Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 32

Thread: Stock, fencing and neighbours

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    4

    Stock, fencing and neighbours

    So I have a field which borders my neighbours house. Just a couple of days ago they had a tree surgeon come and remove a very thick bramble hedge which was covering our fence. This had been adequately keeping in our cattle for 3 years. A day later our cattle escaped and apparently did a 'significant' amount of damage. On investigation the tree surgeons had removed this bramble hedge and exposed our fence to be broken. Instead of letting us know that this was the case it was just left and the cows could just walk out of the field. Obviously had I been told then I could have immediately re-fenced and prevented the break out.

    My neighbour is obviously upset about it and wants me to admit some sort of liability. I am not ever one to shy away from my responsibilities but I can't help but feel that their tree surgeons essentially opened a gate and just left it allowing our cattle to get out.

    What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    NB Canada
    Posts
    595

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Quote Originally Posted by drooler1549 View Post
    So I have a field which borders my neighbours house. Just a couple of days ago they had a tree surgeon come and remove a very thick bramble hedge which was covering our fence. This had been adequately keeping in our cattle for 3 years. A day later our cattle escaped and apparently did a 'significant' amount of damage. On investigation the tree surgeons had removed this bramble hedge and exposed our fence to be broken. Instead of letting us know that this was the case it was just left and the cows could just walk out of the field. Obviously had I been told then I could have immediately re-fenced and prevented the break out.

    My neighbour is obviously upset about it and wants me to admit some sort of liability. I am not ever one to shy away from my responsibilities but I can't help but feel that their tree surgeons essentially opened a gate and just left it allowing our cattle to get out.

    What are your thoughts?
    First, did your neighbour let you know that he was going to remove the hedge? And when he was going to do it?

    Secondly, ask your neighbour if he can PROVE that his tree surgeon didn't damage YOUR fence through removing the hedge?

    Then sit down and try to discuss damages and liabilities

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    882

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    If it's a boundary fence, half the cost of replacement should be his.

    I'd go in with this, then offer to cover his share as a gesture of goodwill (don't admit any liability) and see how it goes.

    If he persists, pass it on to your insurance company.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,454

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Quote Originally Posted by MC130 View Post
    If it's a boundary fence, half the cost of replacement should be his.
    I disgree with that. Have a look at your Title and deeds and see who owns the fence. The OP doesn't say where he lives and so laws can be different, very often Scottish law is different for example. Having said that it is the responsibility of the owner of the cattle to make sure that they don't wander from the intended grazing land. But did the tree surgeon actually cut down growth that belonged to the OP ?

    It is a tricky one. If the fence was that bad or non-existent then at least either the neighbour or tree surgeon could have advised the OP about the potential problem. My advice would be to tread softly softly to begin with. It's always better to get along with neighbours if you can.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    882

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Quote Originally Posted by zaza View Post
    I disgree with that.
    I said should be. I meant it like the opening move in a game of poker. It's also the responsibility of the neighbour to keep kids/dogs etc in, if that applies.

    If you get away with it, well and good, problem solved on good terms. If you don't, you're no worse off, just fence it and pass his claim on to your insurance. Life's too short.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    4

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Thanks for your replies, we are in England. Our neighbour didn't tell us that he was removing the hedge and the hedge completely covered the fence and although I assumed there was a fence there I had never seen it as it was covered by the hedge, which kept the stock in. Looking at the fence I can quite honestly say that it probably wasn't damaged by the tree surgeon and had been damaged for sometime but as there was a hedge there completely covering it etc etc.

    Having looked further in to it I was reading the Animals Act 1972 and it says:

    Exceptions from liability under sections 2 to [F34A]. (Which basically says you are completely liable unless you fall into a very small number of exceptions, the following being one of them)

    (1)A person is not liable under sections 2 to [F44A] of this Act for any damage which is due wholly to the fault of the person suffering it.

    Life is too short but unfortunately they don't see it the same way!!! :-)

    Thanks guys.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    174

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    I'd counter with the fact it was stock proof till their man removed the hedge.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,454

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Quote Originally Posted by MC130 View Post
    If you don't, you're no worse off, just fence it and pass his claim on to your insurance. Life's too short.
    Always assuming that the OP carries insurance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paw View Post
    I'd counter with the fact it was stock proof till their man removed the hedge.
    Maybe, but was the "stockproof" aspect of the boundary the property of the OP or the neighbour ? It is a messy one this. The OP is a newbie on here and this was their 1st post but they haven't told us where they are even.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Holderness
    Posts
    799

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Quote Originally Posted by zaza View Post
    Always assuming that the OP carries insurance.

