Garden fencing

Who owns that garden fence?

Lets look at garden fencing to see if we can answer some of your common questions. And If you’re looking to get garden fence quotes for your home then we have fencing companies listed across the whole country in our directory.

Fence height: How high a fence can I put on my boundary?

The height of fences is a matter of planning policy. To find out what is allowed in your area contact the local authority planning office. As a general rule, fences in rear gardens are allowed to be up to 2 metres high.

neighbours talking over garden fence

Fence ownership: who owns that garden fence?

Fence ownership and responsibility is often a subject of dispute between neighbours and understandably so. Owning a fence comes with a number of responsibilities such as arranging and paying for the maintenance and more. Therefore, if you’re not yet sure who owns the garden fence, you probably want to have that clarified to make sure your property stays protected at all times. In this post, we’re going to give you an insight into some of the rules guiding fence ownership in order to help you make informed decisions.

In England and Wales, there is no legal presumption that a person owns or must maintain a fence or other boundary barrier on the left or on the right. Ownership of the boundary is normally determined by the builder who erects the buildings.

There’s no rule of thumb on whether you own the fence on the right hand or the left hand side of your property. Therefore, if you’ve heard any “rules” that states otherwise, you can fling that out the window because not everyone will own the left hand side to their fence. The first way to determine who owns the garden fence or which side of the fence you’re responsible for is simply by looking. Although this is not guaranteed or a definite way to determine ownership, it can go a long way to give you a good idea. As you would have expected, fences are most likely built on the land that belongs to the boundary’s owner with the further edge of the fence making the actual boundary. As a result, you can determine a fence ownership simply by identifying where the frames are.

Also, you can determine fence ownership using the title deeds for an official and accurate answer. A copy should be given alongside your paperwork which is received when purchasing your house.

Understanding the paperwork

When you can obtain a copy of a plan (you may see it marked with T or H) this should resolve the dispute. The bar of the T indicates the side of the property that owns the boundary structure. Where there is an H mark each party owns the boundary structure.

Land registry showing fencing ownership
In this example it shows T marks on two of a property’s boundaries. The bars of the T clearly show the owner of these boundary structures to be the property owner who owns the land within the red edging.

Man repairing fence

Can I make my neighbour repair their fence?

For a lot of home and property owners in the UK, a common courtesy is being neighbourly and several people find it relatively easy to get along with the folks next door. However, for most individuals major disputes arise over boundaries which can lead to an impasse that may only be resolved through legal action. But since nobody wants that, when boundary issues become more than just passing a comment about the current condition of the fence, you may want to clue yourself up on what to do to get the desired action. If attempts have been made to talk to your neighbour to no avail, there are a couple of things you can consider to make ‘them next door’ repair their fence.

Firstly, it should be stated that if the fence poses an immediate danger then the usual legalities don’t apply. In this scenario, you may need to report to the local council who’ll take the necessary action on your behalf.

  • Offer assistance. Since the cost of repairing a fence isn’t the cheapest thing to do, a lot of people might not be too eager to carry out this project and any friendly suggestion to do so may not be taken kindly. So if you feel that the this may be the issue, you can try offering some assistance to lessen the financial burden on your neighbour. Request fencing quotes so that you can share this price with them
  • Put up your own fence. If all attempts fail, you can consider erecting your own fence. However, this must be on your own property and as close to the boundary as possible.

Who gets the ‘good side’ of the fence?

There is no law that your neighbour has to get the good side of the fence, it’s completely up to you. It may be worth selecting a double sided panel with no ‘bad’ side as both sides look the same and rails are concealed within the fence panel. If one boundary backs onto a road or footpath we recommend installing the panels with the rails on the inside as if installed on the outside, it can provide an easy ladder for burglars to enter your garden.

Items attached to garden fence

Can I attach something to my neighbour’s fence?

There are a number of reasons why disputes can arise between neighbours – all of which can be quite frustrating and challenging. In some cases, this can even cause serious friction and lead to an all-out war. When it comes to the topic of fencing, one of the most common questions that arises is whether or not you can attach something to your neighbour’s fence.

The short and simple answer to this question is no, you can’t attach anything to your neighbour’s fence. If your neighbour owns the fence and you’ve not obtained any permission to do so, then you’re not allowed to attach anything to the fence. Otherwise, you can get into serious trouble with your neighbour as well as the law. If you want to attach something or have your side painted using another colour, then you will need to get a permission from the owner. And while doing so, make sure you’re provided with written permission so as to avoid problems later on.

Another question that mostly arises is what if your neighbour declines your request, is there anything you can do about it? Well, the answer to this is no, there’s nothing you can do about it unless you’re able to convince your neighbour otherwise. And you should know starting a neighbour war or being spiteful can only make matters worse for you.

How close can I build to my neighbour’s fence?

As a home or property owner, you’re generally allowed to build next to your neighbour’s fence as long as it’s on your own side of the property. With that in mind, there are certain laws that regulate how close a fence can be built to buildings on the same lot or neighbouring lots. In addition, there are also local bylaws that provide limitations on the placements as well as height of fences so as to address safety hazards.

In general, if the fence is in your boundary then you’re allowed to build a 2-metre high brick or wooden fence or wall. However, this may differ depending on your location in the UK. As a result, you may want to reach out to your municipality’s building department in order to determine what these rules and limitations are in your area. In the events whereby there are no such restrictions but you’re still concerned, you can try informing your neighbour what your concerns are. However, if they’re not receptive there are some steps you can take to ensure your plans go as smoothly as possible. These steps include the following:

  • Ensure to leave sufficient space for both the posts and footings
  • Stagger your fence posts in order to make sure you’re not digging your neighbour’s property
  • Consider using concrete posts as they’re much stronger and will last a lot longer
  • Use kickers or plinths for raised gardens and flower beds
  • Make use of concrete plinths as they won’t rot over time like a wooden fence.

How much does it cost to replace a fence?

The cost for fence installation and replacement is based on the amount of fence panels you need to replace and the type of fencing you want. If you only need fencing on one side of your garden then this will cost around £700-£800 and take about a day.

If you need to fit the fence around the whole of your garden then you would be looking at more. To understand the cost of fencing in 2022 see our fencing cost guide.

Once you are ready to get a quote to replace your fencing just complete the form below or look for fencing companies in your area using our directory.

Tom Crosswell

I have been managing online projects since 1999 and I'm a experienced marketeer, who is well versed in international brand management, online business strategy and developing long term relationships. Through my academic and professional background I am a specialist in generating online loyalty towards brands. My experience has taught me that ultimately business is about relationships and people. For more information see my Google+ page.