It's a bright sunny day, and you've decided that it's the perfect time to give your garden a makeover. You start off by planting a beautiful assortment of flowers, but then, you notice that your neighbour's fence is looking a bit... lacklustre. But can you paint your neighbour's fence on your side? In this ultimate guide, we will answer this question, discuss the various regulations surrounding it, and share tips to approaching the topic with your neighbour.


A fence not only serves as a boundary between two properties, but it also adds to the overall aesthetic appeal of a garden. Giving a fresh coat of paint can transform an otherwise tired-looking fence and help elevate the beauty of your garden. Let's dive into the legalities of painting your neighbour's fence on your side and how to approach the subject with them.

Legalities: Can I Paint My Neighbour's Fence on My Side?

Before wielding that paintbrush, let's clarify the legal position when it comes to painting fences in the UK. In short, technically you don't have the right to paint, varnish or stain your neighbour's fence, even if it is located on your side, without their permission. This is because your neighbour is the owner of the fence if it belongs to their property, and you may be committing an act of trespassing or causing damage to their property.

Understanding Property Boundaries

Understanding property boundaries is crucial in determining the ownership of the fence. You can refer to the Title Plan of your property for the exact boundaries, which can be found in the Land Registry. However, this may not always provide clear information on which fence is your responsibility.

In some cases, it is common for neighbours to have an unwritten or verbal agreement regarding the fence's ownership and maintenance.

Approaching Your Neighbour

If you wish to paint your side of the neighbour's fence, the best way to go about it is to openly communicate with your neighbour. Here are some tips on how to approach the subject:

  1. Choose the right time: Start by choosing a moment when your neighbour is likely to be relaxed and receptive to your request.
  2. Be polite and tactful: Politely explain your intentions to enhance the beauty of your garden and that you would like to paint the side of the fence facing your property.
  3. Offer to cover the expenses: As a good gesture, you can offer to cover the costs of paint and any other materials or labour involved.
  4. Give them a choice: If you don't think your neighbour would mind the painting but is particular about the colour, offer them a say in the colour choice.
  5. Seek written permission: If your neighbour agrees, it's always good to request written consent to avoid any misunderstandings in the future.