How to work out which neighbour is responsible for the garden fence

A general image of a fallen down fence between two gardens
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

One of the most common arguments between neighbours comes when homeowners have to decide who is responsible for maintaining and repairing a garden fence.

But how do you know for sure whose responsibility it is? While most people often tend to settle the matter by splitting the costs equally, some don't see it as their issue. However, one gardening expert has revealed a simple way to tell who the fence belongs to, to avoid any contention.

Experts at Jacksons Fencing told the Mirror the best thing to do is to look for whether the "good" side is visible on your property. They said: "Typically, you can guess who owns a fence by seeing where the rails are, with the fence typically facing away from their property so that their neighbour gets the 'good' side of the fence.

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"This is the most secure way of facing fencing so there are no rails for anyone to use to climb into your garden. This is then repeated with the neighbour on the other side to ensure that each home has both a 'good' and 'bad' fence side."

Although this is often the best way to make an estimated guess as to who owns which fence, Jacksons Fencing said it sadly isn't a foolproof method. The only way to know for certain who owns what side is to refer to the Title Plan or Land Registry.

In these documents, a "T" is used to indicate who the boundary belongs to and therefore who is responsible for the upkeep of the fence. If the "T" mark appears on both sides to form an "H", the fence is shared and therefore both neighbours should work together to maintain it as it's known as a "party wall".

If you think the boundary is incorrect, the experts recommend checking the Land Registry to find out who is responsible for the fence - even if the property is rented.

Jacksons Fencing said: "Frustratingly, there is no way to make your neighbour repair their fence, even if it is rotting and making your garden look unsightly. You can look to hire a disputes expert but this will go down as an official dispute and will have to be declared when selling your house. The only way to get around this would be to install your own fence within your boundary right next to it."

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