Know your Boundaries

English Countryside House

With the ill north wind blowing this morning I was sitting in my garden watching my rickety old fence about to give up on its last legs. It got me thinking as to who is responsible for the maintenance should it blow down.

The first port of call is to check your deeds. Most modern houses will mark ownership of the boundary either in the description of the covenants (promises) to maintain or by reference to a plan often setting out the responsibility by reference to geography (for example the north eastern boundary) or alternatively by reference to a mark (often an inverted “T” mark is used).

But what if your deeds are silent on the question of boundaries as a lot of older houses are. In these circumstances it is a little more complicated.

The property information form which will have been completed by your seller when you purchased should give some insight into who has repaired boundaries in the past and often people will try and stick to traditional maintenance agreements even if they are not set in stone.

There is also a general “rule of thumb” where deeds are silent which states that the left hand and rear boundary (when looking at the property from the roadway) would be your responsibility. As I say this is just a rule of thumb and it is difficult to place reliance on it but at least it is a starting point.