Fence Disputes

FenceThe Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (DSCV) has revealed the consistent No 1 dispute has been fencing.

In fact fencing counts for around one third of all of their top ten disputes.

In 2013-4 there were fence 6,489 disputes, slightly above the long term average of  6,301.

So how can you minimise the chance of a dispute?

Get Agreement

Make sure you try to get agreement from your neighbour when planning to build a fence. . . . even if you intend to cover the whole cost yourself.

Both parties are generally required to contribute equally to construction costs for a fence that meets the minimum standard.

If the land is vacant, or a tenant won’t provide details of the landowner, then local councils are allowed to provide landowner contact details on fencing matters.

Type of Fence

The minimum standard is “sufficient” based on one or more of the following

  • Existing fence type
  • Any Developer Rules
  • Usual fence type in the neighbourhood
  • Purpose for which you and your neighbours are using the land

If you want a more expensive fence then you will have to meet extra costs.

Legally

If you can’t reach agreement, either you or your neighbour will be able seek an order from a Magistrates’ Court specifying what fence will be built, and how costs will be shared.

Check Your State’s Laws

The above was built based on Victorian Legislation but most states have fairly similar laws.

A good place to check is Fencing Online – A great site for explaining the laws relating to fencing for each state.