Which Side of the Fence belongs to me in the UK?admin
Are you looking for the answer to a perplexing problem – which side of your garden fence belongs to you? Are you confused by confusing property lines and laws, not knowing what is yours and what isn’t?
Ownership of a boundary fence can be confusing, so don’t worry – we are here to help! In this blog post, we will discuss fences and their respective ownership in order to better inform homeowners on the best way to protect their rights. Keep reading to learn more about where exactly your boundaries lie.
How to identify which fence belongs to you?
Left or right?
Well, neither or perhaps both.
There’s a widely held misconception that the left hand side fence belongs to you, and the right hand side is that of your neighbours. Unfortunately, the reality is not quite so clear cut.
Although you may not be able to determine which fence is yours simply by considering which side it’s on, there are some visual clues that you can follow and some documents you can refer to that will help you clear this up once and for all.
The good side and the bad side
One way to determine who owns a fence is by observing the frame placement. Generally, the fence should face away from the property of the builders or property owners so that their neighbour can enjoy the nicer side. This should also be applied to the neighbour on the other side so that each property has one side that looks good and one side that looks less attractive.
You could always circumvent this issue by purchasing double-sided fence panels, although these will most likely come at a higher price.
Do I have to give my neighbour the good side?
The short answer is no. This practice falls more within the realms of etiquette rather than being a legal obligation.
Showing the smooth side of the fence to your neighbours is a kind gesture for maintaining a positive relationship with them, but it’s not a universal rule and you’re not required to do so if you don’t want to.
Checking the title deeds
If visual clues and discussions with your neighbours aren’t clearing this question up for you, then there are a few other ways you can work out which fence is yours .
To get a better grasp on your property boundaries, check the title deeds for your house. If you don’t have a copy in your paperwork, contact the solicitor who handled your conveyancing. If the information is missing from the title plans, you can check the Land Registry website and access the plans for a small fee.
The plans indicate ownership by marking a “T” on one side of the boundary.
- You are responsible for maintaining the boundary if you have written the letter “T” on your side.
- If there are two Ts joined at the stem (which end up looking more like an H) then both parties share responsibility for the boundary.
If you share a boundary with your neighbour and have a fence attached to it, you’ll need to discuss and come to an agreement on how you want to handle the maintenance of the fence. You can also negotiate with your neighbour to buy their share, but make sure to follow the legal process for an official sale.
Whilst checking title deeds is usually a surefire way of establishing ownership, it’s worth noting that in England and Wales, title deeds do not always specify the ownership of boundaries. It is important to keep in mind that rules regarding boundary ownership may differ in Scotland and Northern Ireland too.
Right of way
Another aspect that is relevant to those living in England and Wales is the ‘right of way’ law which applies under certain conditions. This means that if a path runs along the boundary line between two properties, then the path is shared by both owners and cannot be blocked off.
Can I paint my side of my neighbour’s fence?
Yes, you can paint your side of the fence, but it’s important to remember that if you make any major changes such as painting or staining a fence without consulting with your neighbour first, they may take offence or view it as an act of aggression.
It might be worth having a conversation with them before making any changes so that everyone is on the same page. This could help avoid any arguments or disagreements in the future.
Can I put up my own fence in the same place?
Yes, you’re free to put up your own fence, as long as you don’t encroach on your neighbours property and do not exceed the maximum 2 metre height limit.
Sometimes people opt to put up their own fence that masks their neighbours when their neighbour is reluctant to replace or repair a damaged fence.
Fencing can be an important element to consider when it comes to protecting the boundaries of your property. It is not always clear which side of a fence belongs to you, and in this blog post we have explored some ways to help identify where your boundaries lie. We discussed visual clues such as frame placement and referenced documents such as title deeds that can help you determine which fence belongs to you, as well as the ‘right of way’ law and other tips.
If you have any questions or queries regarding boundaries and fencing in the UK, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the friendly team at Sky Fencing.
We stock a huge range of different fence panels and posts and are more than happy to help you decide on the perfect fencing solution for your property. Our team of experts have decades of experience in the industry and can answer any questions that you might have about ownership, installation or design.