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Boundary fence renewal

Hi, new here - please be gentle!

I would like to remove my 2m high leylandii hedge on my side of a 4ft ranch style fence between my neighbour’s and my garden.  The hedge is messy and unruly and difficult to manage with parts that have died off and provides poor privacy screening now. I also wish to make a nice border with plants growing up against a sunny west facing new fence.

Last year I talked with my elderly neighbour about this and offered to pay in full for a lovely new boundary fence that would give us both better privacy - we have two (friendly) dogs that she doesn’t like.  It would be a case of removing the hedge and erecting a really nice 6ft/2m double sided fence with cope for at least 9m of the original fence line.  If we both liked it I would pay for the rest - another 15m or so to be done later.
She wasn’t keen on the idea despite the fact that I know she hates the hedge and is always cutting off branches that stick through into her garden (her right of course).  Several years ago she hired a company to take about 3ft off the height of the hedge without asking my permission and while I was out at work!  The company made a pig’s ear of it but that’s another story. 
Today she was attempting to put up some fabric mesh over one of the baldier patches but it didn’t make any difference and she abandoned it.

I am going to bring up the idea of a new fence and offering to pay in full for it again.  If she wanted to pay half for the fence that would be a bonus!
If she still isn’t keen, would I be wrong just to have the work done? I know it wouldn’t make for good relations but she has never consulted with me before having work in her garden done - taking down trees close to the boundary, putting up a tall shed along the boundary, reslabbing her patio right up to the boundary fence, attaching gutters on a new roof that enters our “airspace” but we have always minded our own business about this stuff. The posts are in our side of the boundary and the houses and the fence are about 45 years old now.  
Any thoughts appreciated.  😊 If it helps I’m in Scotland.



  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,942
    Hi @Wild_Violet - boundaries can cause so many problems!
    If it's your hedge, and your fence, you're entitled to do whatever you want with it, providing you are keeping it all within the same boundary lines. She can't complain.
    Well - she can complain, but it makes no difference  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,462
    If she doesn't want the fence replacing, you can erect one inside your boundary anyway, without her agreement.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,640
    I would endorse the others comments, just go ahead and do it. If the posts are on your side of the fence, that usually (but not always) indicate that the fence is yours, but as KT53 says, just have your fence erected just a few inches in so it's on your land. That way there can be no argument. It might be a courtesy to let her know the date the work is being done, so she can arrange to be out that day if the noise might be a problem.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530
    I think I would advise her of your intentions in writing, giving a date by which she can raise any objections, and keep a copy, just in case she turns awkward later.
  • Wild_VioletWild_Violet Posts: 181
    Thanks for your comments.  I always assumed the boundary fence was the original one but neither my neighbour nor I are the original house owners so I thought it would be a shared boundary fence so belongs to both of us. That’s why I was keen to get her on side.

    I don’t really want to build inside the existing fence as then there would be nothing to stop her taking down the original fence having acquired a few extra inches!  Petty I know...

    I realise she maybe wants to pay half the cost (to assert her position as part owner) but can’t afford it.  Perhaps she just likes the current messy arrangement - the word eyesore comes to mind!

    I may have to just be brave and take some of the trees at the top near both our patio/ decked areas down and hope she gets fed up of the lack of privacy before I do!!

    Thanks again.

  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    edited April 2020
    A copy of your deeds should say which side is yours. If you don't have them then a copy from the Land registry is not expensive. If you find its your side then just go ahead and do what you want, keeping to the regulations of course. 

    She sounds like my mother, never happy with any thing  :/

    * re-reading this it seems the border is shared ownership??  If so it seems you are on a hiding to nothing with a person like that. 
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,639
    Normally, in England at least, house deeds show who "owns" and is responsible for the fence on which side of the garden and in a row of houses each house "owns" one side.   It may be different in Scotland but your local council website should have info on boundaries and responsibilities.  

    I'd go ahead and get rid of the conifer hedging anyway and when that's gone and there's space and light she may be more amenable to a new fence.

    Is there any reason you can't just attach a new fence to the existing posts?  If they're not tall enough, just replace the posts with taller ones.   
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,078
    josusa47 said:
    I think I would advise her of your intentions in writing, giving a date by which she can raise any objections, and keep a copy, just in case she turns awkward later.
    I’m not sure what the legal implications of giving her “time to object” might be ... it might imply that you would then have a duty to act on her objections ... which at the moment you don’t. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • YviestevieYviestevie Posts: 7,063
    I'd check who is responsible for the fence first.  If it was mine I'd just tell her when the work was happening and get on with it. 
    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,640
    You can't really want to forgo a nice new fence over a "few inches" surely.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
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