Ask a Tradesman
Query about neighbours fence
Hi we live in a housing association property and a few months ago our neighbour ripped out all the hedging between our houses and put up 2/3 of a fence, he put all the post in our garden ( actually on our garden, attaching them to the concrete posts already there that marks the boundary, the wooden posts are clearly on our side. He then put up 2/3 of a fence with the ugly side facing our house.
There has been a 10 ft gap at the bottom of the fence for 3 months now, their 4 cats come into our garden and foul, dig and cause a nuisance so this week we put a fence up, using the wooden posts they put in OUR garden, at no time did they ask permission.
I have just heard that she is now saying she is going to rip out her fence AND the posts and laugh when the fence falls down.
Can she actually do this? I believe that as the posts are clearly in our garden we could use them. I can't call the council because they are closed until Monday.
Hi, I run South Surrey Fencing and I encounter this issue regularly. simply put, the concrete posts are the councils property and they can and even often will prosecute if they become damaged. Your neighbours must follow the old fence line and cannot come on your property without your permission which is obviously easier said than enforced. please do not hesitate to get6 in touch if you have any further questions, Ian
Answered 4th Dec 2014
Below I have pasted a section from the RSPB's website regarding some of the laws on hedges:
It is an offence under Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 to intentionally take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built. It will be an intentional act, for example, if you or your neighbour know there is an active nest in the hedge and still cut the hedge, damaging or destroying the nest in the process.
A joint responsibility:
A boundary hedge is usually the joint responsibility of both neighbours. Both must agree on major work, including removal, coppicing or laying.
In theory, you need your neighbours' agreement even before trimming the hedge. If the hedge is just inside your neighbours' garden, they own it; you only have the right to trim any part that encroaches over your boundary line. Your neighbour should ask for your permission for access to trim the hedge on your property.
Regardless of ownership, no-one can trim or cut a hedge if the action damages active birds' nests, and hence violates the Wildlife and Countryside Act. If tall hedges or trees put your garden in the shade, you can cut off branches that overhang your boundary.
You can also prune back roots that that invade your property, even if this is detrimental to the plant. You do not have the right to cut down vegetation on your neighbor's' property, or apply weedkiller to destroy the plants.
Answered 13th Dec 2014