In the UK, neighbours' properties can be very close together, which often raises a number of questions regarding fences, boundaries, and rights. One such question is whether you can attach things to your side of the neighbours' fence. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive answer to this question, detailing the legal aspects, etiquette, as well as practical considerations when choosing to attach items to a shared fence.


As a homeowner, your first thought may be to utilise your side of the neighbours' fence as an additional surface to hang plants, decorations, or other items. However, there are several factors to consider before doing so, such as legal boundaries and neighbourly etiquette. This guide will help you navigate these factors and provide alternative solutions should attaching things to the fence not be the best option.

Legal Aspects

Who Owns the Fence?

When it comes to fence ownership, it's important to start by determining which fence belongs to your property. This information can usually be found in your property's title deeds or a Land Registry document, indicating who is responsible for which boundary. If the fence is on your neighbour's property and you attach items to it without permission, there could be legal repercussions.

Rights and Permissions

If you do not own the fence and it resides within your neighbour's property, you will likely need their permission to attach anything to it. Even if the fence is on your property, it's still essential to discuss it with the neighbour if it may affect them or their property, e.g., if heavy modifications could cause the fence to become unstable.

Planning Permissions and Restrictions

Depending on the nature of the items you wish to attach and their size, planning permission may be required. Be sure to check your local council's guidelines on what modifications require planning permission, as each council may have slightly different rules.

Etiquette and Good Neighbour Practices

Open Communication

Before attaching anything to your fence or your neighbour's, it's essential to have a conversation with them to discuss your intentions. Communicating openly and honestly about your plans prevents possible misunderstandings or conflicts.

Compromise & Consideration

It's crucial to consider the impact of your actions on your neighbours; even if the fence is on your property, any modifications could potentially affect their enjoyment of their garden or property, e.g., through reduced privacy, light, or noise. Be prepared for the possibility that your neighbour may not readily agree to your request, and try to find a compromise that works for both parties.

Practical Considerations

Weight & Distribution

Keep in mind the weight and distribution of the items you're attaching to the fence. Overloading a shared fence with heavy items may cause it to lean or become unstable and eventually lead to damage that you or your neighbour will be responsible for fixing.