Q&As

A potential tenant is unwilling to take a lease of a commercial tenant unless and until the adjoining neighbouring property has fixed the dilapidated fence which runs between the two properties and is on the verge of collapse and presents as a health and safety risk. What can the landlord do to force the neighbour to fix the offending fence?

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Published on LexisPSL on 28/03/2017

The following Property Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A potential tenant is unwilling to take a lease of a commercial tenant unless and until the adjoining neighbouring property has fixed the dilapidated fence which runs between the two properties and is on the verge of collapse and presents as a health and safety risk. What can the landlord do to force the neighbour to fix the offending fence?

We have assumed that:

  1. the landlord does not own the neighbouring property

  2. there is nothing in the title re maintenance of the fence

  3. the fence does not fall within the Party Wall etc Act 1996, and

  4. there is no contractual relationship between the landlord and the person responsible for the fence

In absence of any party wall agreement or covenant within the title deeds relating to maintenance, there aren’t many legal options available to force a neighbour to fix their damaged fence.

There may be a course of action available should the fence present a danger to the highway or occupiers of adjoining land however. Commentary: Liability for dangerous fences: Halsbury's Laws of England provides that:

‘A person whose fence is in such a state, whether by reason of its mode of construction or its disre

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