Feeling bullied about a fence

(64 Posts)
supersue1969 Tue 07-May-13 22:08:53

I just wondered what you think about this situation.

We have lived in our semi 5 years,. Get on well with the neighbours - not friends but friendly.

It is unclear who is responsible for fencing on which side.

Anyway a few years ago a fence was needed on one side - the neighbour had just split up with boyfriend, so single mum with 1 child and pg. So we assumed short of cash so we just bought the fence. Anyway we were a bit peeved when the following month she had landscape gardens in to do work in her garden. This is not really relevant to the story but just a bit of background.

Last year the neighbour on the other side's son said his parents wanted a fence and would we go half. I said we thought the fence we had was ok (and luckily dd started whinging so I got away quick).

These neighbours (Couple in their 80s) said to dh they would like a new fence and asked what height we wanted it. Dh just said he was not that bothered they could get what height they wanted.

So tonight the old man came down are path when we were sat in the front asks about the fence again - we say again we are not bothered - but he continues 'so if I get a quote we'll go half on it'. We felt we had no choice. Dh really tried no to commit but how do you say no to a 85 year old with a walking stick that has always been very helpful and pleasant to us. We really do not want to fallout or upset him.

The bombshell moment came when he told us it would be about 1100 - so £550 for something that is not really bothering us.

By the way I obviously do not know but I do not think they are hard up pensioners - they have a gardener

apatchylass Tue 07-May-13 22:14:05

Just say no, nicely. explain to them that you do not see the need for a new fence, that you covered the cost of the fence on the other side as a goodwill gesture to your other neighbour and don't now feel justified in that sort of expense, but that if they want a new fence and are prepared to pay for it, they can go ahead without you chipping in. If you are pleasant and direct, and say no rather than umming and ahing, they can't really do much, unless the fence is falling down into their garden.

HollyBerryBush Tue 07-May-13 22:15:37

Boundary ownership will be on your deeds.

if you rent your LL will know which is the property boundary.

if its council, phone them

snuffaluffagus Tue 07-May-13 22:15:47

Just say you can't afford that and are happy with the current fence!

supersue1969 Tue 07-May-13 22:19:35

I'll get my copy of the deeds out now.

The fence we current have between us is just waist height and a bit like an old country fence not a solid board fence giving privacy. But as said it does not bother us.

Blissx Tue 07-May-13 22:21:40

You normally own the fence to the right, with your back to the house. If you look at your house deeds it is normally marked on these with a "T".

NotYoMomma Tue 07-May-13 22:27:55

By 'bullied' do you mean 'asked about it twice and then being given a quote?

Just to clarify?

it must be different in different areas as ours is the back fence and the one on your right if your lookin out your back door.smile

NotYoMomma Tue 07-May-13 22:28:41

Get the wood from a timber yard and build it yourselves. That are a rip off

which might be same as bliss said depending how you read it grin grin grin

supersue1969 Tue 07-May-13 22:30:20

Drawing on deeds does not show a T and there is no obvious mention in the deeds - it is an old house so v difficult to read deeds.

PrincessScrumpy Tue 07-May-13 22:31:17

Ours is the one on the right as you look out the back door - I believe that's the standard arrangement but should be in deeds.

supersue1969 Tue 07-May-13 22:32:53

Yes - ok maybe not mega bullied but difficult to say no - when he came down path and asked outright. Would be different if someone my own age - but such an elderly person - we felt bad.

There is no chance of us doing it ourselves - we have not the time or the skills.

TheChaoGoesMu Tue 07-May-13 22:35:33

Ours is on the right. Tell the neighbour you cant afford it and you are happy with the fence thats there. But if he wants to put one up on his own side then thats fine. Dont get suckered in.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 07-May-13 22:35:49

Just say no.

Our neighbour tried this with us last year. Luckily I knew (he claimed not to) the boundary was his responsibility. Even if it hadn't been like you I wasn't bothered about the fence that was up. They wanted a higher one for more privacy I reckon as they'd just done a new patio and summer house.

