All Case Studies

Garden Fence (April 2021)

Ms A was unhappy with the fence that was installed in her garden.


Ms A originally had a chain link fence. When it was decided that a new fence was required, a chain link fence should have been installed. A wood panel fence with timber posts was installed instead. This was an error, but the wood panel fence was of a higher specification than a chain link fence and was therefore deemed an improvement.

Resident felt aggrieved because the fence of a neighbouring property was replaced to a different standard – timber boards with concrete posts and gravel boards – during refurbishment works at about the same time. This decision was made due to the specific needs of a family who were moving into the property which we were unable to discuss with the resident.

We did not agree that upgrading the fence further is required or necessary, or that it would be a good use of resource. We appreciated that our residents’ expectations of what we should have done was different to what we did.

It was clear that a mistake was made with the specification of the fence and that the level of customer service resident received fell short of the standard we expected. When this came to light, we called Ms A, listened to her concerns, apologised for the errors, offered compensation in line with our customer care policy for the poor communication, and took steps to ensure that lessons were learned.

In conclusion, the resident’s fence was of a higher specification than the previous fence. The fence was secure and met requirements. We have a duty of care to use resources wisely and ensure that decisions are made to maximise value.


The HOS found that Poplar HARCA provided “reasonable redress” which in their opinion, satisfactorily resolved the concerns about the fence, and the subsequent formal complaint.

Recommendation from the HOS

No recommendations were made.