I have received a note from my next door neighbour drawing attention to the fact that the boundary fence between our properties is dilapidated and in need of serious repair. He has offered to carry out the work on my behalf provided I pay. What should I do?
You must first establish who owns the boundary fence. If it is your neighbour’s fence then clearly you should not have to pay. If the fence is yours then the liability for maintaining the fence is yours. If your neighbour has offered to do the work and the cost he’s quoting sounds reasonable, then this would appear a genuine gesture on his part – provided he replaces the fence on a ”like for like” basis. If he’s planning something different then you must be happy with what is being proposed and what it will ultimately look like. Remember, certain types of fencing can look attractive from one side only and in this instance as the fence is yours then presumably the attractive side should be on your side of the fence! If the boundary is a party wall or fence, then the responsibility for its maintenance and cost of its repair should be shared equally between you.
• Emyr Pierce is Managing Partner of Emyr Pierce Solicitors in Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Western Mail Conveyancer of the Year, specialising in Domestic and Commercial Property.