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Recovering fencing costs from neighbours

By poppy 6 April 2014 28

I have a situation whereby a fence needs to be replaced urgently, its too old and in such a state that repair is not an option.

Having done my research the situation I find myself in is one in which I am entitled to replace the fence immediately without consultation with the neighbours and still recover costs from them. For example the simple fact of pets escaping is one that would be considered requiring an emergency replacement without requiring agreement from neighbours. My situation is worse than that as the neighbours dogs keep getting into my yard and attacking my own pet plus being a big nuisance to me. I have tried talking to the neighbours on many occasions about the fence replacement and have been very patient and understanding. They kept agreeing that the fence needed replacement and said they were going to organise quotes. Having got fed up with their promises I organised a fencer to quote myself who told me that he couldn’t split the bill with them as they had not paid for previous work he had done for them. Now here I get really p*^%@d off as when these problems with old/dodgy fences first started to occur various neighbours got together and they all (including my neighbour who won’t cough up) wanted colourbond fencing in place of timber. I agreed only to keep things friendly and simple and because I didn’t want inconsistent fencing. So now I have paid for a section of fencing in colourbond with another neighbour that I only did due to the various neighbours requests and now there is so much colourbond fencing around that it may be considered the norm. So the quote I have got that I am trying to recover from them is for colourbond fences the same as that which have recently been replaced in my yard, as well in the non-paying neighbours yard and in various other neighbours fences. I have given the dodgy neighbours a copy of a fencing quote which I have asked them to sign and return, they have ignored me.

I know that I can apply to ACAT to recover the cost but from what I understand the ACAT fee is $130 which I can’t recover from the neighbour, I also understand that I may have to take some time off work to attend ACAT (although neighbour is also employed so may not want to do the same as well). I feel very strongly that I would win given that my pets are being attacked in my own yard and the fence is beyond repair, however wonder how much that would mean if an order is made to pay which the neighbour simply ignores. I figure if there is no enforcement then there is no point. I also wonder if the neighbour would try to pull the “I’m only entitled to half of the cost of a basic timber fence”. I don’t agree that is the case given that we all discussed colourbond fencing and we and our neighbours have both had new colourbond fencing in our backyard installed recently (the bad neighbour just decided that they didn’t want to pay for it). In addition due to the aggressive behaviour of the neighbours dogs, there is a lot of fence barking going on that would probably be relieved by a colourbond fence (as our dogs wouldn’t be able to see each other). However the law may see different regarding the timber/colourbond fence situation. Any advice would be welcomed.

Please do not make any suggestions that would involve any form of potential harm to the neighbours pets. That is not something I would do. Their dogs are only being aggressive to my dog because the neighbour didn’t bother to desex them. They are actually very lovely dogs which makes the situation even harder as I would not want them put down when they only need to be desexed.


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Recovering fencing costs from neighbours
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london 12:54 pm 18 Oct 15

Take the matter to the tribunal. Get all your facts, receipts, photos together and make a strong case.
It costs but if you win they have to pay all costs. We had to do this and although it’s lots of messing around it was worth it. It’s rediculous having to go this far when it’s obvious that a fence is necessary.
They may not want to pay but if it gets as far as court it only adds to there costs.

clipper 11:15 pm 04 May 14

jasmine said :

We have a similar situation with our neighbours who keep agreeing the fence needs fixing but they are too lazy to remove or cut back shrubs and other structures hanging off the fence to enable the work to be done. They keep pushing the ‘will do’ moment back for over a year now. Generally we get on well with them and they are not bad people but they are too busy. We are thinking of taking the advice above and just putting up the new fence on our side, at least for part of the length, and let them deal with the shabby remainder in their own time. Essentially it means they get a free fence but at the end of the day at least you can fix the problem. Yes it is unfair, but you still have a choice no matter how it may grate. We will be doing the same fairly soon.

