Left or Right? Which side of the fence am I responsible for? T marks the spot
Let us start by addressing the most common myth when it comes to boundaries – the left hand side rule. According to this rule of thumb, you are responsible for the boundary feature (be it wall, fence or hedge) on the left hand side of your property as you stand facing towards your back garden.
However, there is no legal authority which confirms that you are responsible for the left hand side (or even right hand side) of your property.
Next is the belief that if the posts of the fence are on your side, then that fence is your responsibility, and vice versa for your neighbour. This leads to the natural conclusion that if the posts are in the middle of the fence, then it is jointly owned. Whilst this may be an indication, it is by no means to be relied upon in law. The positioning of the posts can very much depend on the type of fence used and indeed Boundary Solutions have come across many instances in which the posts are on As side of the property but the title documents confirm that B is responsible.
This brings us nicely onto the actual way one can be certain which side of the fence they are responsible for – the title deeds. Once upon a time, land was owned in big chunks by some lucky people, who then decided to divide it up into smaller parcels and sell each off. It is the initial lucky land owner (or more likely his solicitor) who decided who assigns responsibility for the boundaries of the newly created smaller plots of land, and that is if he or she remembers to do so in the “conveyance deed” or “transfer deed”. This could be indicated through the wording on the deed itself, or if the solicitor was feeling particularly helpful – by drawing the infamous inward facing “T” mark on the boundaries which the property is responsible for.
So if you get hold of a copy of your title plan from the Land Registry, locate the “T” mark and problem solved. Unfortunately, in our combined experience of in excess of 25 years, we have come across a very few of Land Registry title plans that contain this mark. We are unsure if this is because the Land Registry either cannot or will not do so, but this leaves one with very little choice other than to obtain and interpret the original deed that partitioned the land.
Whichfenceismine.co.uk is a specialist platform comprised of expert boundary professionals with extensive experience in interpreting and reviewing title deeds to confirm boundary responsibility.
This article is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute technical, financial, legal advice or any other type of professional advice and is no substitute for specific advice based on your individual circumstances. We do not accept responsibility or liability for any actions taken based on the information in this article.