So my question! I'm sure they can ask me the remove the fence from their property as we have nothing in writing regarding the move toward their side - fair enough. But - can I be forced to have to move it instead? Without the fence our front gardens are completely open to one another - which makes the walls and gates around their property kind of pointless. I would replant the hedge at some point - but that's going to take a few years to look anything like a proper boundary - so just want to know if I have to provide one if asked in this scenario if poss!
I assume you're the sole owner of the fence - i.e. it's not shared?
The neighbour could go through the courts to have you remove the fence from their property, but they wouldn't be able to insist you move it to a specific location at your expense. Basically you could remove it and leave a gap there, and it would then be down to the neighbour to erect their own fence.
It's very petty to argue over an inch and a half of which they've probably not even noticed. The most stupid part about it is if they have to pay to have their own fence erected, it'll go in exactly the same place because of the pipe on the boundary line. This would definitely be worth mentioning to them as they've probably not thought this through.
I would call/speak to them and say they've got 3 options
- You will remove the fence at your own expense, but will not be re-erecting the fence and therefore leave it as an open gap - you have no obligation in law to fence your boundary* (*only in certain circumstances)
- You will remove the fence at your own expense, and they can pay for erecting their own fence - point out that this will most likely be in the same position due to the pipework on the boundary
- The neighbour accepts the position of the fence
If the neighbour accepts option 3 to leave the fence, then i would get them to sign an agreement to say they've agreed to the positioning of the fence. This will save some hassle in several years time if they decide to bring it up again.