To expect next door's landlord to fix their bloody back garden fence.

(90 Posts)
FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 16:47:32

Their fence has been broken for a year now. I thought they'd fix it themselves and tbh didn't worry because my dd was old enough to know not to go near their garden.

Now my younger son has started walking I can't stop or keep running after him to pull him back in our garden. Towards the end of the garden their side is completely overgrown with thorns and brambles. It's dangerous for my children. Now it's summer they'll be out more. Dd knows not to go to that side, but ds obviously is too small to understand.

I just phoned the letting agency and they attempted to fob me off telling me the fence is MY responsibility! This house has been our family home for about 35 years. We know what side is ours! When I told the agent she was being rude trying to fob me off when she hasn't even seen which property it is and told her I want it fixed ASAP before one of my children get hurt, she told me she couldn't authorise it without the landlord agreeing to fixing it.

I'm thinking I'm going to have a problem trying to get them to fix it. Could I threaten them with contacting the council or something if they don't fix it within a week or two weeks?

cozietoesie Thu 02-May-13 16:50:25

I have a funny feeling that there's no legal requirement to have a fence between properties so it may not be as straightforward even as that. I'll look with interest towards other posts because I have a similar issue.

LIZS Thu 02-May-13 16:51:04

Why the council ? confused They are not actually obliged to have a fence or clear the garden unless a health hazard , you could plant/put something up your side of the boundary though.

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 16:51:10

Also another reason why I think I'll have a fight on my hands is because when I spoke to the tenants on Monday they told me they've asked for the fence to be fixed for ages and hopefully I'll have more luck convincing them. Why aren't they getting the fence fixed? Surely it's not that expensive?

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 16:52:07

I don't know why the council! Just assumed they'd help somehow! I have no idea who could help me regarding this.

cozietoesie Thu 02-May-13 16:53:12

A decent fence isn't cheap.

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 16:53:33

Sorry, LIZS it is a health hazard. They have thorns and brambles that my baby could walk into.

Why is their side of the garden dangerous for your children?

alienbanana Thu 02-May-13 16:54:45

Annoying as it is, you're probably better off just fixing it yourself, even if it is with chicken wire or trellis or something. If they're garden is a mess and overgrown it doesn't sound like they're going to get to fixing it anytime soon.

Cravey Thu 02-May-13 16:55:04

Several issues here. First is they don't have to have a fence at all if they don't want one. Secondly how did the fence break? If the tenants broke it they have to fix it. Thirdly there would be no reason for the council to step in at all. You may find that if you want a form of boundary that you have to foot the bill for it.

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 16:55:06

Really cozie? They'd only have to replace about 4 of them.

LIZS Thu 02-May-13 16:56:05

No a health hazard would be rubbish , rodents and other nasties . Thorns on their property are not. To get a basic fence put up could easily be £40 a panel.

Cravey Thu 02-May-13 16:56:27

Regarding brambles etc no actual health hazard in fact it is your responsibility to make sure your child does not walk into them etc.

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 16:57:28

I really didn't know you didn't have to fix your side of the fence! So that's why they're not doing anything. Hmm

cozietoesie Thu 02-May-13 16:58:09

It depends on its general condition, FunHouse. I guess I'm thinking about my own situation where parts of the fence are down but the rest is thinking pretty hard about it. Maybe they could cobble something together for the time being.

I reckon, though, you'd be better doing something yourself. They would likely argue that the protection of your children is your responsibility and not theirs.

LIZS Thu 02-May-13 16:58:47

You could get a quote then approach the owner.

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 16:59:04

Cravey if my child did go into their garden it would be trespassing, surely they have a responsibility to stop this from happening?

It's your responsibility to keep your children out of there.

There are hundreds of plants they could grow that would cause an unsupervised toddler harm (foxgloves etc)

Annoying though it is they don't have to do anything.

TerrysAllGold Thu 02-May-13 16:59:49

The fence is only the tenant's responsibility to repair/replace if they broke it - and even then their responsibility is to their landlord via their contract, not to you. If the landlord says don't worry about it the tenants need do nothing. There is no law saying you have to have a fence between your garden and the neighbours and it has nothing to do with the council either.

A fence of 4 wooden panels circa 5 foot high = about £60 plus the cost of someone to erect it.

janey68 Thu 02-May-13 17:00:25

You need to put up a fence on your side of the boundary if you want one. Meanwhile it's your responsibility to ensure your child doesn't go into other people's gardens. You can't insist that someone else keep their fence repaired- or even has a fence at all

Cravey Thu 02-May-13 17:00:29

No obligation to fence at all if they don't want to. It's a matter of choice. If it was me I would pay for the fence myself if I wanted it that badly. Also ask the tenants how the fence broke as if it was down to them they will have to sort it out anyway.

confused at your last post. Are you serious?

it's not their responsibility to stop trespassers - it's trespassers responsibility to not trespass.

TerrysAllGold Thu 02-May-13 17:01:20

Funhouse, no you have a responsibility in law to prevent your child from trespassing on someone else's property. They are not responsible for your child's movements.

FunHouse Thu 02-May-13 17:01:38

Cozie I've been thinking about planting a fir tree or hedge or something there for ages. Then I worry they might complain about it. Maybe it's time to do something like that.

LIZS that would be an option. Thanks.

specialsubject Thu 02-May-13 17:04:20

remember that all this is nothing to do with the tenants. It is the landlord's responsibility to look after the garden.

as others note - no-one has to have a fence. If you want to keep your child in a certain space, you build one.

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