Dividing Fences Disputes

Unsurprisingly, dividing fences disputes are a common community concern.

The Dividing Fences Act 1961 combined with local government by-laws regulate the maintenance and erection of dividing fences. The act does not assist with fence height restrictions, view obstructions or encroachment, or retaining walls. However, the act, amongst other things, sets out a process for sharing the costs between neighbours and provides a mechanism by which the relevant parties can turn to the Court to resolve the dispute.

It is important to note that in the event a party elects to erect a fence that is to a higher standard than the required ‘sufficient fence’ standard without prior agreement of the adjoining owner, that part can only claim half the cost of what it would have cost to erect or maintain a fence that was a ‘sufficient fence’.

Typically, in dividing fence disputes we would encourage our client to exhaust all attempts to resolve the dispute prior to engaging us. However, unfortunately such attempts to resolve the dispute dare not always successful. In these circumstances, Rowe Bristol Lawyers has experience dealing with a wide range of disputes in relation to dividing fences, including, but not limited to:

  • Disputes arising in respect of new dwellings
  • Disputes arising in respect of existing dwellings
  • Disputes related to visual impediments and height restrictions
  • Disputes with developers

Additionally, in many circumstances we are able to assist to resolve the dispute without resorting to expensive litigation.If you require legal advice in relation to dividing fences, please contact us to arrange a meeting so that we may consider your specific circumstances.

The above information is provided as general information only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. The accuracy of this information may have changed from the date when it was published