‘Fence wars’ after neighbour paints woman’s fence ‘without asking’

Who owns my garden fence? Boundary rules in England & Wales

One Mumsnet user wrote: “Should I be annoyed that my neighbour has painted their side of the fence without asking? My side looks awful now.

“If they had told me they were doing it, I would have arranged to get my side done too. It’s a totally different colour and then the top and sides are a new colour, as are all the drips on my side.

“They did this a few years ago too but it was the same colour and I still had to promptly paint my side because it looked so bad with the drips.”

The user explained how they said nothing at the time but thinks they will need to get their side painted now so that it matches.

However, they aren’t sure whose fence it actually is. They added: “I’m just annoyed because I think we usually have a good relationship.

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“I have a family party planned at the weekend and have been getting the garden looking presentable and it now looks so shoddy and horrible.”

Comments agreed with the user, explaining how “awful” it is that the neighbours didn’t inform the residents to begin with.

User @WilliamHam wrote: “How awful they didn’t consult you first to marry up dates. It’ll ruin your evening, this is fence wars.”

Another user, @girlmom21, said: “Why don’t you just find out who owns the fence? Why do you have to paint it the same colour?

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“I can honestly say I’ve never not enjoyed a get-together because someone’s neighbour painted the fence.”

User @JustTheOneSwan commented: “Depends whose fence it is. If it’s theirs, put your lovely own fence in front to cover it and if it’s yours, tell them to stop painting the fence. Knowing who owns it is the solution.”

Other Mumsnet users thought the homeowner was “overreacting” and recommended finding out whose side of the fence it is.

Britons should check the deeds to the house to find the boundary of their garden, which should outline where it begins and ends.

If you can’t find the correct information in the deeds, there is an option to search the Land Registry to identify who is responsible for either side of the fence.

It is only the owner of the fence who is usually allowed to make changes to it, including the other side of the fence on the neighbouring property.

Citizens Advice said: “You can’t make changes to your side without their permission, such as painting it.”

If you want to change anything about a fence that legally belongs to your neighbour, it is important to ask for their permission first.

This includes even if you’re just painting or staining your side of the fence as this can stop arguments and disputes.

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