Property news roundup: More than one in 10 unsure which fence is their responsibility

Plus, living in tall buildings, spring home search, and mortgage fixing

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The Independent Online

More than three quarters of people in Britain are happy to talk to their neighbours about who should fix fences blown down in the recent terrible weather.

However, the research from Allianz Insurance also shows that  13 per cent of homeowners do not know which side of their garden boundary is their responsibility to maintain.

"It can often be difficult to establish ownership of garden fences, particularly if they have been in place since you and your neighbour moved into the properties," says Richard Simpkins, Claims Manager at Allianz Legal Protection who suggests these ways of working how who is repsonsible for a fence.

Simpkins recommends a check of your property deeds (available from the Land Registry website if you don't have them) which often have a ‘T mark’ on them - if the ‘T’ is facing into your property it means that boundary is your responsibility. Also, if the fence posts are on your side of the garden, it is likely it is your fence and your responsibility.

Londoners like tall building but not to live in

A survey of the capital's tallest buildings by  independent think tank New London Architecture shows the favourite to be Norman Foster's Gherkin, followed by The Shard and then The Cheesegrater (The Leadenhall Building).

However, seven out of ten people aged over 34 said they were unwilling to live in such high-rise monuments, although a third believe affordable housing was a necessity in new towers.  

Ben Marshall, Research Director at Ipsos MORI who conducted the poll, said: "With London facing a housing crisis and keen to grow economically, the onus tends to be on the quantity of new building. Tall towers offer promise, but our new poll underlines the importance the London public place on quality and design. Opinion is mixed - Londoners might like looking at tall towers, but they are less sure about living in them."

When do people look for a new home?

New statistics from Barratt Homes reveals that more than 45 per cent of first time buyers in the south west say they would be most likely to start their new home search in the spring, rather than Easter, summer and the New Year. In terms of the gender divide, men are keener than women at looking for homes in the summer while women would rather begin the search in the New Year more than men.

Mortgage borrowers fixing in record numbers

More than 19 out of every 20 buyers looking for a mortgage applied for a fixed rate product in February, according to the Mortgage Advice Bureau, a new record.

"Buyers are very much aware that this golden age of low priced mortgages will not last indefinitely," said Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau. "The surge of activity should help to keep rates competitive, but consumers may struggle to find many better deals in the months ahead than those already out there.

"Five year rates have been creeping up since last summer, so the chance to lock into a low interest rate is well worth considering."