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What to do when your fences get blown down, who is responsible for cost and more?

wood fence, green grass and 2 sun lounger and small glass table

The responsibility of your garden fence is often the subject of disagreement between neighbours, especially when it comes to figuring out where you legally stand. You can prevent unnecessary hassle and confrontation by making sure you know who is responsible for what when it comes to garden boundaries.

Your first step should be to look at your deeds to see if there are any existing boundary agreements on the properties. Then you will have to make a new boundary agreement, which you and your neighbours will sign. Having an agreement on garden boundaries can save you and your neighbours time and ensure there will be no future disputes.

Checking before you buy

It’s not a bad idea to check with the estate agent, landlord or previous property owner about garden fence responsibility before you buy a house or move into one. A simple chat with a neighbour can also usually resolve any potential future issues fairly easily!

If there is any uncertainty, you can request a separate authority to determine exactly where a boundary lies. Depending on the gravity and nature of the case, respective authorities are in charge of it.  You aren’t simply expected to show up and announce where your boundary is, but instead, you are expected to submit a legal case to a court so that a decision can be made.

Determining the boundaries of just a garden fence may seem overwhelming. Hopefully, you will be able to find recent house surveys or deeds that show the plans of the property. In many cases, the boundary lines of the property have already been drawn in. You will avoid unnecessary trips to the court that will cost you time and money, and you’ll know which fence belongs to you.

If my garden fence is damaged, am I responsible?

If there is damage to the fence or wall between your property and your neighbour’s property, you’ll see markers that show which party is responsible if you have access to the deeds and can see the plans.

When a ‘T’ is shown on the inside of a boundary line, it signifies ownership of the boundary wall or fence and shows that the maintenance responsibility lies with the owner of the property on that side. In this example, two ‘T’ symbols are attached (as an ‘H’) to one another, indicating joint responsibility between the two sets of neighbours on either side.

Plans and deeds can sometimes be outdated and not entirely clear, making it hard to determine with certainty where fences and walls begin and end – sometimes leading to a dispute.

When you are unsure of which side of the fence belongs to you, or if there has been damage or maintenance is needed, speak with your neighbour. Most of the time, your colleagues will be just as eager as you to reach a mutually beneficial resolution.

Is my home insurance going to cover the garden fence?

In general, your homeowner’s insurance policy should cover “other structures” that are attached to your house, like sheds, garages, and garden fences. However, you should double-check with your policy book the entitlements inclusive of the policy you have availed. You may also contact your policy provider to verify this allowing you to grasp the whole picture of the coverage that you have, saving you from all the hassle of paperwork and spending double in unnecessary expenses.

Various causes of damage to garden fences may be covered under your homeowner’s insurance, but there are generally some exclusions. If, for instance, you have a garden fence damaged by a falling tree or during a storm then most insurance policies would exclude coverage.

To ensure exactly what is covered and what is not, you should consult your insurance company. To be sure it’s truly worth a claim, you may want to consider getting an estimate for the repairs before you file for one for your garden fence.

Problems that commonly occur with garden fences and how to solve them

Deciding who will be responsible for getting a garden fence repaired or maintained is probably the most common problem. The most common issue you can resolve by talking to your neighbour is reaching a mutual agreement. Nonetheless, if it isn’t quite that simple, then it is important to know where you stand.

You should determine who owns the disputed property from your neighbours if there is a disagreement between you and them over who is responsible. If in the long run, you are having difficulties arranging the disagreements, then seek the help of a higher authority or tribunal which will lay out the different expectations and responsibilities that property owners have. This will help you settle disputes in the best, faster, and equitable manner giving you the best options to opt for in case things escalate quickly.

There are several reasons why garden fences are damaged, but the most common cause is bad weather or unpreventable deterioration. In most cases, nobody is at fault. If your neighbour has caused damage to your property as a result of their actions, they are entitled to pay for the damages to be repaired. Despite garden fence responsibility often being a contentious issue, the rules and laws generally remain straightforward and cover all possible scenarios, ensuring that any problems can be solved in some way.

Final Thoughts

Just like in any other dispute, understanding the basics and nature of the situation is essential. This will help you to know the best course of action to take. From seeking legal aid to peacefully negotiating things with neighbours to avoid embarrassment and preserve amicable relationships with your neighbours. If you have insurance policies, always check and contact related authorities to brief you with all the details.

However, should the responsibility fall on you and you are quite unsure on how to move ahead, we are here to help you out. We can conduct repairs and replace fences anywhere in Swindon. You do not need to worry about the whole process. What we need to know is your preference, budget, and the style you wish to adopt and we will handle the rest! Wherever you are at Swindon, we can cater to your fencing needs.

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