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Lawsons are the largest independent timber, building & fencing merchants in London and the South East of England. Established in 1921 Lawsons now have a number of branches offering the complete range of building materials.

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Fencing and the Law - Know Your Rights Before Choosing New Fencing

Boundary disputes are unfortunately extremely common in the UK. Disagreements arise regularly and for all sorts of reasons. There may be a dispute over where the boundary actually lies or there may be disagreement over who is responsible for maintenance or repairs of any existing fences or hedges.

Because there are many older properties in the UK, there are some complex situations with regard to boundaries. Old by-laws, rights of way and historically altered gardens may all contribute to the confusion which sometimes arises.

If there is an ongoing dispute over who owns how much land and this is affecting your ability to replace your fences, it is important to refer to deeds in order to establish what was originally set out when the properties were established and then to compare that to what is evident.

Sometimes, boundaries change over the years due to one householder in the past having encroached on their neighbour’s property by stealth and if this has happened on your property it is then necessary to take steps to regain your land; often this is only possible through a solicitor.

Who can paint or otherwise alter a fence once it’s up?

Only the owner of the fence may make any changes to it, even where the other side of the fence is on neighbouring property. This means that if you erect a fence in your garden, your neighbour must ask for permission before painting or staining their side of it. Similarly, they may not grow trailing plants up it or any similar activity which may cause it damage.

As the owner, you must keep the fence in good repair and ensure that it is safe and does not present any danger to those around it.

If you are in any doubt whatsoever about your fencing, it may be a good idea to contact the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

Fortunately, most neighbours are thoughtful and careful with their fencing and will respect yours; if you’ve decided that it’s time for new fencing, make sure you let your neighbours know well in advance of work beginning. It would be most unfortunate if your new fencing was to be erected on the same day that they’d planned a garden party!

Keep them informed, tell them of your plans and let them know that they can feel free to stain their side if they choose to. This is always the fairest thing to do because then they may have a say in the overall look of their garden. Fencing can have a big visual impact on a garden so if you’re expecting them to like what you’ve chosen, it’s definitely thoughtful to allow them a hand in decorating their own side.

Lawsons supply a huge range of fencing to suit all tastes and budgets; visit our fencing selection today and choose from styles such as traditional Picket, Fence Panels, Closeboard and more unusual fencing including Birds Mouth, Knee Rail and Chainlink.