My neighbour is threatening to call the police because I painted my side of his fence – what are my rights?

My neighbour is threatening to call the police because I painted my side of his fence – what are my rights?

BOUNDARY disputes are a common gripe among neighbours and now a homeowner has been threatened with police action after painting a fence in their garden.

This may seem like a harmless activity, but you could be in the wrong if the fence is actually owned by your neighbour – here are your rights.

Decorating or painting your fence may be tempting to make your outdoor space more appealing, but it could land you in legal trouble depending on the boundary of your property.

Posting on Quora, a homeowner has revealed that they painted a fence that their neighbour put up between the two houses.

A user explained that their neighbour is now threatening to call the police if they don't replace the entire fence.

Fence replacement can cost £1,750 on average, according to Checkatrade, which makes it important to understand whether they are responsible for it.

Unfortunately, if the neighbour is responsible for that side of the boundary then any fence they install belongs to them, meaning a homeowner shouldn't really paint their side as it doesn't belong to them.

Law firm Brown Turner Ross said: "If your neighbour owns the fence then you are not permitted to make any changes to the fence, even if it is on your side of the property boundary, without their permission.

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"Politely asking them for their permission can be the best way to go about making changes to a fence, as acting without permission can lead to repercussions in the future."

Gardening supplies firm Lawsons highlights that the boundary owner must keep the fence in good condition but they are the only one who can make changes to it, even on the side facing a neighbouring property.

Lawsons said: "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."

You can check which fence you are responsible for by downloading your property deeds.

These can be purchased from the Land Registry website for £7.This will show the layout and boundaries of the land you own.

It may also have a T mark that shows which fence side is yours to maintain.

You may be able to get the your local council to solve a dispute or use a mediation service.

There may still be a fee but it will be cheaper than using a solicitor.

This homeowner isn't the only one who has been caught up in a fence feud – one person was left fuming when their neighbour's fence was blown over into their garden and not removed straight away.

Driveway disputes are another source for disputes between neighbours – we reveal your rights if someone parks over your driveway.

Plus, here's what you can do if your neighbour’s hedge is taking over your garden.

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