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  • Fence boundary dispute! Informed advice please?🚨
  • Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Full Member

    I won’t go into the long and boring details here but a relatively new neighbour has been having her builder/ farmer dad renovating her terraced house on and off for a few years now.
    Neighbour on the other side of them have had a few issues with him as have we. He’s a bit of a “character”. An ex copper to boot.

    Basically he’s a bit of a chancer. Makes promises about this and that then does as he wants then worries about the consequences.

    Anyway….

    I see fence panels piled up in their garden yesterday and had an idea they are going up on the boundary line between our properties. I’d learnt not to trust the guy so I took a few pics of the existing metal mesh fence a couple of years back just in case. The old fence was a simple mesh fence held in place by slim angle iron posts. Been there for decades.

    Today I return home to see that he had taken it down, been in our garden, dug post holes,filled them with concrete and put in 3″x 3″ wooden posts to support a wooden panel fence.

    Am I being unreasonable in saying he should not have come onto our property, dug holes, filled them with concrete and stuck in the posts? He “didn’t realise” he was in our garden. Frankly I find the excuse insulting and pointed out that as an ex cop I’m sure he knows that neighbour boundary disputes are one of the most contentious issues between neighbours and that he knew full well he can’t just go into a neighbours garden and start digging holes when he feels like it.

    Sorry, pic taken at dusk tonight. The concrete blocks mark the edge where the old mesh fence laid flush against.

    Green line was where original fence butted against the blocks. Yellow shows where the back of the new posts start (couple of inches away from the blocks)red line shows where the end of the new concrete is under the ground. I stuck a table knife into the ground to find the end…. So total distant away from the blocks is around a foot or so into our garden.

    Thoughts? Am I being unreasonable? I didn’t get into an argument, kept my cool but was adamant that he was completely out of order in his actions.

    He is “open” to resolving the issue he says…

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    He “didn’t realise” he was in our garden.

    “Absolutely fine old chap, easy mistake to make. Just rip out your shit and put it on your side where it should be, make our garden right again and we’re golden.”

    He wants a new fence, he needs to do exactly what he’s just done only on the other side of that boundary.

    Premier Icon dave28
    Free Member

    if you dont have to chip in for fence and he has not stole land then i wouldnt have a problem. new fence , as you said the metal one was decades old so now you will have a nice new fence .
    probably should have discussed it with you, its not worth getting upset about though

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Free Member

    It’s a bit tricky from your piccy, but from what I can see the [ panels of the] fence appears to be further into his garden than the old one. Have I got that right?

    Which is surely a result.

    However he appears to have put the fence so the scabby side faces you. I have a suspicion that that is not allowed. In which case gettim tellt.

    Premier Icon tall_martin
    Full Member

    Is it going to bother you forever? If so get him to sort it to your satisfaction.

    If its going to stay there and look tidy enough I’d let it go.

    I have a fence that wandered into next doors garden. It was put in by someone for the previous owner.

    A weekend of hard irritating work to sort the fence resulted in… a fence that was still a bit wonky. I thought I was reasonably handy with the diy, the neighbour is very handy. The posts were still wonky! I asked him if he wanted to dig the concrete out and we could do it again, he declined.

    And sold the house 6 months later. If the new owners want it actually straight I’ll happily give them permission to do something about it themeselves at their expense. I only did it as the rest of the garden had gone from fine to immaculate over the course of a year.

    So he defiantly shouldn’t have done all that without permission. If its a reasonably neat job and It wont need doing again for decades, I’d just let it slide. Life is too short for digging concrete and fence posts up.

    If it really makes you bitter, get him to move it and enjoy a load of beers watching him work!

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    he has not stole land

    Except he has. The concrete block was the previous mesh boundary and he’s built outwards into the OP’s land rather than inwards into his own.

    In the face of twattery like that, any whiff of an argument in response and I’d be asking for the mesh fence they’ve stolen to be returned or reimbursed.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Full Member

    So the concrete blocks are on their side, then the mesh fence goes your side of that, or was that on top of the concrete blocks? You said you took pics before, post them up.

