Boundary Fence Policy
BRAUNSTONE TOWN COUNCIL Open Spaces and General Boundaries
Policy & Guidance Notes Adopted - August 2014
Introduction – The Council sometimes receives enquiries about boundaries and fences etc., particularly when they are adjacent to open spaces and land which the Council maintains. The following notes have therefore been produced for the guidance of adjacent residents and land owners.
Boundaries - General Guidance (Source - Land Registry for England and Wales) -There is no legal foundation for the belief that boundary features on the right (or on the left) as you look at the property from the front are automatically owned by the owner of the property. Nor is it the case that the post and rails of a fence are necessarily on the owner's side. Deeds may contain wording where one owner covenants (promises) to maintain a wall or fence but such covenants do not necessarily mean that the owner concerned owns the wall or fence.
Your title register or your neighbour's might give information about who owns or is responsible for boundary features such as fences, walls or hedges but generally only if this information was mentioned in the title deeds when the property was first registered; or if your property was originally part of a larger piece of land or property and provision was made in the transfer from the seller to the first owner, for its ownership or responsibility.
In any deeds that do contain information, the most common marking on deed plans indicating who owns and is responsible for the maintenance and repair of a boundary feature, is a 'T' mark. Such a mark normally means that the owner of the property into which the 'T' extends owns the boundary feature and is responsible for its maintenance. But you must read the wording in the deed to make sure this is the case.
Shared Boundaries – It is possible that some residential boundaries abutting open spaces (particularly at Thorpe Astley) had been conveyed as 'shared boundaries'. The first step in establishing shared boundaries would be to look at the neighbours title deeds. These may indicate whether the Council or the Neighbours are entirely responsible for the fence structure or alternatively whether the fence is a party structure in which case there is a presumption that the costs will be shared equally.
Hedgerows - Braunstone Town Council has on occasions received requests from local householders (whose property adjoins Town Council owned land) to assist them in maintaining their side of the common boundary hedgerow. A Policy was adopted in January 2008 whereby the Council would in certain circumstances offer local residents assistance in helping to maintain and cutting back their side of the hedgerow. Please do not hesitate to ask for a copy of the Policy if you have problems with a boundary hedge on land owned or managed by this Council.
Fences and Shared Boundaries Policy – Braunstone Town Council will assume that the maintenance and or replacement of any boundary fences, adjoining land owned or managed by the Council, is the responsibility of each individual householder. The Town Council will not accept any responsibility for boundary fences or structures unless it can be demonstrated that the householder has the benefit of a covenant or party wall agreement.
Should you wish to request that the Town Council accepts responsibility for the maintenance and or replacement of any boundary fences please write to the Executive Officer and Town Clerk, Braunstone Town Council, Civic Centre, Kingsway, Braunstone Town, Leicester, LE3 3PP. Applicants and adjacent owners must provide a copy of their Deeds or Land Charges Search to demonstrate that they have the benefit of a covenant or party wall agreement.
BRAUNSTONE TOWN COUNCIL BOUNDARY HEDGEROWS POLICY
ADOPTED 10TH JANUARY 2008
Braunstone Town Council has in the past received requests from local householders (whose property adjoins Town Council owned land) to assist them in maintaining their side of the common boundary hedgerow.
The Council has previously declined to accept any liability for the maintenance of hedgerows on the private occupier's side of the boundary.
The Policy was, however, reviewed on 10th January 2007 and it has been decided that, in future, the Council will consider applications for assistance from the adjacent owner/occupier subject to the following conditions:-
i) The owner/occupier agreeing to meet one third of the total cost,
ii) The applicant must be a single pensioner, or pensioner couple.
The applicant must provide evidence that they are in receipt of Council Tax Benefit or Disability Allowance.
NOTE: The above Policy is only applicable to requests from local residents to assist in maintaining their side of a boundary hedgerow which lies directly adjacent to Braunstone Town Council owned land.
The Town Council does, however, fully accept any responsibility it may have under the High Hedges and Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. This Law applies to evergreen or semi-evergreen trees or shrubs over a height of two metres which form a hedge. For the purposes of the Act, a hedge consists of a line of two or more trees or shrubs. It does not cover single or deciduous trees. The High Hedge legislation takes precedence over Tree Preservation Orders.