    Maybe, but was the "stockproof" aspect of the boundary the property of the OP or the neighbour ? It is a messy one this. The OP is a newbie on here and this was their 1st post but they haven't told us where they are even.
    Is it not the fact in English law that the responsibility to keep your stock contained is yours? Whover owns the boundary.
    However if someone else destroyed the fence they must surely bear some responsibility.
    Jack Caley

  10. #10
    Senior Member Recycled's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    639

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    not a problem up here its uo to your neighbour to keep youe stick out

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    882

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Quote Originally Posted by zaza View Post
    Always assuming that the OP carries insurance.
    It's a perfectly reasonable assumption to make. Are you suggesting he's irresponsible?

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    174

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Quote Originally Posted by zaza View Post
    Always assuming that the OP carries insurance.

    Maybe, but was the "stockproof" aspect of the boundary the property of the OP or the neighbour ? It is a messy one this. The OP is a newbie on here and this was their 1st post but they haven't told us where they are even.
    As the boundary was stock proof before the hedge was removed, it was the removal of the hedge that allowed the cattle to stray. Surely it would be reasonable to expect the "tree surgeon" or the neighbour to have let the OP know that the fence is not fit now.
    Now if the hedge belonged to the OP we are moving into a whole different realm of responsibility and claims. However the OP hasn't claimed ownership of the hedge in opening post.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,454

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Quote Originally Posted by MC130 View Post
    It's a perfectly reasonable assumption to make. Are you suggesting he's irresponsible?
    There was nothing in my post that even remotely suggested that the OP was being irresponsible was there ?

  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    4

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Quote Originally Posted by Paw View Post
    Now if the hedge belonged to the OP we are moving into a whole different realm of responsibility and claims. However the OP hasn't claimed ownership of the hedge in opening post.
    No It wasn't our hedge as there was a fence in there, but as it had completely covered the fence I had kind of assumed that it was. If that makes sense!

    Quote Originally Posted by zaza View Post
    Always assuming that the OP carries insurance.

    Maybe, but was the "stockproof" aspect of the boundary the property of the OP or the neighbour ? It is a messy one this. The OP is a newbie on here and this was their 1st post but they haven't told us where they are even.

    We do indeed have insurance :-) and we are down in the South West UK.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,454

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Quote Originally Posted by drooler1549 View Post
    We do indeed have insurance :-) and we are down in the South West UK.
    My apologies. I hadn't seen your post #6 but have just read it.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    174

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Quote Originally Posted by zaza View Post
    My apologies. I hadn't seen your post #6 but have just read it.
    You're not the only one. I'm sure it wasn't there earlier, on pre-mod as a new member perhaps.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    NB Canada
    Posts
    595

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Quote Originally Posted by Paw View Post
    You're not the only one. I'm sure it wasn't there earlier, on pre-mod as a new member perhaps.
    I hadn't seen it either until now.

    do you own or least the property? I know on "this side of the pond' when you purchase a piece of property you are required to verify property lines - often with a location certificate (surveyor's map) which shows buildings, fences, hedges, trees near the property line, culverts, ditches that border or cross the property, . . .

    If you thought you owned it or it actually was on the property line, then perhaps "the good neighbour" damaged your property?

    I can't remember if you mentioned it, how long has "the good neighbour" owned their property?

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Holderness
    Posts
    799

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironhead View Post
    I hadn't seen it either until now.

    do you own or least the property? I know on "this side of the pond' when you purchase a piece of property you are required to verify property lines - often with a location certificate (surveyor's map) which shows buildings, fences, hedges, trees near the property line, culverts, ditches that border or cross the property, . . .

    If you thought you owned it or it actually was on the property line, then perhaps "the good neighbour" damaged your property?

    I can't remember if you mentioned it, how long has "the good neighbour" owned their property?
    Can I repeat, and ask someone if I am wrong. As far as I am aware the owner of the animal is responsible for any strays. There was a case some years ago involving a car accident I think, and the owner of the animals was held responsible even though someone else had left the gate open. Hard I know, but I think that is the case.
    Jack Caley

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    174

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Caley View Post
    Can I repeat, and ask someone if I am wrong. As far as I am aware the owner of the animal is responsible for any strays. There was a case some years ago involving a car accident I think, and the owner of the animals was held responsible even though someone else had left the gate open. Hard I know, but I think that is the case.
    Jack Caley
    Now you mention it, I'm sure I read about that as well.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    NB Canada
    Posts
    595

