Can I Build A Fence Next To My Neighbours?

  • Learn about property boundaries.
  • What to check before you build a new fence.

It’s almost time for everyone’s annual garden DIY fiasco! We’re answering your concerns so that you know whether or not you can build that new fence.

New fence or new headache?

Before you break ground to put up your new fence – no, before you even buy your new fence – there are a few things you should check.

It may not seem like it matters too much. It’s your property, you own it, you can put a fence up, right? Well, depending on where you want to put that fence, it might not be as clear-cut as that.

Fencing completely encasing a property’s garden for maximum privacy.

Property boundaries

You see, every property has a certain amount of land that is included within its boundaries. You might have this information alongside the deed to your house, but it’s easy to obtain if you don’t because your local council will have copies of the maps and boundaries for your area.

Unfortunately, the available maps and any title plan that you have from when you purchased the property, might not be 100% accurate. But they do give a very good guideline of the boundaries between residences and other buildings.

In most cases, if you’ve just moved into your new home, your neighbour and the previous owner probably already had their own fences put up and may have a pre-arranged boundary agreement. Unless you feel that the boundary line which already exists is unfair, there’s no reason to question it.

You can, however, apply to record the exact boundary of the property, and have a boundary line corrected if you feel that a mistake has been made.

What is a boundary line?

Exactly what you’d expect: A boundary line records the exact area for any given piece of land. It separates you and your neighbours, tells a commercial company how much land they have to use, and overall, it’s just a good guideline for everyone in any city, town, village etc. to stick to.

That way, everyone has their own bit of land, that they potentially own and paid for. In the case of rented properties, this land will obviously belong to the owner of the rental and not any person or persons that are renting at the time.

Renters don’t own the land they live on; they’re simply borrowing it for a fee.

Resolving issues with your neighbour

In the event that you feel your neighbour is too far over into what you consider your property, you should first attempt to resolve the dispute with them before seeking further aid.

Examples of this might be if they’ve recently put a fence up and you feel it’s within your boundary line. This could have been an accident if you don’t have any kind of fence up, yourself, and you should definitely try to get to the bottom of the issue before they finish building.

See Also
Garden privacy

Before you contact your council about the issue, also take into account any potential party walls that you and your neighbour share. As long as they’re on their side of that wall or boundary line, there isn’t really anything you can do about it.

A beautiful example of a boundary fence in a well-groomed garden.

Building a new fence

So, you’ve checked your boundary line, you know that you’re inside of it and completely on your property.

Now, yes, you can build that fence. It doesn’t matter if your neighbour already has a fence up. As long as you remain inside your own boundary line, you can put that fence right next to their fence! The only problem would be if you damaged their fence during the building process.

That would mean that you’re liable for damages, provided your neighbour’s fence is within their side of the boundary line. Because of these building accidents, it’s usually best to leave a little space between both fences where possible.

It may feel like you shouldn’t have to because it’s your land and you don’t want to lose anymore of it by moving your fence inwards, but what’s an extra centimetre or two going to do? You won’t notice it, and we’re sure you’d rather move your fence than pay for any damages.

Then, it’s all about finishing the build on your fence. That could mean completely fencing up your garden with a huge 6ft wooden fence or deciding to go down the white picket fence route. Whatever pleases you!

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