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By Anns

Dorset, United Kingdom Gb

My neighbour has just replaced the wooden fence separating our properties after it came down in the recent storms. I always grow my sweet peas up this fence as it is the only suitable place but she is saying that I am not allowed to fix anything or grow anything up the fence without her written permission and if I do I am breaking the law. Does anybody know if this is true please?



She doesn't sound like a very nice neighbour, so just do it anyway. Can you really imagine the policeman comeing to your door "Morning madam, we have received a report that your sweet peas are trespassing on the neighbours fence"! Look good in the local paper also.

1 Mar, 2014


She is mainly an OK neighbour, just has a few odd traits (as do we all) Now you have actually put it in writting it does sound ridiculous. Thank you.

1 Mar, 2014


Compromise. Use a few bamboos and some netting that might touch the fence but isn't secured to it.

1 Mar, 2014


what an odd thing to say! i would love sweet peas growing up fence from a neighbouring property but yet all i get is ivy and ivy and more ivy! sweat peas aren't really known for their destructive behaviour, so i would suggest the same Buddle and grow them there but not on the fence or get her permission in writing and frame it on the wall. :)

1 Mar, 2014


I've no doubt that the police WILL visit you if someone makes a complaint against you. They have a duty to attend if someone makes a complaint and they will probably turn up quoting section 5 (public order offences likely to cause a breach of the peace) and criminal damage. It's a shame really because they don't normally attend if you get burgled and just give you a crime number.

Having said that I would check that the fence is on their land. If it's partly on your land then you've got some negotiating power... Either they move it or allow you to grow your your sweet peas on it.

1 Mar, 2014


Your neighbour is entirely correct, I'm afraid. If you want to grow something that climbs up in that area, you're legally supposed to put up your own support, not attached to the neighbour's fence, which is their property, so really you need to put in a couple of fence posts on your side, not touching her fence, and erect a trellis, again, not touching her fence.

It might sound bonkers, but in reality, there is a damage risk to any fence which is supporting a climbing plant - if someone plants an ivy or jasmine officinale up it, the weight eventually will break the fence, it will be more vulnerable in high winds, and more quickly allow rotting of the wood to take place because its kept damp by the plant. All this will inevitably shorten the life of the fence, and fences are expensive.

Now that she has apprised you of the law, should you go ahead and use her fence, she can bring a court action against you.

1 Mar, 2014


And they say "Good fences make good neighbours"

1 Mar, 2014


As per the above your neighbour is correct unless the fence is on the common boundary.

Nobody owns a boundary because they cannot be owned. A boundary is where the limits of two parcels of land meet. You own one side, your neighbour the other. You need to check your deeds to check.

If the fence stands on solely their land then do not attach anything to it and you need to accept that.

Why not offer a compromise - go halves on the replaced fence otherwise erect your own fence and grow what you want on it.

You can download your own and the neighbours deeds and plans from the Land Registry for £3 per document.

1 Mar, 2014


Thanks for all the advice. I think the trellis is the best course for me to avoid any unpleasantness.

2 Mar, 2014


Sounds like you have an unpleasant neighbour. Be careful. - I read of someone taken to court because they painted their side of the fence !

2 Mar, 2014


I was going to offer to paint my side for her. Her side is only 6 inches from her garage wall so cannot be reached.

3 Mar, 2014

How do I say thanks?

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