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13 January 2007 @ 08:26 pm
Good fences make good neighbours, that's how it goes, right?  
When my mum first moved to the house I now live in, there was a vacant piece of ground off to the one side. The garden is a very odd shape, and so was that vacant piece of ground - in fact if you took away the dividing line and measured it, there would be enough for at least three detached houses in the same area as my house and the formarly vacant piece of ground. I say formally because about three years ago a local builder bought the land and built himself a two story house on it. Lovely house, I've been in it twice once when they took in a package for me and once when their dog wandered along the road and into my garden. Other than that I don't know the people, I know they have kids and a dog and that he's a builder by trade and that's it. I don't even know their name.

My mum paid for a really good, weather resistant, fence to be put up along the edge of the garden and what was the vacant lot. The fence is designed in such a way that the wind can pass through it but when you're looking at it straight on you can't see through it. We call it ranch fencing but I don't know if that's a local thing or not. Anyways, the fence is about five foot high and has lasted for the length of time I've been in this house. When the builders were clearing the vacant ground they knocked down a wall which we had been using as one end of the fence support but that was the only downside to the fence.

Builder decided that he wanted a higher fence between his property and mine, and put up solid panels of wood right the way along.

Yup, I think you may be guessing where I'm going with this. Solid panels. Very stormy weather. They're talking severe gale force winds and possibly hurricaine force winds.

Yeah, my fence is now leaning into my driveway under the weight of the solid panel fence which - surprise, surprise - blew over last night.

My car wasn't there when the fence fell, it is now parked across the road under my really nice neighbour's carport (he saw I'd parked on the street and all but demanded I move it into his driveway), so that's one good thing.

But here's the thing, I don't actually know what to do. I have no clue. The problem is not with my fence, which stood for what... ten years? without a problem because it's designed for areas where there are frequent storms of the kind to knock fences down. The panel thing? Nope. Designed for matchbox sized houses all backing onto one another in a Wimpy Homes estate. Do I try to fix the fence? Do I wait for the builder neighbour to fix the fence? Do I go and ask him to fix it? Do I go and demand he fix it so I can get my car in my own driveway? Do I really have to make sure I'm up at 8am on a Sunday so that I can get my car out of the way while my neighbour who's letting me park in his drive goes to church?

I love living in Scotland, I love storms, I prefer electrical storms but so long as I can get somewhere secure and warm I love all kinds of storms. But sometimes... just sometimes, I wonder why I don't just sell everything and go live on an island somewhere.
Current Mood: worriedworried
draconindraconin on January 13th, 2007 09:42 pm (UTC)
The law in Australia is that if you put up or repair a fence then both neighbours pay half each. However I imagine that you could make a case here that it was his fault it fell down. Proving it might be a problem though if he chooses to dispute it. It really boils down to how important it is to have good relations with your neighbour. We've all seen those things on TV with feuding neighbours! The other point is to see if it is covered under your house insurance. Mine was when it blew down in a storm.
Perhaps approach him, maybe bring a bottle with you, see if he's going to be reasonable.
velvetwhip: Behave Myself by Lilbreckvelvetwhip on January 13th, 2007 10:04 pm (UTC)
I think waiting some reasonable amount of time for them to effect repairs on their own and then, if they fail to do so, saying something about it, politely, would be in order.

Jackiewillowmina on January 13th, 2007 10:39 pm (UTC)
Oddly enough, we're in a similar situation. In that the single fence between us and the adjoining house blew down on Thursday. We're not too sure, as it's allegedly a party fence but it appears it's been put up by next door (posts on our side, pretty good clue there), so not sure if we should contribute.

In your case, I'd say it's entirely his responsiblity, as it was his decision to put his own fence up when there was a perfectly adequate one there already. Might be an idea to just make a friendly pop round to ask when the fence is going to be repaired, as it's causing you problems with parking/access, ect.