    And the fence runs entirely the other side of the posts, so you have the backside of the panels and the posts on your side?

    If the blocks have to stay for a reason unknown (are the gardens different height?), and the panels need to sit on top there’s not really an easy way he could have sited the posts on the boundary, they’d have to sit one side or the other – although why you get the duff side is a bit rude.

    I’d not be happy, and as well as “openly resolving it” I’d be tempted to be sending her a registered letter making note that the fence is incorrectly sited and that he did not have permission to access your property or concrete in posts on your land.

    Remembering that neighbourly disputes would need declaring in any future sale.

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Full Member

    Oh, must add the fence line is his. One no problem with him replacing it, just not encroaching into our garden to do it.

    Sorry, the perspective of the pic is poor also.

    The blocks you see are vertical guys. He has the new panels of the fence raised above them and sat into our garden (by their thickness of a couple of inches), that then pushes the posts further into our garden needlessly (then admittedly underground) the concrete encroaches still further.

    I suspect the old fence shouldn’t have really been where it was but it took up a few cm’s of land so my parents weren’t bothered by it particularly as the previous neighbour was fantastic and had lived there for decades.

    I need to to rake out the deeds (I never bought this house, it’s my (deceased) father’s and my mother’s home.

    Thanks for the continued info guys.

    Yes, the ugly side of the fence is pointed our way btw… He initially said he would put more panels up on our side of the posts! So nicking a foot+ sliver of land the whole length of the garden rather than just the post width amounts… I declined that offer.

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Full Member

    Sorry, neurosurgery means I have trouble with fine motor skills in my writing hand but hope this is clear enough.

    Basically the fence has gone from being about an inch wide (angle iron just used to stake the chain link fence in) to over a foot now.

    Premier Icon frankconway
    Full Member

    Cougar has it; tell them to remove, re-do in correct position and make good – to your satisfaction.
    Alternatively, give your neighbour the option to buy a skinny strip of land the length of your garden for, say, £2k and they to pay your legal fees for legal transfer and land registry charges; naturally your neighbour will have her own legal fees.
    Insist they use a conveyancing solicitor and decline any suggestion they do their own conveyancing.
    You might also direct her/him/them to Rule 1.
    If they refuse to do either, tell them you will raise it with the council and remind the ex-copper he was trespassing.
    And +1 for asking for the return of the mesh fence; you want it reinstated unless/until they behave lawfully.

    Premier Icon commencaltr29rider
    Full Member

    You may be in the right but this is not worth the hassle. Unfortunately I have experience.

    If you put anything in writing then you have a boundary dispute which can knock a huge amount of value of your house.

    You can start the argument, but the lines on registry plans are about half a metre wide anyway. Also a boundary surveyor will advise you that physical features are not a reliable indicator of a boundary. You’re talking thousands to jointly appoint surveyors to do measuring, then moving a lot of stuff a few centimetres pointlessly.

    If the other party doesn’t want to burn cash in that way and won’t comply, you are left with the indefinite boundary dispute that you have to declare.

    In short, just don’t do it.

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Full Member

    If you put anything in writing then you have a boundary dispute which can knock a huge amount of value of your house.

    It’s an interesting point you make there and one I’m aware of. The thing is, this house will not be on the market for decades in probability. I intend on giving to my son when the time comes. I’ve never felt it to be my house as frankly I never earnt it and I simply see myself as being it’s custodian till I hand it onto my son..anyway…

    Now, the neighbours situation is different. I’m pretty confident they intend completing it, keeping it for a few years then flipping it.

    I even raised this point with them today as passively as possible. I mentioned that for our part we had been extremely understanding of the building work that they had undertaken but if things carry on this way (remember, this guy has “history” both with us and his other neighbour) there are likely to be events that could devalue both/either properties. Things would need to be declared to potential buyers.

