When you’re trying to make changes to your property, it’s important to take a look at where you intend to make alterations and build things.
Putting up a fence is one of those things that you should probably think about. You can do it pretty much whenever you want to, unless you happen to put down a fence on the boundary line between your property and the property of a neighbour. Alternatively, if your fence is interfering with the party wall, then you equally have an issue.
Knowing whether or not a neighbour can stop you from putting up a fence is an important question to ask. Let’s take a look at what they can do.
If you’re trying to put up a fence on your own property, then you generally have free reign when it comes to your individual property. However, if you are trying to put a fence and it crosses into the party wall, which is the wall shared between you and your neighbour, then you do tend to have a small issue on your hands.
Ultimately, this is because any decisions relating to the party wall are to be made at the joint corporation of you and the neighbouring owner, which is why you will need to discuss your plans with your neighbour
It is important to make sure that you consult with your neighbour if you plan to make any changes to the property which will then impede on their side, so it’s important to know exactly where the boundary line is between you and your neighbours property.
Ultimately, in the event that you want to put up a fence which will impede on the boundary line for you and your neighbour, there is no need to issue a party wall notice as wood fences with either wooden or concrete posts are not covered by the Party Wall Act.
Another consideration that matters a lot is whether or not there is already a fence in place. If there is then your options really are dependant on who owns the fence, you or your neighbour.
If it is you that owns the fence then you are perfectly in your rights to take it down and construct a new one provided you give your neighbour sufficient notice of your intent to do so.
You will also need to take into consideration whether your neighbour has any young children or pets who could injure themselves due to the gardens being ‘left open’ for the period once the existing fence has been taken down and the new one constructed.
If the fence belongs to your neighbour then unfortunately you are not allowed to demolish and re-build it unless they agree to it.
If you are offering to remove a fence owned by your neighbour and pay for a new one to be installed then it is highly likely that your neighbour would agree to this – who in their right mind wouldn’t?
Assuming you are in the minority and have a particularly disinterest neighbour who really does not want you to interfere with his fence then the simplest solution would be to build a new fence solely on your land right beside your neighbours fence.
Good relationships are absolutely vital for making sure that you maintain a positive and fruitful alliance with your neighbour.
Ultimately, you are going to want to make sure that you discuss your intentions to build a new fence in an understanding and sensible way.
When you come to do this, you have to make sure that you take the time to sit down with your neighbour and talk to them about what you’re going to do, work through any changes, have a cup of tea with them, make sure that relationship stays positive.
At the end of the day, compromise and working together are the key elements that will make this entire thing work, so you have to make sure that you are prepared to sit down with someone, be honest and open, and communicative about what you want to do.
Remember that your neighbour has every right to refuse or dispute the alterations that you want to make, so you have to be prepared to talk with them and give them as much information as they need to feel confident in allowing the changes to go through. The more information that you can provide, the better your chances of a successful operation are.
Whether or not your neighbour can actually stop you from putting up a fence will depend entirely upon where you want to put it. If you’re someone who wants to put your fence in a place which is completely on your property, then you don’t have any issues, and you’re free to do whatever you please. However, if you want to intrude on the boundary line between you and your neighbours property, that’s when you have to ask permission.
Generally speaking, most neighbours will be absolutely fine to give you reasonable access to make the changes that you want to, so long as you keep them prior warning and you explain what you want to do. Obviously, if there is a dispute, you will have to go through the correct legal processes and hire a professional is to make sure that everything is okay, and that you can carry on with the alterations you want to make.
If in doubt simply speak to one of our Party Wall Surveyors.