The Good Fence Guide: Should your neighbour contribute to a new fence?

By Chris Gill in Feature

WALLS and fences can often cause big problems between neighbours. More specifically, we’re talking about the on-going debate over who is legally responsible for what. This is often an issue of boundaries, which for a lot of people in the UK, is something that isn’t always clearly outlined when purchasing a property for the first time.

What do we mean by boundaries?

Boundaries between two gardens refers to the amount of land that is registered with a specific property. This is the area of space that you own and the area of space that your neighbour owns.

Unfortunately, when it comes to features such as fences and walls, it can sometimes get confusing.

Who is Responsible for Maintenance?

When trying to work out whether fence maintenance is solely your responsibility, you should first refer to your property deeds. If you’re lucky, it will clearly highlight whether it’s yours, your neighbours or joint ownership.

Has Anyone Assumed Responsibility Previously?

The first thing to determine is whether anyone has previously assumed responsibility for the fence. Did you originally purchase the fence? Has your neighbour paid for repairs in the past? If either of you have done any of these things, that person is technically responsible for the fence. However, without legal documents, neither party can legally be forced to do anything.

If no one is officially responsible for paying for the fence, then any changes, such as purchasing a new one, needs to be agreed beforehand.

What Should You Do?

We believe that the best (and easiest) thing to do is to simply speak to each other. By having an honest conversation about who should be responsible for repairing or replacing a fence, you could easily settle an issue that could become messy.

Even if you are fully prepared to pay the costs yourself, it’s always best to inform your neighbours of your intentions before carrying out any work.

If you are looking to replace your old or damaged fence, please contact Colourfence Cornwall today on 01840 537547 for an alternative fencing option that is strong and durable or visit

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