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Dividing Fence Replacement - NSW

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by Tenex, 20th Mar, 2016.

  1. Tenex

    Tenex Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Sydney
    I am attempting to replace a dividing fence with a side neighbor. The fence is in very bad condition and in parts broken.

    I have approached the neighbor on a number of occasions in good faith trying to get them to understand why we are replacing (over the course of past 5 years). Initially they agreed to replace but came up with a number of excuses, later they started asking me to dig my side of property (my side is about 20cm higher than theirs due to natural slope of ground) and pay for a retaining wall before they even consider replacing the fence.

    The neighbor appears to be a nosy idiot to sum up the issue.

    I am now building a dual occupancy on my property and in order to make the place more appealing I am considering to replace the fence with a colorbond fence and just send them the bill for a cheap fence for their half.

    They have threatened that I cannot touch the fence until their conditions are met. In order to replace the fence I need to gain access to their side of property. And then there is the issue of retaining wall and all of their endless requests on how I should dig the ground on my side to make it the same level as theirs and pay for a retaining wall (it is a natural slope of ground, the neighbor on the other side is a bit higher than my property).

    I have asked my builder and he says as long as you are paying for it, you are entitled to replace the fence and they can do whatever they want.

    Recovering the cost aside, what is the most efficient way of handling this? (remember negotiation with the neighbor is entirely not an option as I have tried it tirelessly)
     
  2. Cadbury99

    Cadbury99 Well-Known Member

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    Dividing fences | Neighbours and the law
     
  3. CowPat

    CowPat Member

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    Location:
    NSW
    good fences make good neighbors


    retaining walls ?????
    once the fence comes out
    landscape
    lower yours 100mm raise theirs 100mm
    then replace fence = * halfsies *

    OR
    put a new fence up on your side
    and leave the old fence in-place
     
  4. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Run a grader over your last metre to reduce the levels.

    Say cough up, I don't require a retaining wall.

    ffs - how much extra is paying 100% of the fence going to set you back?
     
  5. Tenex

    Tenex Well-Known Member

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    @Cadbury99 thanks for that, I am aware of the deciding fence act. At present the main concern is the ability to actually gain access to their property and replace the fence more so than recovering cost.

    Dividing fence act is predominantly around cost recovery which is something that I can come to later.

    The issue at present is there is no room for direct negotiations and the fence needs to be replaced. So I need to know what can be done under the law to force an unreasonable party towards a more reasonable outcome
     
  6. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Mediation - you have to propose a couple of times which may be suitable, they get to reject it and give you the run around.

    Cost recovery doesn't happen after the fact, if you replace the fence without their consent, you'll be wearing the cost.
     
  7. Cadbury99

    Cadbury99 Well-Known Member

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    As per the link if you can't reach agreement go to NCAT. It's not all about cost recovery but if you expect your neighbour to pay for some of it then I suggest you get NCAT to rule on that also.

    NCAT can make an order on the following:
    • What the fence should be made of
    • How high the fence should be
    • Where the fence should be built
    • When the fence should be built
    • How the costs of the fencing work should be divided between you and your neighbour.
    I can't see trespassing being an issue if NCAT has ruled.
     
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  8. Tenex

    Tenex Well-Known Member

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    Makes sense, I may actually have to go down that path.

    As I mentioned the neighbor is difficult for the sake of being difficult, otherwise I have tried every avenue.

    In case if we didnt end up going down NCAT path and just served them with a notice that we are changing the fence and we wear the cost, can
     
  9. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    If your developing, council often will make you put new fences, no cost to neighbors.....