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Removal of fence from property.

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Hi folks,


I'm a newbie to this forum, and I thought it would be a good place to get some solid advice. I'm a student who has just moved in to their first rental, and as such I'm a bit clueless as to what rights I do and do not have.


Anyhoo, I let from a letting agency with five other students (which I believe is aimed primarily at a student market). Knowing the house would likely be inhabited by students, the landlord seems to have fenced off a large portion of our garden, as well as that of two adjoining properties, leaving us with a mere postage stamp, probably so he does not have to maintain what is beyond it. Peeping over, It seems to have been this way for a good few years and is quite overgrown.


Personally, myself and the other tenants would prefer a larger garden that we could bring back up to standard and maintain, and would be happy to replace the fence when we vacate the premises. I'm just wondering how we'd go about requesting this properly.


I can't see our landlord being too willing, as after all it was likely him who put up the fence in the first place. However, as tenants, are we entitled to make modifications such as this, as long as we return it to the state it was when we moved in? Surely if we're renting the property we're renting all of the property and have a right to access all of it, even if it does have a fence through the middle of it.


Any advice on proper procedure for these sort of modifications/our entitlement (or not) to make such modifications would be great.


Many thanks,


Matt :)

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As the fence appears to be long-standing, how sure are you overgrown land is part of your demised premise or fence even belongs solely to your LL? (Party fence)

I think you would at least require LLs prior written approval to do what you suggest.

I assume AST contains usual prohibition on Ts making any material changes without LLs authorisation.

Have you broached the question with him.

Edited by mariner51
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Are you on a joint tenancy or a sole tenancy just for your room?


If a sole tenancy - tough! You rent your room and your room only, you have shared use of certain facilities, but you do not have 'rights' over those areas other than what the law provides (eg, electrical appliances must be safe).


If a joint tenancy, then you could check on the land registry website (£4) which should have a map of what your tenancy address includes. Unless the tenancy agreement states otherwise, you have a tenancy of everything shown on that map. That doesn't mean the landlord has an obligation to maintain it (indeed usually a tenant obligation) but it does mean you can gain access to it and tart it up as you see fit, so long as by doing so you do not 'damage' the property.

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Thanks for the advice :)


I'm on a joint tenancy, so that isn't an issue. I've checked with the land registry, and the leasehold land does indeed extend beyond the fence. I've also checked my tenancy agreement, and there's nothing specifically referring to the land beyond the garden, just the standard need permission to modify fixtures sort of thing. In fact, my tenancy even states "8. The premises are the dwelling stated, together with ANY outside space or garden and, where applicable, the landlords fixtures and fittings in the premises." so I assume this also covers that land beyond the fence?


Basically, armed with this, if when I approach my landlord with the idea of removing the fence to use the garden he is unwilling, can I pull out the "I'm legally entitled to access the land I'm renting, regardless of whether you've blocked it off" card, and not look an idiot? :) Also, would he be within his rights to stipulate we put the fence back up before we left?


Thanks :)

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1) Yes, you have a tenancy of 123 High Street, and you can prove what 123 High Street is. Of course, if you are not allowed access to land that you are paying for, then you would presumably expect a rent reduction? There would certainly be the basis of a court claim, but I guess you'd want to avoid that.


2) Any hassle - talk to the Tenancy Relations Officer at your local council.


3) Yes, you would have to reinstate the fence at the end of your tenancy - though you may get the landlords agreement to leave it down - if so, get that in writing.

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