    He knew what I meant, I’m sure of that. He’s not stupid though pretends to be when it suits. Frankly, adhering to rule 1 is not getting us anywhere and I’m starting to think bit of an “eye for an eye” now.

    As I said, no intention of putting this place on the market anytime soon. If the papers and complaints start to fly, so be it.

    I know I sound like a prick saying that and feeling so declined really annoys me as I hate being like this is more to this story than this specific post I’m afraid.

    The guy isn’t evil, he just couldn’t give a flying **** about anyone else and just acts with impunity and deals with the consequences after the event.

    Premier Icon RustyNissanPrairie
    Full Member

    **** him. Bombers, frozen sausages, pissing in his shoes and bumming his dog time.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    Deeds are generally worthless for this IME. Your property is half an inch across and the boundary is in felt tip.

    The actual boundary is where it currently is. And he’s just moved it so can **** well move it right back again.

    If you put anything in writing then you have a boundary dispute which can knock a huge amount of value of your house.

    And also off his. “Hey mate, just so you’re aware, if I raise a boundary dispute it’ll massively devalue your house so…”

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    And y’know, I’d have been more amenable to a discussion ahead of work, rather than “I’ve come home and our dividing wall has gone.”

    Fight bastard with bastard.

    Premier Icon frankconway
    Full Member

    Poops – you picked up on the point I was going to make; make it explicitly clear to your neighbour that if this becomes a notifiable dispute it will devalue her property – and, if she doesn’t declare if/when she sells, she is then open to legal action by her purchaser.
    You clearly allude to other issues so…gloves off; refer back to my earlier post.
    Now you give the owner – not her father – 24 hours to remove, re-do and make good;
    non-negotiable.
    You have the right to remove the fence, posts, concrete etc from your property and deposit on hers – if any of it is ‘damaged’ in the process that’s her problem, not yours.
    Involve the council, make them aware of the ‘history’ you refer to; unless arsehole behaviour is stopped the perpetrator will continue and, each time they get away with it, will feel increasingly immune.

    Premier Icon kerley
    Free Member

    Look on the bright side, your neighbour wants to put up a nicer looking new fence. I have the opposite issue as I live on a corner and have ended up fencing the whole 100+ metres as both neighbours were happy to have bits of string and rotten posts as their fence so I ended up getting matching fence done around whole property exactly to my liking which cost £7000.

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Free Member

    The way I’m reading this, the bloke is a bully and sounds like he bullies his way through life. If you’ve got the fight in you, have him put it right. Seems like post panel and concrete are on your property. One day that concrete will need digging out and replacing. Either that will fall to you (or your son) if the land is identifiable as yours, or the neighbour steals a bit more land. Be firm but fair and have him put it right.

    Premier Icon spooky_b329
    Full Member

    I lived in a terrace with a narrow garden, Id be pretty unhappy losing that much width.

    Actions speak louder than words, I think I’d remove a couple of panels, strap a nice big lever to the post and see if the whole post and concrete will come out. Tip into their garden and repeat.

    Premier Icon cloudnine
    Free Member

    Put a string line up on the boundary where the old fence was.. ask him to explain the difference…

    Premier Icon martin_t
    Free Member

    “never wrestle with a pig – it gets mud all over you and the pig likes it”

    Although, I am not sure Twain was referring to coppers.

    Premier Icon whitestone
    Free Member

    Find a “friendly” builder and ask them to come round whilst your neighbour is in. Have a loud conversation about how much it would cost to remove the fence from your property along with costs of making good your garden after the machinery has been and gone.

    Premier Icon trail_rat
    Free Member

    Thank him for the firewood he’s deposited on your land -while holding a chainsaw ?

    Premier Icon ctk
    Full Member

    Should have talked to you first, shocking behaviour- I would be raging.

    Premier Icon northernsoul
    Full Member

    As for the “rough” side facing your garden, that’s pretty normal in our street. The side of the property where we look after the boundary fence has the nice side facing our garden, the side our neighbour on the other side looks after has the rough side facing us, and it’s the same down the street, with the exception of those who have grown hedges (often just as much a bone of contention but for different reasons).

