If you are planning to build a garden fence on or near a shared boundary with your neighbour, you may be wondering whether you need a party wall agreement. In this article, we will explore what a party wall agreement is and whether you need one for your garden fence.
What is a party wall agreement?
A party wall agreement is a legally binding agreement between neighbours who share a boundary, either a wall or a fence. It outlines the rights and responsibilities of each party when undertaking building work that may affect the shared structure. The agreement is required under the Party Wall Act 1996, which applies to England and Wales, and serves to resolve any disputes that may arise between neighbours during the building process.
Do I need a party wall agreement for a garden fence?
The short answer is that it depends on the circumstances. According to the Party Wall Act 1996, a party wall agreement is only required if the fence in question is going to be built on the boundary line, or if it is going to be built astride the boundary line. Essentially, if half of the fence is going to be on your neighbour`s land, then you will need to get their permission before proceeding.
If there is already an existing fence on the boundary line and you simply want to replace it, you may not need a party wall agreement. However, it is always best to consult your neighbour and come to an agreement before starting any work.
If your neighbour refuses to agree to a new fence on the boundary line, you can still build the fence on your own land, but it will need to be set back at least 30cm from the boundary line to comply with the law.
What are the benefits of having a party wall agreement?
While it may seem like a hassle to go through the process of obtaining a party wall agreement, there are several benefits to doing so. Firstly, it can help to avoid any potential disputes with your neighbour over the boundary line or the fence itself. By having a written agreement in place, both parties will understand their rights and responsibilities, and any issues that may arise can be resolved more easily.
Secondly, having a party wall agreement can provide legal protection in the event of unforeseen circumstances, such as damage to the fence or other property during the building process. Without an agreement in place, you could be held liable for any damage caused, regardless of who is at fault.
In conclusion, if you are planning to build a garden fence on or near a shared boundary with your neighbour, it is always best to consult with them and come to an agreement before starting any work. If the fence is going to be built on the boundary line or astride it, you will need to obtain a party wall agreement to ensure compliance with the law and avoid any potential disputes in the future.