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The timber fencing between my house and the neighbours has completely broken down. Who is responsible?

The following piece is a query which was sent to Winters Property Management Galway which Peter Nicklin, Senior Property Manager was asked to respond too. Winters  Property Management has over twenty years experience in the management of residential and commercial property. All our property managers are licensed by the Property Regulator and as a business, we are members of both the Society of Chartered Surveyors and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. Our expertise is often called upon by owners to advise them on difficult situations.

Property Advice 

Q

I have owned my house for 8 years it’s a 3 bed detached house in a housing estate and I live there full time, my neighbour next door to me owns his property 6 years and has had it rented throughout this time with various tenants.

In the recent storm, the timber fencing between our units was destroyed and has completely broken down and broken apart. How can I go about fixing this fence? Is the OMC responsible?

 

A

Good afternoon, thank you for your query.

The timber fencing from the description in your query appears to represent the current boundary between yours and the adjoining property. The Land & Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 provides a definition of boundary and party wall structures, which includes the timber fencing as described. The Act also provides and allows adjoining owners the right to make repairs if required.

It is common in Ireland for the costs to repair and replace broken fences or panels to be shared equally amongst the adjoining owners. In this case, this would be between yourself and the owner of the adjoining rental property.

Whilst not one of these parties, the Owner Management Co. will commonly assist in situations where the contact details of the adjoining property have not been made available to the neighbour or are unknown. Under current GDPR guidelines, the owner’s contact details may not be passed directly but a contact request may be made & forwarded on by the Owner Management Co. for the neighbour’s review and response. A check of provisions contained with your Owner Management Co lease agreement signed when purchasing your property should also be made in case of any specific references or measures available with regards to fence repairs between neighbouring properties.

In most circumstances, contact and communication between the adjoining owners are established and the replacement or repair of the fencing arranged. Commonly a framework and agreement for future repairs are also put in place.

In the limited circumstances where no response is received the owner may consider arranging the replacement or repair of the fence themselves. Further legal advice may be considered from a solicitor. This would include any provisions or proceedings available under the Land & Conveyancing Law Reform Act referenced above in relation to the recovery of monies spent on the repairs.

 

*Please note that this advice is given by way of general guidance, and whilst great care has been taken to ensure accuracy of the information provided you should seek appropriate professional guidance which pertains to your particular situation rather than relying on this piece. Please note that any actions you may take are entirely at your own liability and the above in information is provided as an informative guidance document only and should not be referenced in any proceedings.

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