How Can You Tell if a Fence is Yours?

Fences eventually need to be repaired or replaced due to normal wear and tear. Altering the fence’s appearance to match your house’s style is another option.

Although this is a common issue for homeowners contemplating renovations, it is also one that they may run into: am I renovating my neighbor’s fence or mine?

It’s imperative that you first identify ownership of the fence before making any significant alterations.

You can tell if a fence belongs to you or not by looking at where it is located on the property boundary. On your side of your property line, the fence belongs to you if it’s built on the other side.

When assessing if a fence is on your side of the property line or not, there are numerous approaches that can be used. Before making any major alterations to your yard, be sure you’ve read this.

Alternatively, you can learn how to build a new fence to replace the existing one once you’ve gathered all the necessary information.

How to Tell if a Fence is Yours

The procedure of renovating a fence can be made much simpler if you have good relations with the people who live next door.

People are usually unconcerned about improvements that make their homes look nicer. However, in many circumstances, you’ll have to figure out who owns the fence before you can do any work on it.

The first step is to locate the boundary line that separates your property from your neighbor’s. For this, you’ll need to get in touch with a land surveyor who can visit your home and do a thorough survey of your property’s boundaries.

Aside from the fact that this might be a pricey endeavor, Depending on the age of your home, you may be able to get this information from your local city hall.

Your side of the property line is free to do whatever you want with the fence.

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Even though informing your neighbor of your plans to renovate your shared fence is generally a good idea, it isn’t required. The fence is yours because it is located on your property.

What If the Fence Isn’t on My Side?

A fence on the other side of the property boundary may make renovations more difficult.

If the fence crosses the property boundary, it is the sole property of your neighbor. When a fence crosses a property line, both you and your neighbor share the duty.

No matter where the fence is, it’s always a good idea to check with your neighbor before starting any modifications. It is critical to have an agreement in place before pulling down and re-erecting a fence between properties.

What Side of the Fence Am I Responsible For?

It’s not necessarily your job to fix everything if the fence only needs routine upkeep and not a complete redo.

In order to maintain the fence, you simply need to take care of the side that faces your yard.

This means that your neighbor isn’t required to agree to your plans for your side of the fence when it comes to aesthetics.

Good Side vs. Bad Side of a Fence

It is common for fences, particularly wooden fences, to have two sides.

  • The “good side” is often referred to as the “completed side.”
  • The “poor side” is commonly referred to as the side showing structural components like support beams.

In many cases, the debate over which side of the fence belongs to whom boils down to the question of who has the better side.

It is possible that certain fences will alternate, while others will have both sides facing in different directions.

According to Red Wagon Properties, the side of the fence facing your yard has no influence on who owns the fence. This is contrary to what most people believe.

You don’t have to rush out and fix the fence if your furious neighbor asserts that the fence is your responsibility because the damaged side faces their yard.

The owner of the fence is determined only by the location of the fence in relation to the property line.

Who Pays for a New Fence?

The cost of erecting a new fence between homes is sometimes a point of contention among residents.

This is a difficult issue to answer because the answer is contingent on your relationship with your neighbor and the legal ownership of the fence along the property border.

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The expense of a new fence should be split if you and your partner both use the fence and have a healthy relationship.

This is a popular strategy to save money on something that both of you will benefit from. If your neighbor agrees that the fence needs to be renovated, they’ll probably pay for their portion without a fight.

There aren’t always kind neighbors who are eager to pay for their share of the fence. Your neighbor is under no duty to pay for a new fence if it is on your side of the property line.

There is no obligation on their part to pay for a new fence, even if it is in their best interest to do so.

The cost of maintaining a fence that you build yourself will be borne by you if you opt to do so. Maintenance and upkeep are not your neighbor’s obligation, just like a new fence.

What if My Neighbor Isn’t Maintaining the Fence?

An unattractive fence can’t be removed legally, which is a shame. To avoid having an unappealing yard, you may have to put up with your neighbor’s disregard for the fence and general maintenance.

However, if your neighbor isn’t pleasant, we advise you to tread carefully when approaching them directly with your concerns.

The following questions will help you persuade a neighbor to maintain their fence, according to MMC Fencing & Railing:

  • Does the fence follow local and Homeowner’s Association guidelines?
  • Is the fence a safety hazard?
  • Will the presence of this fence lower the value of your home?

Any of the above-mentioned situations warrant immediate attention, so don’t delay. If you’re worried about the safety or aesthetics of your neighbor’s fence, you can take your complaints to your HOA or city hall.

Even though your neighbor isn’t legally obligated to do anything, this is at least a positive step.

You may choose to build your own fence or plant bushes to disguise the ugly appearance of your neighbor’s fencing.

You may find it easier in the long run if you allow things to run their course.

Can I Make Changes to a Fence as a Renter?

All of the preceding information is irrelevant if you’re renting. To put it another way, if the fence is located on your side of a property boundary, this simply signifies that you are renting from your landlord.

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If you think the fence is in need of repair or if your neighbor isn’t maintaining it, contact your landlord. There is a good chance that they can help you.

Determine ownership with title deeds

Dig up your house’s title deeds to get a definitive answer. In the event that you’ve misplaced it, check with the conveyancing solicitor who handled your transaction for a replacement.

You’ll need to contact the Land Registry if you don’t see the information on the plans.

The “T” that marks one side of the boundary on the plans denotes who owns what.

There is a shared boundary if you can see an “H” (which is actually two Ts connected together).

Because this is a shared fence, you’ll need to discuss maintenance options with your neighbor. Alternatively, you could elect to split the costs 50/50 or take it one at a time.

It’s possible to buy out your neighbor and assume full possession of the property. Despite the fact that you’ll need to go through the correct legal process to make this official.

Fencing from the experts

It is our hope that this answers your issue about fencing obligations and helps avoid or resolve disputes with your neighbor.

When in doubt, the Land Registry contains a wealth of information you can consult. If that doesn’t work, you can always seek legal counsel from an attorney or your local council’s planning department.

If you have any further questions about fencing, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our knowledgeable staff at Birkdale.


Simply looking at where the fence crosses the property line can tell you whether or not it belongs to you; if it’s shared between you and your neighbor, this is an easy way to find out who owns the fence.

“Good fences make good neighbors,” as Robert Frost famously stated. However, there will be occasions when you have to take affairs of a fence into your own hands on a regular basis.

Make sure to consult with your neighbors before making any major modifications!

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