How to tell which garden fence is yours and who is responsible for repairs

Back garden tidy flower bed with fence and  newly mown grass.
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)


Disputes often arise between neighbours over who has responsibility for fixing damages such as a broken garden fence.

Typically, neighbours divide the repair costs equally, but occasionally some shirk responsibility claiming that it's not their problem.

Now, gardening experts propose a simple method to identify fence ownership thus helping in avoiding such disputes, reports Birmingham Live. According to experts at Jacksons Fencing, one can tell who owns a fence by checking where the "good" side of the fence or where the railings appear.

They explained: "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."

They added that the reason behind this is to ensure security", saying: 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."

However, Jacksons Fencing team puts forward that guessing about fence ownership based on its position isn't infallible. To conclusively establish ownership, consultation of the Title Plan or Land Registry must be made - an owner of a boundary is indicated by a 'T' symbol.

Broken wooden fence, back garden, damaged footpath
Repairing a broken fence is usually the responsibility of the owner -Credit:Getty Images

If you spot 'T' marks forming an 'H' shape on both sides of your boundary, it's a heads-up that you've got a shared "party wall", and both neighbours are on the hook for its upkeep. When there's a question mark over who owns what, property pros suggest a peek at the Land Registry to set the record straight yes, even if you're renting.

Jacksons Fencing has weighed in: "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."

When it comes to garden fences, there are certain rules that households must follow, as failing to do so could result in fines. Experts previously explained how installing a fence to a certain height could mean being slapped with a staggering £20,000 fine.

If you're looking to make your garden to appear bigger, painting your fence certain colours can help make an outdoor space look more spacious.

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