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So what does one do when your neighbour doesn't want to chip in for a new fence?

Discussion in 'Repairs & Maintenance' started by jaybean, 21st Jan, 2016.

  1. jaybean

    jaybean Well-Known Member

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    This is so frustrating. On one side I have public housing (which I've posted on separately), on the other I have the worlds cheapest neighbour. Both fences are rotten, falling apart, and ghetto as hell.

    We spoke to the owner and she said "yeah let's replace it, I have some spare roofing sheets we can use". They were misshaped, random, and would have looked even worse. I mean who on earth puts up a patchwork of mismatched roofing sheets up as a fence. Jesus. She refuses to pay any cash to get it properly fixed.

    Do I bite the bullet and swallow the cost?

    A second question - if they refuse to pay, do they have any say in the type of fence I choose? Do they have any right to complain about the colour, style, design etc? I'm unsure about how this works (QLD btw).
     
  2. headsonbeds

    headsonbeds Well-Known Member

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  3. jaybean

    jaybean Well-Known Member

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    Na not so straight forward. I just read it and it's almost exclusively about new fences. It only makes a very light reference to fence maintenance / replacement.

    This isn't a case about building a new fence. This is about replacing an old one. My neighbour could certainly turn around and say "but we already have a fence!"...what are the rules about what you would define as being "too bloody old"? Where do you draw the line between whether it needs to be replaced or not? These questions aren't covered unfortunately:(
     
  4. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

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    "IF" all fencing was damaged by storm and can be done via insurance see if the insurance Co can deal with the neighbours (similar to a car accident claim when the other who caused the accident has no insurance etc).

    Failing that it's difficult & VERY frustrating dealing with neighbours like this (you're the one that's got a problem with it you fix it kind of thing)
    In the end you want it fixed you may have to sort it all out yourself, frustrating but in the end look at the positive of having new fencing.
     
  5. jaybean

    jaybean Well-Known Member

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    Yup I'm no cheapo and would be willing to swallow the cost so my tenant doesn't have to look like they're living in a ghetto. So I'll pony up if needed, but it's just irritating.
     
  6. SK Investments

    SK Investments Well-Known Member

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    I've just built a new fence at my place, the place next door is for sale after only being sold 12 months ago and is tenanted. It was a mismatched fence with timber and iron.
    I just went ahead and replaced it myself, now I can actually bear to look at it. Although it only cost me time and materials.
     
  7. beachgurl

    beachgurl Well-Known Member

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    The next door neighbour of one of my IPs was making complaints that the fence was damaged and my tenant's dog was potentially able to get into their yard. My agent went out there and didn't see a problem other than a few palings that had come loose. So a handyman nailed them back on. Within a short time they'd come off again along with a request for a new fence and for us to pay half. We went out there and it looked like the neighbour has removed the palings on purpose to try to prove we needed a new fence. We had someone nail them back on and said no to the new fence. A few weeks later we got a new fence for free. Turns out these neighbours just wanted a colorbond fence and had hoped to reduce the cost by us paying half.

    So if you can prove a new fence is necessary, she will have to pay. If there's nothing wrong with the existing, even if it is dog ugly, I don't think there is an obligation for the neighbour to pay.
     
  8. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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  9. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

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    Not having a go as you may know something I don't, but...
    How would she (or any neighbour) "have to pay"?
    To me its like any other boundary issue, retaining wall, tree's, kids climbing up & looking over while I'm in the Nud etc, the person complaining is the one with the problem...
     
  10. Gockie

    Gockie I'm an ISTP-A female, so I might be a bit quirky! Premium Member

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    My neighbour in Birkdale apparently just put up a fence between our properties where there was no existing fence when I bought it... he did not ask me for any payment. I guess I should check if it's in the right spot!
     
  11. kierank

    kierank Well-Known Member

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    I would just follow the process as detailed in the Neighbourhood Disputes (Dividing Fences and Trees) Act 2011.

    If the neighbour doesn't come to the party, you can go to QCAT. This is not a difficult nor expensive action to take and the findings are legally binding on all parties.
     
  12. kierank

    kierank Well-Known Member

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    The fence is rotten and falling apart. I read this as it is unsafe. Both parties have responsibities to either repair or replace, under the
    Neighbourhood Disputes (Dividing Fences and Trees) Act 2011 in Qld.

    It is my understanding that the neighbour can be forced to participate and contribute. If not, you can go to QCAT for a legally binding decision. The Act describe a sufficient fence, the process, etc.
     
  13. kierank

    kierank Well-Known Member

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    Potentially a dangerous thing to do in Qld under the Act Clause 39(1) if you weren't consulted as "If an owner constructs or demolishes a dividing fence without authorisation, the adjoining owner may apply to QCAT for an order requiring the owner to remove, modify or rectify the fence."
     
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  14. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

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    Yea right, not sure if we have that here, be awkward when seeing each other out the front etc if PPOR
    Boundary measurements/surveying etc aside, for me it wouldn't feel right not catching up with them and offering.
     
  15. jaybean

    jaybean Well-Known Member

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    What happens when she insists ok I'll pay for half, and by half she means the pathetic DIY job she was talking about? Can she argue that she could do it herself for cheaper? I want to hire a pro. I'm not interested in some half assed job.
     
  16. Gockie

    Gockie I'm an ISTP-A female, so I might be a bit quirky! Premium Member

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    Well, I am happy to have a fence and I said that to him after I had bought it. I know his intention was to build a completely new house, so I reckon he just did it as part of the job. Nice guy... I even borrowed a drop sheet from him for when I got the kitchen installed, and I learned he actually mowed my yard for months before I bought it (the previous owner was hardly there for the last few months then he passed away). Being a 810sqm block under the warm Brisbane sun... its pretty substantial.
    I kinda offered to pitch in to pay for it (the fence) when he told me but I think the answer was don't worry.. I suppose I should ask again?
    :)
     
  17. kierank

    kierank Well-Known Member

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    You need to download and read the Act. It is in plain English and quite easy to understand. The Act describes the process one should follow and both parties should aim to negotiate an agreement. If you can't, you can apply to QCAT (max cost $305) and get a ruling.
     
  18. kierank

    kierank Well-Known Member

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    Seems like a great neighbour. It would have been better if they consulted with you but, if you are happy with the fence, I would let sleeping dogs lie. I would offer to make a contribution to the fence, because I am a good guy and I would want to keep the neighbour onside. But that is your call.
     
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  19. kierank

    kierank Well-Known Member

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    Apparently in WA, "if you decide to erect a fence at your own expense, it is recommended that you give the adjoining owner the details of the proposal as a courtesy, and to enable them to make arrangements to protect their property or animals during the construction process. A decision to erect a fence entirely at your own cost does not give you the right to enter the adjoining owner’s property without their permission during construction".

    https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/site...ding_fences_act_6th_edition_online.pdf#page26

    Can't see that working very well in practice. I can see the neighbour wanting to charge you with trespass if you took this approach and you stepped on their property. Bit awkward when seeing each other out the front.

    In WA, fencing disputes are handled by the Magistrates Court.
     
    Last edited: 22nd Jan, 2016
  20. Xenia

    Xenia Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    We have been successful in making neighbours pay half expenses during developments - that was in SA and through magistrates court (small claims).
     
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