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Caley View Post
    Can I repeat, and ask someone if I am wrong. As far as I am aware the owner of the animal is responsible for any strays. There was a case some years ago involving a car accident I think, and the owner of the animals was held responsible even though someone else had left the gate open. Hard I know, but I think that is the case.
    Jack Caley
    Jack

    Not doubting the responsibility of the animal owner - "on this side of the pond" you are responsible even if you house cat causes problems.

    my question was about how clearly (legally) the boundary was established and how clearly the ownership of the hedge was established - a hedge or treeline planted ON the boundary line is owned by both properties - some of our boundary lines in forested areas are actually painted on trees which neither owner can cut

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,203

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Does the old damaged fence belong to the farm? Are there other properties adjacent? If the fence belongs to the farm the contractor should not have touched the hedge if it was growing on the fence line.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Holderness
    Posts
    799

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Quote Originally Posted by essexpete View Post
    Does the old damaged fence belong to the farm? Are there other properties adjacent? If the fence belongs to the farm the contractor should not have touched the hedge if it was growing on the fence line.
    Good point!
    jack caley

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Bury St Edmunds
    Posts
    956

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Firstly , in England you are nearly always, bound to keep your stock in. This is unless A. your stock are on common ground, B. your neighbour has an obligation to fence against you.
    Assuming this is not the case, then you are liable for you're stock if they escape.
    Are you certain this fence was in deed your neighbours and secondly where was this hedge, had he any right to remove a hedge on your side?
    Lastly it could be argued if, as a result of his tree surgeons actions, it was immediately apparent that your stock could wander into his garden, then he or the tree man should have contacted you too warn of this. Of course it may not have been obvious there were stock in the field.
    Ixworth Solar Farming Ltd.

  24. #24
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    devon
    Posts
    43

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Caley View Post
    Can I repeat, and ask someone if I am wrong. As far as I am aware the owner of the animal is responsible for any strays. There was a case some years ago involving a car accident I think, and the owner of the animals was held responsible even though someone else had left the gate open. Hard I know, but I think that is the case.
    Jack Caley
    in the ordinary course of events you would be right, however there are problems in this case.
    1. ownership of boundary is unclear.
    2. a "hedge"" was removed, possibly without the required planning permission.
    3. liability might lie with the tree surgeon who left the boundary in unfit condition without notification

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    NI
    Posts
    453

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Personally, i see it pretty cut and dried.

    Firstly, I'd make the fence stock-proof again forthwith, in fact given the timescale it would seem fair to assume that you've already done so.

    But then secondly, politely make it quite plain that as the boundary was secure until interfered with, and given that you weren't told about said interference and therefore afforded the opportunity to put it right before the beasts escaped, you don't accept that you can be held responsible for the damage.

    If they're a decent neighbour, or you just want to try and keep the peace, by all means offer to give them a hand to clear up a bit but make it plain that it's being done as a gesture of goodwill rather than an acceptance of responsibility.

    If the neighbour wants to push it any further with you beyond that, then good luck to them, I don't think they'd get far.

    They might be better served looking at the situation with the tree surgeon who removed the hedge, not only allowing their property to be damaged but exposing your valuable stock to unacceptable risk as well.

  26. #26
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    4

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Thanks guys for your thoughts and input. The fence does actually belong to me, the hedge was on their side of the fence, but had grown through and over the fence ending up on our side (until they removed it)

    Basically I have made it stock proof again, offered to help repair damage but ONLY as I live next door and not admitting liability and also pointed out that their tree surgeons actions (or in-action for not telling us) were irresponsible. Sadly they don't believe that they have done anything wrong and won't even acknowledge that someone made a mistake!!

    Anyway it's one less Christmas card to write.

    Thanks again

  27. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,203

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Well I guess the op was responsible but p!ss poor neighbours. Tempting to erect a 2m solid fence or at least plant a hedge that will save them looking across your land.

  28. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,454

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Quote Originally Posted by essexpete View Post
    Tempting to erect a 2m solid fence or at least plant a hedge that will save them looking across your land.
    Line of miscanthus ?

  29. #29
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    NI
    Posts
    453

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Maybe it'd be a suitable place to keep your straw.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-englan...shire-45213354

  30. #30
    Senior Member wr.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Breconshire
    Posts
    985

    Re: Stock, fencing and neighbours

    Quote Originally Posted by essexpete View Post
    Well I guess the op was responsible but p!ss poor neighbours. Tempting to erect a 2m solid fence or at least plant a hedge that will save them looking across your land.
    I like this answer.
    Don't itch for something if you're not prepared to scratch for it.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •