Who owns what fence? Find out which side of the fence is yours in three simple steps

How to protect your home from storm damage

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Record winds in excess of 90mph are blasting entire regions of the UK, sending garden fences and debris flying. Met Office warnings of severe damage to property have been issued across the country, with the aftermath of Storm Eunice expected to cost Brits hundreds in repair costs. Before committing to expensive repairs to your garden fence, you should first identify which side you are responsible for. This is how.

How to tell which side of the fence is yours

Fence ownership is a common uncertainty for homeowners, with few people knowing which side of their garden fence belongs to them.

As Storm Eunice sweeps the nation, Brits living in terraced or semi-detached homes could quickly find themselves in a dispute with their neighbours – but how can you solve it?

With severe damage set to batter properties across the UK, now is the time to look into the legalities of your home.

While all the information you need is usually in the deeds to your property, there are a few key areas you should study.

Finding the boundary

Check the deeds to your house to find the boundary of your garden.

This documentation should outline where your boundary begins and ends.

Once you have located the boundary of your property, you should be able to tell which side of the fence belongs to you.

In some cases, the boundary listed in the deeds could be outdated for two reasons:

  • The boundary has been altered
  • Your neighbour has been using your land without realising

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

Search the Registry of Deeds

The Registry of Deeds (ROD) maintains records of land that is not available through the Land Registry.

Details of unregistered land will be kept in the ROD and can be accessed by members of the public.

AXA Insurance said: “If you need to access information about your property, you’ll have to search records between 1923 and 1989 in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

“Records from the January 1, 1990, have been computerised so you’ll have to visit a land and property services customer information centre to access them.”

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Check the title plans

This is one of the easiest ways to see which fence belongs to which neighbour.

Title plans may feature a ‘T’ mark showing the boundaries of your property, as well as who is liable to maintain them.

According to AXA Insurance, a ‘T’ mark on one side of the boundary indicates that the person on that side is responsible for the fence.

If a ‘T’ is marked on both sides, responsibility is shared between both neighbours.

This is known as a party boundary.

One of the main issues with title plans is that there is sometimes no ‘T’ mark at all.

When this is the case, you will need to find out whether there is assumed responsibility for the boundary.

Assuming responsibility occurs when either you or your neighbour take charge of placing and maintaining the fence on your own accord.

However, if both parties have been maintaining the fence, responsibility should continue to be shared.

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