I was polite bt very clear, no if he wanted a new fence he would be paying. He was a bit suprised I think but not much he could do. They paid for the whole thing.

supersue1969 Tue 07-May-13 22:36:13

Well the one that is on the right as you look out the back door is the one we have already paid for - the one attached to the joined semi.

His fence is to the left.

Just discussed with dh and we thought maybe we should say - we will give a £200 contribution but that is all we can afford at the moment. Does that seem reasonable?

Restorer Tue 07-May-13 22:37:07

Ours is to the right as you look out of the back of the house too.

So, which fence is it? Is your "bullying" smile neighbour actually doing you a favour by going halves on a fence which is your responsibility? Although obviously if that's the case, it's still your choice as to whether it needs replacing.

thebody Tue 07-May-13 22:38:17

What TheChao says.

No thank you is a complete sentence.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 07-May-13 22:38:21

I have been in the same situation with elderly neighbours. It was small wall between the driveways for us though, and it was definitely our wall. It was crumbling a bit, but not desperately in need of replacing, and it couldn't have been any further down my list of priorities.

It made me feel awful though as the wife was clearly spending a lot of time fretting about the stupid wall, and I dreaded walking out the front door in case I had to see them. They asked about it three times before I made my mind up that we simply couldn't justify spending the money, which we genuinely couldn't, when there were plenty of other things that needed doing to the house that mattered more to us. I bit the bullet and told them it just wasn't going to be fixed, we had other more important things to spend money on, and in the end they paid to have the whole thing re done themselves. I did feel guilty at the time, but now I'm over it and I don't see why I should feel guilty that they spent money on something when they are the only ones that were bothered about it.

You need to do the same. I'm sure you can find other things that you could spend £550 if you wanted to. Think of those when you're plucking up the courage to tell them!

SarahAndFuck Tue 07-May-13 22:38:24

I think in our deeds, at the back of the house we are responsible for the fence on the left hand side and rear of the garden, and our neighbour is responsible for the fence on the right hand side of our garden (so his left) if we stand with our backs to the houses.

At the front it is the same only with us facing the houses. We maintain the front fence and the fence on the left, neighbour maintains our right hand side/his left hand side.

Go to your neighbours and tell them you didn't realise the quote would be so high and you cannot afford it.

Do it quickly, before they pay for any fence panels or workmen.

Can you contact the solicitor who dealt with your purchase, or the land registry to see if they can help you any further?

MagicHouse Tue 07-May-13 22:39:17

You just say - sorry, you'd like to help, but you simply don't have that sort of spare cash, and that you're happy with the old fence.

supersue1969 Tue 07-May-13 22:39:34

Thanks viva - you see our problem is that when he came up the path and asked us tonight and put us on the spot with going half - dh mumbled an okay. As when we discussed it late he like me thought it would be about £200 but we got a shock when he said about £550.

When we got the fence on the other side it was just from the back if the house. This one it seems he wants to run all down the side of the house too. So lots more fence.

unebagpipe Tue 07-May-13 22:39:42

Not always on deeds.

You may need to take a walk down your road and ask some of the people who you know have been in situ for a while. Do not automatically presume you have to pay 50% as it may well be their fence (and responsibility).

In addition, if it is their fence they get to choose if they have the "nice" side facing them or facing you. You could end up paying 50% and then end up with the 'less nice' side!

EasilyBored Tue 07-May-13 22:43:32

'No, sorry, we're happy with the fence as it is and we don't have any spare money to put towards a new fence' or just 'no, we're happy with the fence'.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 07-May-13 22:45:25

Go and see him tomorrow. Tell him you've looked at finances, etc and decided that it won't be possible to pay half. Tell him you're happy with current fence and if he wants to change it its his choice. If you can find deeds and also tell him for sure it ain't your fence then even better.

My neighbour reckoned he'd always thought a shared boundary fence was a shared responsibility. Mmmmm.

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