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Our Litigation Solicitor Emily Walker has featured in The Sunday Times providing ‘Home Help’ to a reader who asked for advice on a neighbour dispute involving a shared fence.

The reader explained: “I live on a steep hill. The difference in level between my garden and my neighbour’s is just over one metre at the worst point. The whole boundary fence, which is mine, needs replacing. Due to the difference in level I would need to retain my neighbour’s soil, which is adding many thousands to the three quotes I have received. My neighbour is so far refusing to contribute, even though I have pointed out it is the need to hold his land back that is adding to the considerable cost. Could I insist that he contributes, as without a retaining wall his soil would fall on to my property?”

In response, Emily commented: “If the fence that you are proposing to replace at present retains the neighbouring soil, and your title deeds make it clear that you are responsible for the boundary, then you are responsible for the costs of its replacement. You are quite right to have tried to resolve the matter with your neighbour. However, if they are not responsible for that boundary, there is little you can do to insist that they do. This would be different if it was not clear who is responsible for the boundary. If the retained soil causes any damage to the boundary fence, then you may be able to seek to recover damages in respect thereof from your neighbour.”

At Ramsdens our solicitors understand the delicate nature of dealing with disputes with your neighbours – no-one wants arguments to carry on for longer than they need to, and it is always better to find a solution that is fair to both sides.

The full article featured in The Sunday Times on Sunday 6 February 2022.

For further advice on dealing with disputes between neighbours contact our specialist property dispute team, either by emailing us at or calling us on 01484 821 500.