Can I say no to a joint fence?

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    Can I say no to a joint fence?

    Hi, everyone.

    We gave neighbour's consent to replace the old joint fence, but after the new fence was erected, we were shocked to find out that the neighbour is a tenant, and he also look after vulnerable children (not his own) in the property, although his brother is the owner and is willing to take responsibility for his brother's action. My question are: 1. does the neighbour need our permission to replace the old fence? 2. If we knew that he was a tenant and a carer for vulnerable people, we would not agree to have a joint fence with this property, can we ask the neighbour to remove this new fence?

    Thank you.

    Sometimes there is a requirement under the deeds to have a fence in a defined position. I dont see why a tenant is any less entitled to want to keep his children within safety than an owner occupier. Whats the problem with the new fence?


      Hi, thanks for the reply.

      There is no mention on the deed. We have an old fence that the new neighbour just replaced.

      I understand it's in the neighbour's duty to make the children safe, but he should've have erected a fence in his own land. A joint fence means we're jointly responsible for the fence, not only the fence is not in a good condition, but also we don't want the liability that the damage this fence may cause to his children in care.

      Thank you.


        Your question makes little sense to me. Sorry.

        a) You gave permission (for them to replace your fence it seems), so not sure why you ask whether they need permission.
        b) You are unlikely to have liability for damage caused to a neighbour's children by your fence on your land, presuming there is nothing remarkable about it (like barbed wire).
        c) Not clear why you want him to remove something installed based on your consent
        d) Why is it a joint fence - it seems to be your fence (still),. and you are not jointly responsible for it -- you are still responsible.


          Hello, no problem, let me explain:

          a) I heard people saying replacing a joint fence doesn't require permission, in which case I have no control over the neighbour replacing the old joint fence because they (apparently) didn't need my permission in the first place?
          b) the fence is a joint fence on the boundary, which I jointly own, by law, I'm responsible for damage caused to a third party.
          c) My consent was given based on 1) the carer was the owner; 2) the owner uses the fence for any normal household use, not for other people's children that require constant care. 3) The fence would be replaced to a good standard. None of the above conditions were met. If I knew 1) and 2) before giving my consent, I'd say no.
          d) I'm puzzled, why do you think it's my fence?

          What I'm trying to establish here is what I should do to not have this fence that comes with liability, which I certainly didn't ask for. The quality of the fence is very poor and parts are already missing, I can't constantly repair it or ask the neighbour to sort it out. I would forever worry about the children hurting themselves, especially as I don't live there, my house is tenanted.

          I hope I answered your questions. Thank you.


            so basically they have put up a shoddy fence and you are not happy with the quality of the fence and think children might be injured by it ?

            have you discussed your concerns with them ?

            fences are points of conflict for sure but discussing these ,matters may help


              We did, and they don't want to do anything with it. We feel this liability just landed on us, that we can really do without.


                If the old fence was a joint fence why do you think the position has changed now that you have a new joint fence?

                On what basis do you consider that the old fence was "joint"?


                  Hi, Lawcruncher,

                  The position changed when we know the neighbour is a carer for vulnerable children.

                  If we learned this fact when the old fence was there, as the old fence was not secure enough for what he need, we'd taken it down to avoid any potential danger (good enough for adults) and not replace it, and ask the neighbour to erect his own fence on his own land;

                  If we learned this fact when he asked if he could replace the old fence, we'd say no, and ask the neighbour to erect his own fence on his own land;

                  Unfortunately, we only learn this fact after the new fence was up.

                  We had a close look where the boundary should be, and we conclude the fence is definitely sitting on the boundary, and the neighbour agrees.


                    Your conclusion about the fence may not be correct. Absent any indications on any title, if a fence or wall has been in position for a long time the only assumptions which can be made (and which are rebuttable) are that on one side the land up to but not including the fence or wall belongs to the owner of the land on that side, and that on the other side the land up to but not including the fence or wall belongs to the owner of the land on the other side. No conclusion can be reached as to whether the boundary runs along one side or other of the fence or wall or is some line within the fence or wall.

                    In connection with boundary features "joint" can be a bit ambiguous and can mean that (a) the liabiity to repair is joint, or (b) the feature is a party feature, or (c) both (a) and (b). A party fence is a bit of a tricky concept because ownership is severed medially.

                    Whatever the situation is here as to the position of the boundary and ownership of and responsibility for the fence, the fact is that you gave permission for the new fence to be eretced and then allowed its erection. It is difficult to see how you can go back on that. In fact I do not think you need to worry. It is the neogbour who put up the fence and he will be resonsible if it proves to be unsafe.


                      Thank you very much, Lawcruncher.

                      It may be a question if the fence is on the boundary or not, however, both parties agreed that it is sitting on the boundary, hence it's a joint fence, which has to be jointly owned.

                      If I gave permission to take a picture of me to a man who claims to be a journalist and works for the local newspaper, and later on I found he is a web designer and he put my picture on a dating website. Does he have my permission to do that?

                      If a child was injured because this fence was not put up right, would the parents say: we understand, we are only going to take your neighbour to court, because he erected the fence, even though you jointly own it?

                      I feel like I've been tricked to have this liability, that I can really do without. I could really use some help. Thank you.


                        Were you in fact misled? If the neighbour just approached you and said he wanted to put up a new fence there was no misleading. There was no obligation on him to explain why he wanted a new fence.

                        The question here is: Has anything changed? If a fence is jointly owned and someone is injured by the fence and they have a valid claim, there are two possibilities. One is that the owners are responsible and the other is that the person who erected the fence is responsible. The position in law is the same for both the new and old fence.

                        Is there something about the new fence which gives you cause for concern? One would expect a new fence properly erected to be safer than an old fence.

                        You need to ask what the chances are of someone not doing anything they should not being injured by the fence. And then, if injured, the chances of any injury being sufficient to warrant taking legal proceedings.

                        I cannot see there is anything here for you to worry about unduly. For peace of mind, you should check that your house insurance covers injury to third parties and legal costs for any legal disputes relating to your property


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