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Neighbor garden fence - risk to plants

geth11geth11 Posts: 5

My neighbors fence is in a bad condition and at risk of collapsing onto my side of the boundary. If this happens, it'll damage the plants we are going to be planting there next week.
If this does happen, does anyone here know if he'll be liable for the cost of damage to my plants (which will likely be in the £100's)? He is well aware of the poor condition of his fence.



  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,274
    I don’t know where you stand legally but a couple of points come to mind. Is the neighbour in a position to be able to afford the many hundreds of £s it might cost to replace the fence? If you suspect not, can you suggest that the thing is replaced with a very cheap temporary compromise for a season or two? Somebody on this forum very recently was extolling the virtues of green net shading. Would the absence of a fence create security issues or simply look odd? 

    If the fence did collapse do you think it would all go or just a panel or two? And wouldn’t most plants sprout back up after a spell of sulking all the more so if it happens in the dormant season when winds are usually at their strongest. Perhaps the financial damage will not be very great at all and perhaps it’ll be nothing. That’s not to say though there won’t be annoyance and loss of time to put things straight
    Rutland, England
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,052
    It's a tricky one. You could be waiting forever if you're relying on the neighbour to renew/repair the fence. I don't know where you stand legally if a fence collapsed either, and you want to avoid any aggro whenever possible in this sort of situation.
    You could ask them directly - perhaps offer to go halves on a new fence, although you need to be definite about getting it done, taking charge and getting cash off of him etc. He  also might be more open to it if he feels someone else is sorting it all out.
    You could erect a fence of  your own, just inside his. Again - tricky, but it wouldn't have to be big and substantial. Just enough to protect your plants.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • geth11geth11 Posts: 5
    Thanks guys. I might just leave it and see what happens. If the fence does collapse, hopefully it'll just be a couple of panels and the damage won't be significant. 
  • I would suggest just bring it up in conversation and suggest you both go half on the cost, and if its just the panels then its not a big job how many panels are they. 
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    If the fence needs replacing the work will disturb and damage your plants. It would be much better to do as Fairygirl suggests and build your own inside it OR, even better, have a chat and agree to go halves on replacing it, as she also suggests. I know there are some horrid neighbours, but most are ok if you approach in a friendly and helpful way and really appreciate a bit of help and support in your mutual interest.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,052
    Often, people are just fly too @Posy, and think that someone else will just jump in and replace and pay for, a new fence because they know the dodgy one's so annoying  ;)

    Or am I cynical?  :D
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,882
    I think in law that you are responsible for your own property, so must take reasonable care of your own plants. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,119
    If it's just the panels that are dodgy some wires stretched between the posts on your side should hold them up so the collapse downwards or to his side.  If it's the posts as well then I suggest you put in some metal posts just inside and some wire mesh fencing to hold it all up.   Won't cost a fortune, will protect your plants.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 9,345
    If it was me (and I'm in the situation where a neighbour's fence has now collapsed against my hedge and they're ignoring it) I'd erect some angled braces on my side to make sure the only direction it can fall is onto his property.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    Oh Fairygirl,  perish the thought! You are right of course, but not always!
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