Fencing repair

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    Fencing repair

    Hi there

    Just looking at advice on where we stand with the fencing situation.
    We moved into a property in February 2018, where the fence was sagging slightly, being told "I'll fix it when the weather gets better".
    Since then its been gradually getting worse ,with just getting the answer of "I'll fix it, I'll fix it" every time we ask.
    He is supposedly waiting on a "lovely day" to repair this, which is understandable in the winter - the problem? He was no where to be seen all spring and summer last year.
    It also took us 9 months of nagging to have the heating repaired, so he's not the best at maintaining the property ,i believe the heating was only repaired because my MIL threatened legal action due to having a 2 year old living here with no heating.
    Now fast forward to February 2019 now, the gate is broken with the wind, and the fence is needing replaced more than repaired . The neighbors have already expressed their displeasure as they have two large dogs. Am I wrong for hiring someone out and asking the landlord for a refund? I've had a few people out to give a few quotes who've all said the same thing - the fence hasn't even been put up properly hence the inevitable

    Thank you

    #2
    There is a fairly complex procedure on the Shelter website which can be followed if the landlord isn't carrying out repairs.
    You have to follow it exactly, as otherwise withholding rent isn't something you can do.

    The situation is complicated in this case because a fence isn't something that the landlord has to replace or repair.
    Because a fence isn't an essential part of a property, the obligation on the landlord is a bit of a grey area.

    As they've promised to fix it, I'd suggest that a) the neighbours might be a helpful source of additional pressure and b) you could offer to help the landlord by sending them a couple of the quotes and offering to get the work done and deduct the cost from the rent.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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      #3
      I hear that declaring a state of emergency is the way to get funds for a fence.

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        #4
        It might be worth checking on the deeds of the property (available from the Land Registry for about £3) who's responsibility it is. It might be your landlord or your neighbour or both. If it is your landlord's you could send him the quote but if you do the work yourself you may never get it back. If it is your neighbour's responsibility - point it out to them politely. If it is joint then perhaps the neighbours will engage with your landlord - they can do the work & take your landlord to the small claims court if he refuses to pay. If it is your landlord's & he refuses to do it your choices are: live with it; do it yourself or move. If your rent is low & you love the house perhaps you can live with spending some money, but this is a dangerous precedent to set. If you pay a decent rent & the landlord is unresponsive maybe you need move. Given your issues with the heating I would be inclined to move!

        Incidentally, if your neighbours have dogs they may benefit from the repair much more than you so perhaps they should become more engaged.

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          #5
          Although, like all rules of thumb, it may not work in all cases, it is usually reckoned that the pretty side of the fence faces outwards. On that basis, the fence probably belongs to the neighbour, not the landlord.

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