There is no general rule about whether you are responsible for the boundary fence on the left or right or rear of the property.
If your property is registered at the Land Registry you can obtain what is called an ‘office copy’ comprising a title plan and register details. You can also obtain copies of any documents referred to in the register that are held by the Land Registry. Deeds may contain covenants showing who is responsible for maintaining a boundary. But such covenants do not necessarily confirm ownership of the boundary.
The Land Registry plan will only show general boundaries of the property. It is important to look at the deeds and documents if available and they are not guaranteed to confirm ownership. There are cases where there are ‘T’ marks on the plan and which include wording such as “to maintain the boundaries marked with an inward facing ‘T’ mark”. Newer properties tend to have some indication provided by the Builder. If your neighbour’s property is registered with the Land Registry you can also obtain the office copies held in respect of their property.
If the ownership of the wall or fence is not evident from the office copies the party shown to have maintained the fence may be deemed to be the owner of it.
In the event that the party wall or fence has been jointly maintained or has not been maintained by either party it may be possibly regarded as party i.e. jointly owned by the parties.
It is always worth checking with the Conveyancer who assisted you with the purchase of the property. Sometimes unregistered title deeds may have been retained and information may have been contained in these documents. Generally the Vendor of a property will have completed a Seller’s Property Information form and you may be able to establish from this who was responsible for maintaining the fence prior to your ownership from the information provided.
To find information about a property in England or Wales, even if you do not own it, search by address to find the owner, how far its general boundaries extend at www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry. You will need to order an official copy of the register. There is a fee payable for each document of £3.00.
The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.