Which Fence is My Fence?
The Legalities of Garden Boundaries

Whether fence panels have fallen over and broken during a windy winter or the timber has succumbed to old age, the repair of a garden fence cannot start until you identify who is responsible for the garden boundary. So, it's time to ask: Which Fence is Mine?

Check your title deeds

If you are lucky, this will be marked on your title deeds for your property. Particularly for more recently built houses, there will be a pattern of boundary ownership clearly marked on the title plan. It is also possible, in most areas, to privately purchase copies of title plans for your neighbour’s house if you need further clarification.

On the plans, looks for T-marks. Whichever side of the boundary the T-mark falls indicates the responsible party. An H-mark indicates a party wall, meaning it is shared between the neighbours either side. See the diagram below.

a diagram showing how title deeds indicate which fence belongs to which house

In the first diagram, you can see that No.5 Wildacre Rd owns the fence shown and is responsible for its upkeep. The second diagram shows a more complicated situation, a party wall meaning it is shared between both No. 5 and No. 4. Householders at the end of a block may find themselves responsible for more than one boundary.

What to do if the deeds don't help

neighbours garden and fence  image

If the deeds do not indicate responsibility, have a discussion with your neighbour. If you are both unsure, ask other neighbours as there may be an unspoken pattern you can follow.

Try to come to an agreement as to who owns the fence and, thus, is in charge of replacing the panels. We understand that this is not always as easy as it sounds and sour relationships do occur between neighbours. This is where it becomes a little more tricky. If there is a dispute, we recommend talking to your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

What to do next...

If it is clear that the boundary is yours, it is wise to let your neighbour know about any renovation, repair or replacements you are planning before you begin.

If you need advice on buying a fence, check out Your Guide to Buying Fencing.

Or, if you are ready to start building your fence, check out How to Erect a Fence or How to Repair a Fence blogs.

Don’t forget to visit our Buy Fencing Direct Shop where you will find lots of great value fence panels, trellis and fencing accessories.

*Title deed image and more information source: http://www.gardenlaw.co.uk/boundaries.html