Fencing Disputes

What happens when your neighbour wants the fence replaced and wants YOU to pay the full cost?

Unless the neighbour can prove you damaged the fence and it wasn’t normal deterioration over time, then the Dividing Fences Act says both Owners need to contribute equally to build “a sufficient dividing fence.” That can include a hedge acting as a barrier, but you need to consider the old fence, the properties (suburban, farm, commercial), privacy concerns, the usual types of fences in the area and any government policies.

My neighbour wants the fence higher than 1.8 metres. Do I have to pay? Usually, no as 1.8, is fairly standard suburban height. If your neighbour wants it, they must get the approval and pay for any extra cost incurred.

What’s Included in the Costs? Equal sharing of costs to replace a boundary fence includes a survey report to determine the correct boundary between the properties. it will also confirm whether or not there are encroachments by or on the neighbour’s property.

Get Started – To get the ball rolling, issue a written notice to the neighbour with information about the boundary where the fence will be built, the type and estimated cost. A Sample Fencing Notice is available from LawAccess.

If your neighbour says no, attempt mediation at a Community Justice Centre and if that doesn’t work, apply to the Local Court or NCAT.