Storm Damage to Your Fence – Who is Responsible for Fixing It?


Katy Owen, Associate of Chartered Institute of Legal Executive | 22nd January 2024

It is a commonly held assumption that a property owner is always responsible for the boundary on the right-hand side and your neighbour is responsible for the boundary on the left. However, this is actually incorrect as the ownership and responsibility of boundaries depends on the individual circumstances of each property.

In order to establish the ownership of the boundaries of your property, you will need to review the title deeds. Over 85% of land in England and Wales is registered land, meaning you can obtain the title information from the Land Registry’s website. Copies of the Title Register, transfer deeds and plans cost £3 each and can be obtained by visiting GOV.UK Land & Property Information

Land Registry Title Plans are not designed to show the exact boundaries of a property but many deed plans, attached to a Transfer deed, will show the boundaries of the property and will often designate who is responsible for the maintenance of the boundaries.

T Marks Explained

Where a plan shows the boundaries of the property marked with “T” marks, the boundaries for which you are responsible are shown by an inward “T” marked on the plan. In this example, the property edged in red is responsible for maintaining the rear and right-hand side boundaries and the neighbour to the left is responsible for maintaining the left-hand side boundary.

Other Ways of Specifying Ownership of Boundaries

Occasionally, the Transfer deed may also specify who is responsible for maintaining the boundaries with wording such as in the below extract –

“The Purchaser hereby covenants with the Transferor to maintain and repair the fence wall or other means of enclosures on the north and east sides of the property”.

Where the ownership of the boundaries is not specified within the title deeds, the boundaries are deemed to be party boundaries. This means that the parties who share the boundaries are jointly responsible for maintaining them. If you wish to carry out any works to the party boundaries you must discuss this with the relevant neighbour before doing so. The cost of any repairs should be shared between the parties.

What Happens if You Still Don’t Know?

In the event that it is not clear who is responsible, it is always the best solution to seek to reach a mutual agreement with your neighbour regarding the repair and future maintenance of the fence before carrying out any work.

Once you have established who is responsible for repairing the fence, it is important to check if any work could be covered by insurance policies, depending on the nature of the damage.

If you have any further questions regarding boundary issues, please contact a member of our team who will be happy to help.