Whether buying a home or looking to improve how your garden looks, you will likely want to know, “How to tell which fence is yours?”.
It certainly isn’t always the fence on the left!
In order to tell whether the fence is yours or your neighbours, unfortunately you are going to have to review the Title Plan for your property.
Here is an example plan which would allow you to determine which fence is mine and if there is a party wall.
The symbol you are looking for a is a T. The side of the boundary which has the T represents that they are responsible for this boundary. If there is a full H, e.g. a T on each side, then it means that there is a party wall or boundary, which is typical with a terraced home or a semi-detached property.
The T symbol will always be orientated to the line that it marks, therefore it may appear upside down or rotated.
House A – A Semi-Detached Property who is responsible for their left hand fence and has a Party wall with their neighbour.
House B – A Semi-Detached Property who is responsible for their left hand fence and has a Party wall with their neighbour.
House C – A Detached Property who is responsible for their left and right hand fence and has no party walls.
Who decides which party is responsible?
The original land owner who sub-divides his property is the one responsible for determining which side is responsible for which fence, therefore there is no way to tell simply by looking which fence belongs to who.
If you would like to order the Title Plan for a property in the UK then you can do so for £3 using the Land Registry online service. Anyone can order the Title Plan for a property, regardless of whether you are the owner or not.
Unfortunately the register will only show information concerning the ownership of boundary features where this information was available in the deeds lodged for registration.
My Title Plan doesn’t show which fence is mine?
If the Title Plan doesn’t define boundary owners then you will need to talk with neighbours to understand historically who has maintained fences. If direct neighbours are also new to a property then you can check with the homes at either end of the road. Hopefully one of them maintains both sides and the other just one. This will allow you to determine the current precedent.
Myths and Rumours
The fence with the smooth side facing me is my neighbours fence – False. Although often the case there is no requirement for neighbours to orientate the “nice” side of the fence to face your property.
My neighbour has to put up a fence on their boundary – False
There is no law stating that boundaries must be fenced or walled. For example many people have an open front garden.
I can force my neighbour to maintain their fence – False
Due to the fact that no law is in place to enforce boundary fences/walls it is then also not possible to make a neighbour maintain theirs.
Hopefully we have answered your questions regarding fences, “Which fence is mine?” and, “How to tell which fence side is yours?”. But if not let us know and we will get back to you as soon as possible.