    Premier Icon PiknMix
    Full Member

    More importantly, where the frick did he get postcrete from 🤷🏼.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Full Member

    FWIW, I think you’re handling it the right way, but I’m not sure you can do much more than put down a marker that you won’t passively accept whatever this prize dick wants to get up to. Whether it’s worth trying to get him to remedy it is up to you. By the sounds of it, he will be able to cause you more problems than you can cause him, and he will be quite relaxed about doing so, whereas you are a nice bloke and will be far more affected. You’ll be the one losing sleep over it, not him.

    Unfortunately, in practical terms, putting up a ‘proper’ fence in place of a wire fence with driven stake supports will always involve digging and placing concrete over your side of the boundary, although I’m not sure he needed to go that wide. Doing it without consultation while you’re out is totally out of order, and confirms the kind of gentleman he is. The decision to take him on at his own game is yours.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    He knows what he’s doing. Why seek permission, that might result in agreeing to a compromise, when you can just do what the hell you want with no come back? Sadly, you’ll need to play the game, and find something other than boundary issues to get him back on (this isn’t petty vindictiveness, it’s showing him that you won’t just quietly take further action like this). You’ll get no where with a boundary dispute unless he’s gone significantly taller with the dividing fence. Start looking for anything else he has done or is doing that you can get building regs or planning to look into. Anything that might result in cost and hassle for him, preferably an order to remove. Alternatively pay to have the post and concrete removed, and see what his next step then is… (a brave move if you do).

    Premier Icon dannyh
    Full Member

    **** him. Bombers, frozen sausages, pissing in his shoes and bumming his dog time.

    Disappointed it took 13 posts for this sage advice to appear.

    Standards are slipping on STW.

    Premier Icon Bunnyhop
    Free Member

    This man knows what he did was ‘out of order’.

    We went on holiday once and our neighbours put up a new fence, meaning they went into our garden. Luckily they didn’t steal any land, but that’s only because our garden is about 50cm higher. They should have asked/ us first.
    It is just bad manners not to say we will be doing this work.
    But it’s more than bad manners to do this work when you weren’t on holiday and then pinch a whole flower borders worth of land.

    Good luck, because this father sounds as though he’s more than a ‘plonker’.

    Premier Icon dirksdiggler
    Free Member

    how come the fence is hanging off the posts and not set between the posts?
    Fence would’ve been the same from both side that way.
    Solution would be to have him chop those posts, sit them atop the block wall and bolt them in place.
    Could even have used the existing angle iron to add strength

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
    Full Member

    I’d be asking him to move the posts. If he doesn’t I’d remove the posts after telling him I’d be doing so.

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Full Member

    The fence has gone. It is an ex-fence.

    Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

    Premier Icon easily
    Free Member

    Well come on Poopscoop, tell us more.

    Premier Icon frankconway
    Full Member

    Poops, we gots to know; what happened?

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    [popcorn .gif]

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Full Member

    Lol, I’ll post an update tomorrow (today now).

    No blood was spilt and he knows how to remain restrained being an ex copper but I did use a phrase one of you posted in this thread “at him” and I could see in his face, just for a split second mind, that he almost lost it.

    I’ll reveal the phrase tomorrow. It’s one I intend banking for future reference.👍

    As always, you dysfunctional bunch of sods, thanks for the help and opinions. It was well needed as I was starting to doubt my own bloody sanity on this, his reasoning being so bizarre yet venerated with rationale.

    Premier Icon Caher
    Full Member

    “It’s an offence to build a fence so get orf my land”?
    Do I win a plumb line?

    Premier Icon trail_rat
    Free Member

    You thanked him for the firewood. Didn’t you 😉

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
    Full Member

    I did use a phrase one of you posted in this thread “at him” and I could see in his face, just for a split second mind, that he almost lost it.

    You threatened to hammer frozen sausages in to his dog didn’t you?

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