the bottom 4" of the vertical post has been cut away on my side, (so it forms an upside down 'L' notch, suggesting that someone at that point was keeping to the boundary line - otherwise, why cut into the base of a vertical support ?).

You step down to the lower decking, laid diagonally, so it's not obvious from my neighbour's side that beyond the balustrade, the decking gradually encroaches over the boundary on my side. From balustrade to end of decking (3/4 way down the garden) the over-reach becomes 4" at the far corner. Here, under the decking, there is a solid support, set in about 25mm.

To cut a long story short, I wonder about asking a carpenter to tidy up the decking, & cut back the balustrade & decking supports so the fence can be close to the boundary on my side. Is this a rational thing to do ?? or should I just go ahead & put a fence in 'off' the boundary line: I don't have the experience to know whether it would look odd or if it may cause future boundary issues for anyone who takes over my house. Can anyone give guidance as to whether 'trimming' his decking & the 2 supports is a waste of time/effort or a sensible investment of time & effort. (all apparently for the sake of 4"). Very grateful for your comments & apologies for long post.
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If you had a fence up which rotted how did the decking encroach on your land? Have you checked your deeds to see where the boundary line is?

If you are correct , explain to the neighbour what needs doing and if he's happy crack on!
Hi sircere, ...Tx, you raise important points. My OP was long, so I omitted those. My deeds show clearly where the line should go (extending from side of my house to halfway across brick dividing pillar at back - my house is built slightly forward of neighbour's). It's relatively easy to run a string down the garden - until you get to the balustrade which blocks it. Running from the other end, the string also crosses the end of the decking at an angle. If you run the string (taut) higher than the balustrade, the string sits on it, about 4" in &, again, crosses the decking. To answer your other question, decking was already down when I moved in 10 years ago & fence was 6' high, with 2 panels blown down. I didn't investigate properly, just got solicitor to ask seller to replace the panels before I moved in. They blew down the following year. I have no idea how the decking could have been put in incorrectly (if it was), unless the fence line was already skewed. VERY grateful for your perceptiveness ... as I need to make sure I'm on firm ground (!) before I undertake any works or amendments & you are helping me focus on the right issues. Neighbour doesn't appear to have a clue about practical issues (not that I'm much better), so I need to be extra sure I don't leave us both in a mess.
You're selling next year and i guess your neighbour won't do anything to his decking.
Just put the fence 4 inches in.
Nobody will ever notice.
It's true, you will lose 4 inches of land, but... you're selling.
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Same thing with my garden - neighbour encroached 3 inches down a 3 foot path :rolleyes: and put a patio @ the bottom of his garden which meant a 6 inch dogleg over my side . But he's a generally good guy and I've got a shed next to his fence @ 3m high...so when his post rots I'll get my 3 inches back . lol

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