My neighbours’ children destroyed the plants in my garden with soccer balls over the fence – what are my rights?
A disgruntled homeowner has become furious after finding his plants destroyed by neighbors.
We explain what your rights are if you find yourself in the same situation.
An anonymous landlord tries to console himself for a neighborhood dispute.
They explain that the plants in their garden have been damaged by the neighbour’s children who repeatedly kick balls into the property and against the fence.
The neighbor told Q&A site Answer Bank: ‘I’m sick of the balls damaging my plants and I’m afraid I’ll have to replace my fence yet again.’
Worried that they might make things worse, the user asks if he can hold on to the bullets or if this is stealing.
The post garnered a few comments from other users eager to help.
One said: “You’d do well to keep track of how often this happens. If it’s your fence I would mention the damage they cause and say you will charge them the cost of any reparation.”
While another says: “How about we build a wall instead?”
Although building a wall can be expensive, you may not be able to do it if you don’t own the property.
Here’s what the experts said.
What are my rights if my property is damaged by my neighbour’s soccer balls?
If you find yourself in a neighborhood dispute, it’s best to approach them about it first.
They may not be aware that there is a problem.
If you’ve spoken to them and the problem doesn’t resolve itself or they won’t listen to you, you can escalate the problem to a third party.
If your fence has been damaged by soccer balls, you must first verify that the fence belongs to you.
To do this, you need to check the title deeds of the property.
If you don’t already have them, you can buy them online for a small extra £3 at gov.uk.
The deeds will show the layout and boundaries of the land you own.
Note that you can also buy a neighbor’s title deeds to see if any additional property lines are outlined in theirs that aren’t in yours.
Sometimes a T will be marked on a property line to indicate boundary responsibility.
If the fence is yours and you can prove it was damaged by your neighbor, you can ask them to pay for repairs or a replacement.
Although fencing supplier Lawsons previously told The Sun, “Your neighbors aren’t legally obligated to repair or replace a fence unless it poses a safety concern.”
If they refuse, you can sue them, but you might want to think twice before doing so, as the fees can be high.
Instead, it may be helpful to use the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) mediation service, which helps neighbors resolve boundary line disputes and related issues.
The cost of this will be considerably less than the court costs, but you both have to agree to use it.
You can also go through the RICS Mediation service if you want to discuss damage to your plants – but with mediation costs it may not be worth it, depending on the value of your plants.
Don’t be tempted to keep your neighbour’s soccer balls, as this may qualify as theft.
If it is their property, you are obligated to return it.
Meanwhile, another owner’s garden has been destroyed by his neighbor’s cowboy builders – we explain their rights.
And here’s what to do if your neighbor builds a fence on your property while you’re on vacation.
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