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Oh, FFS!

So, remember how last Friday morning I woke up to find out that my fence had blown down? Well, this Friday morning I've woken up to this:

It seems not unreasonable to start feeling a little put-upon at this stage.

Thankfully, unlike with the fence, there is no ambiguity this time over ownership or insurance issues, so I have already made all the necessary phone-calls, and a very friendly-sounding chap from Autoglass is coming to replace the window at some point within the next couple of hours.

But I really don't have much in the way of spare time to be mucking about dealing with these sorts of things at the moment, given that I have an article due for December 1st and am already working every single evening and weekend in a desperate attempt to get it finished.

It is also galling to recognise that I could probably have saved myself the trouble of this particular incident. I did know that one is advised not to leave even the suction pad for a Sat Nav visible in a parked car, since it alerts thieves to the fact that you own one, and encourages them to break in in the hope of finding it in your glove-box. Given that I'd blithely ignored this advice (on the grounds that it's inconvenient to keep detaching and re-attaching the pad), and given where the window has been smashed, I'm pretty sure that is the story here. I'm not keen on victim blaming, so I'm trying to avoid doing that to myself in this particular situation. But I think I've learnt a hard lesson there. I've certainly taken my Sat Nav suction pad out of the car this morning, and will make sure that I don't leave it in there again.

Going back to the fence, I have made some progress, in that my gardener has said that he (and some contacts he has) can do the work to fix it. He's great and very reliable, so I'd entirely trust him to do it and charge fairly for the work. And I've also established that my own buildings and contents insurance does not cover me for fences blown over in storms. :-( But the issue of exactly who is responsible for the fence remains unresolved - and I'd value some advice here from the legally-trained types on my friendslist. I have found the following paragraph in my land registry title:
"The walls fences spouts and fallpipes separating the property hereby conveyed from the adjoining property of the Vendors or from property formerly forming part of the Vendors said Moorfield Estate or used or enjoyed jointly therewith or with any part or parts thereof are mesne or party walls fences spouts and fallpipes and shall forever hereafter be upheld maintained repaired and enjoyed accordingly."
Does that actually mean that the fence is the joint responsibility of the owners of the two properties which it divides? It sounds a bit like that to me, but I could be wrong. If you're in a position to confirm or correct that impression for me, I'd be really grateful.

If it helps, 'Moorfield Estate' is simply the name of the land on which the 1930s Art Deco houses that make up the development where I live were built. It's pretty obvious that the ruling concerns fences that stand either between houses within the 1930s development, or between the edges of the 1930s development and any adjoining land still owned by the original vendors. But does the phrase 'mesne or party' indeed mean (as it seems to me) that responsibility for maintenance and repair is joint? Tell me if you know!

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( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 19th, 2010 12:10 pm (UTC)
Argh! How frustrating!
Nov. 19th, 2010 12:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, what a blighter about the car. :-(
Nov. 19th, 2010 12:23 pm (UTC)
I think it's very clear what's happened-- Religion/Theology decided to perform an 'act of God' on your fence, and Philosophy decided to exercise free will on your car (they've shown clearly that they've given up on ethics).

It's a conspiracy. *cue ominous music*
Nov. 19th, 2010 12:33 pm (UTC)
Ha! Well, at least you have made me laugh about it. :-)

Funnily enough, I recently attended a philosophical paper which argued that the thing we call a 'car' does not really exist. But it was delivered by one of our own students (studying Plato), rather than a member of the Philosophy department. And as they have made it clear that they have 'no concern' with ancient philosophy, and thus no academic synergies with us, I guess that they didn't get the memo about cars not existing - and thus it being pointless to attack them.
Nov. 19th, 2010 02:41 pm (UTC)
How annoying. You didn't specify but I'm hoping they didn't take anything of value.

My only tip is that after the glass is replaced pop to the local garage and use their car vac. It's worth the 50p so you don't get glass shards in your own vacuum.

Nov. 19th, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
No - there was nothing valuable in there to take. I just wish whoever smashed the window had known that, and saved all the trouble.

Anyway, it's fixed now, and in fact the Autoglass chap vacuumed it for me as part of the service. So I don't even need to do that!
Nov. 19th, 2010 03:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, arse. Totally something you didn't need. (Though pleased to hear about the vacuuming!)

It is my belief from having been a conveyancing secretary about ten years ago that 'mesne or party walls' means that you are indeed jointly responsible for repairs. this (randomly from Ealing Council) says

The upkeep of a garden fence or wall is usually the responsibility of the owner. Party walls built on the boundary between two properties are the joint responsibility of both properties... If it is not a party wall responsibility may be shown on the deeds or lease, or possibly by the registration documents.

Which would suggest that you (and I) are right and the walls are jointly owned.
Nov. 19th, 2010 03:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, thanks very much for that link - it's really helpful. What will really matter, of course, is convincing the people who own the next-door property of that... But being clear about the situation myself will be a good start.
Nov. 19th, 2010 04:56 pm (UTC)
Lordio - that's unfortunate. Poor yoU!

No advice on the legal front re: fence, though, I'm hopeless about these things. Hope you can sort it amicably!
Nov. 19th, 2010 05:07 pm (UTC)
Nov. 19th, 2010 07:00 pm (UTC)
I know I am on the wrong side (to you) of the Pennines but I have a friend who installed all my new fences this summer..so should your desired fenceworker prove to be inefficient and/or hyper-expensive..do let me know...just for comparison...I had new fence, new gate etc. created, installed and weather proven for £700 English...
Nov. 19th, 2010 10:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Fence
Oh, thanks - it's certainly very useful to have a ball-park figure to compare quotes against, anyway. How many metres of fencing would you say you had installed etc.? I think I'm looking at about 15m, or 6 panels.
Nov. 20th, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Fence
Ahhh..well I would imagine with panels it should be a lot cheaper because my fence work was bespoke work constructed from scratch..roughly 6 feet one side and 20 feet the other...with a new gate as well!
Nov. 20th, 2010 07:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Fence
Ah, right - yes, quite a project! Sounds nice, though.
Nov. 19th, 2010 07:01 pm (UTC)
PS Very sorry about your car window...vandalism like that is uttrely annoying xx
Nov. 19th, 2010 10:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Car
Thanks for the sympathy. :-) As I've said above, it was all sorted by lunch-time, so wasn't that bad. But it's lucky it was a day when I was at home anyway. Would have been very annoying if I'd had to stay home and cancel classes because of it - and I couldn't really have left it unattended in that state, either.
Nov. 20th, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC)
Just getting round to catching up - what a horrid thing to have happened :-(

Nov. 20th, 2010 11:19 pm (UTC)
It was a bit upsetting, and I'm rather nervous about leaving it outside now. But I've got no other option, so... :-/
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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