Understanding Boundary Issues

Understanding Boundary Issues

As property owners we all want to protect the land around our home adequately, whether this is with the use of high-quality fencing or stainless steel railings. One of the areas of contention surrounding this is often to do with not understanding property boundaries correctly. This can lead to problems with neighbours, so it's important to know exactly what you're responsible for before you start work.

Do You Have To Fence Off Your Land?

There is no legal responsibility for you to install a fence or other perimeter structure, such as using stainless steel railings, around your land. The boundary will be identified in your property deeds, but these will only give a general guide as to where the line lies rather than specific details. It is entirely up to you and your circumstances as to whether you put up railings or a fence around the front or rear of your property.

Which Side Are You Responsible For?

Often it is unclear which side of the property you're responsible for when it comes to fencing. Unless it is specifically stated in the deeds that you own or have particular responsibility for one side of the boundary, any of the owners that share a side can choose to put up fencing or another structure. If you're doing this without the permission of your next-door neighbours, then you should ensure that the fence is entirely on your side of the boundary line and that the neighbours fully understand this. Otherwise it could lead to issues in the future if they believe the fence sits on the boundary line.

How High Can a Fence Be?

If you're installing a fence or wall, then you don't require planning permission if it's less than two metres high. There are different rules that apply if your property neighbours a footpath or road. In these instances, the fence or wall can only be one metre high without the need for planning permission. You'll need to apply to the local authority before installing anything higher than this. Before you put up any type of fencing, you should check that there are no restrictions on height in the property deeds.

Once you have an understanding of all the legal and neighbourly responsibilities, you can choose a design of fencing or railing that suits your property. These are available in a wide variety of styles, including contemporary and period, as well as simple and more elaborate designs.