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Antony Antoniou – Luxury Property Expert

“Seeking Compensation: Collapsing Fence Due to Neighbor’s Removal of Flowerbed – Can They Be Held Liable?”

“Seeking Compensation: Collapsing Fence Due to Neighbor’s Removal of Flowerbed – Can They Be Held Liable?”

Q. Several years ago, I noticed that my garden fence began collapsing into my neighbor’s garden. The reason behind this issue was that our shared boundary relied on a raised soil bed in both the front and back gardens. To my surprise, I discovered that the previous neighbors had removed the soil bed in their back garden without informing me. Consequently, the fence gradually weakened over time, leading to its collapse.

Since my neighbor’s residence is a council house, I reached out to the council for assistance. However, they informed me that the boundary is shared, and the council is not liable for the damage caused to my garden and my neighbor’s property. They insisted that I should bear the cost of replacing the raised soil bed in my neighbor’s garden and repairing the fence. Additionally, they placed the responsibility on me for preventing my garden from encroaching into my neighbor’s property.

Reluctantly, I paid £800 to repair the fence. Unfortunately, this proved to be only a temporary fix, as the fence is once again on the verge of collapsing into my neighbor’s garden. Replacing the soil bed in my neighbor’s garden would require a substantial investment amounting to thousands of pounds, and there is no guarantee that council tenants would refrain from removing it, just as the previous tenants did.

I am seeking advice on the available options in this situation. Despite my efforts to dispute the matter with the council, I was verbally informed that they lack the financial resources and are unwilling to address the damages caused by their previous tenants.

A. While the absence of specific provisions in your deeds may seem discouraging, I believe there is a strong likelihood, especially if both properties are considerably old and the current situation has persisted over time, that you possess a legal entitlement to receive support. It is crucial for the council to uphold the soil bed to prevent your garden from collapsing into your neighbor’s property.

The fact that it was the council tenants who removed the flower bed should not detract from the issue at hand. It is the council’s responsibility to reinstate the beds in order to ensure the necessary protection you require.

In the event that they fail to take action, although I am generally cautious about suggesting self-help measures, it would be reasonable for you to arrange for the required work to be carried out on the council’s side and subsequently request reimbursement for the incurred expenses.

If the council refuses to compensate you, you will need to assess whether it is worthwhile to initiate legal proceedings against them, compelling them to cover the costs. Naturally, the decision to pursue this course of action will depend on the actual expenses associated with the necessary work.

This is a legal overview, not legal advice, you must always seek professional advice before deciding on a course of action.

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