How to Negotiate a Fence with Your Neighbour

The old saying goes “good fences make good neighbours” but sometimes when you want to build a fence on your property it can cause conflicts. It is important to make sure that you and your neighbour are on the same page when you are building a fence, so that you can avoid animosity and make the experience a positive one for both of you.

So what should you keep in mind when it comes to negotiating a fence with your neighbour? Here are some important tips.

  • First of all, make sure that the fence you are building meets the council guidelines that have been set in place. These will help to maintain harmony and avoid potential disputes. Check out the guidelines and responsibilities as a fence owner that you should be aware of before you start to build.
  • Before you do any repairs or adjustments that could alter or damage a fence that divides your property that you both share, consult your neighbour first. This includes attaching anything to the fence such as lattice work, shade sails, signs or canvas.
  • Before committing to anything regarding the fence, initiate a casual conversation with your neighbour to gauge their opinion on the fencing issue and to discuss your options.
  • Obtain quotes on different types of fencing products from your timber merchant in North Wales so that you can see what your options are. Discuss this with your neighbour so that they can weigh in on what option they would like.
  • Start the discussions and the gathering of quotes quite early, so that everyone has a lot of time to think about it. Don’t wait until your fence is completely falling apart and the matter is urgent.
  • If you and your neighbour have decided to split the cost of a fence that will benefit both of you, agree the costs and the materials upfront and put them in writing. This includes the height, timeframe, colour, quotes and other important aspects of the fence, such as where you will buy fencing supplies in North Wales. Don’t just build a fence and then knock on next door expecting reimbursement.
  • Make sure that you have figured out the official boundary line of your property. If there is a dispute and you and your neighbour aren’t sure of where a fence should go, you can source land title documents from your local council.
  • Consider whether you will be building the fence yourself or having a contractor build it. If you are hiring someone to set up the fence, decide which neighbour will be liaising with the contractor.
  • Typically for a fence that you both share each neighbour will be liable for half the cost of the fencing work. However, in the case where one neighbour wants more work done than is necessary or wants fancier features on the fence, they should pay the extra cost.
  • Also, in some situations one neighbour might want to replace a fence for aesthetic reasons while the other neighbour is happy leaving the existing fence the way it is. These situations are tricky, so you will need to work out a solution between you and your neighbours. If you are the one who wants to replace the fence for aesthetic reasons, you might want to offer to pay the bill yourself. Although the fence might be something you want, it might not necessarily be theirs so keep this in mind.
  • Remember that people have different priorities. Your neighbours might be saving for school, a wedding or a big trip and might not be putting home improvements at the top of their list.
  • If you end up paying for the fence yourself, make sure that it is located completely within your property line so that this doesn’t bring up any issues in the future.
  • If there is a dispute about a fence you should aim to find a solution quickly, before resentment and anger build up too much. Talk to your neighbour as soon as possible so that you can seek help and resolve the issue.

These are just a few important points that you can keep in mind when it comes to keeping the peace with your neighbour while building a fence.