Question…. If this were to happen and you put up a fence on your side, are they allowed to remove the old fence? Without consultation? If they did do this, it seems they would acquire a little more land (even if it is just a little bit…)

Maya123 5:25 pm 04 May 14

When I moved into my present house the back fence was falling down. Many of the boards were loose and leaning all ways, with many gaps as a result. All it took to get it straight was a drill and screws. You would hardly know it was the same fence. Now it’s straight and complete. Is your fence so rotten that it won’t hold screws? If it can hold screws it’s not a huge job to put it back together and screws hold better than nails. Replace any broken boards with new.
One of my side neighbours has been trying to get the hardwood fence replaced with colourbond fence for years. There is nothing wrong with the hardwood fence, except it doesn’t match their other colourbond fences. I have taken photographs to prove it. It’s straight and strong. A few boards were a little loose, but the drill and screws fixed that problem and I replaced three rotten boards with new. I’ve had builders doing work at my place and they agree the fence is sound.
Felix the Cat said a wooden fence needs painting. I have lived in several houses and none of the fences were ever painted, nor do I know any local fences that are painted. I lived in my last house for over twenty years and the wooden fences had never been painted and were still sound when I left. The boards were all reattached with screws though, as nails loosen and fall out.

wildturkeycanoe 3:24 pm 04 May 14

jasmine said :

We have a similar situation with our neighbours who keep agreeing the fence needs fixing but they are too lazy to remove or cut back shrubs and other structures hanging off the fence to enable the work to be done. They keep pushing the ‘will do’ moment back for over a year now. Generally we get on well with them and they are not bad people but they are too busy. We are thinking of taking the advice above and just putting up the new fence on our side, at least for part of the length, and let them deal with the shabby remainder in their own time. Essentially it means they get a free fence but at the end of the day at least you can fix the problem. Yes it is unfair, but you still have a choice no matter how it may grate. We will be doing the same fairly soon.

Hasn’t anyone here seen the movie “Backyard Ashes”? Holes in the fence are what Aussie life is all about. Pets complicate things. Maybe backyard pets should be banned, they seem to cause an awful lot of problems in society.

jasmine 6:09 pm 03 May 14

We have a similar situation with our neighbours who keep agreeing the fence needs fixing but they are too lazy to remove or cut back shrubs and other structures hanging off the fence to enable the work to be done. They keep pushing the ‘will do’ moment back for over a year now. Generally we get on well with them and they are not bad people but they are too busy. We are thinking of taking the advice above and just putting up the new fence on our side, at least for part of the length, and let them deal with the shabby remainder in their own time. Essentially it means they get a free fence but at the end of the day at least you can fix the problem. Yes it is unfair, but you still have a choice no matter how it may grate. We will be doing the same fairly soon.

BerraBoy68 6:59 pm 10 Apr 14

We’re on the other side of the fence (not yours, someone else’s!). My mothers new neighbour’s are harrassing her (banging on her door, yelling abuse etc.) in an effort to make her to pay half for a new colorbond fence, even though the existing wooden fence is strong as nails. I’ve taken loads of photo’s and video of the fence to prove to anyone that asks that it doesn’t need replacing. They’re main claims for a new fence are that 1) the wooden one isn’t as visually appealing to them as a colorbond would be, 2) the wooden fence doesn’t match the colorbond one they have on the other side of their property, 3) they want a higher fence for more privacy, and 4) they might hit the concrete supports in their car as they traverse their driveway. None of these are my mothers issue so she’s not paying. We’ve told them they can replace the fence with whatever they want (height, color, etc.) and my mother won’t stand in their way, as long as they pay for it themselves.

Felix the Cat 9:10 am 10 Apr 14

Sandman said :

poppy said :

Sandman, it is more than $500. I don’t know where you got that figure from.

That was based on the 27 metres of colourmax I just bought (still sitting on the back of my truck.)
$960 for all the materials to do a back and side fence, couple of days to dig a few holes, run a few string lines, and screw it all together. Then halve it.

How much is the neighbors share, total length of the fence, and what material?

I had a new colorbond fence installed a few months ago (repalcing an old paling fence),13.5m x 1800h Colorbond Fence + Lattice + demolish/remove old fence and total cost was $1755. I think it was Lysaght brand.

I have a quote for the other fence in my yard that is currently on my wish list and it is a longer span, 25.4m x 1800h Colorbond Fence + Lattice + demolish/remove old fence $3302.

The lattice does add a fair bit of cost, but it’s just an option. A quote my neighbour got from the same fence guy for 3.8m x 1800h Colorbond Fence Without Lattice 3.8m x 1800h + demolish/remove old fence $361; with lattice $494.

As with everything, there are different brands and different qualities.

Elf 7:34 pm 09 Apr 14

Trap the dogs and call the rangers next time they get in. The rangers will deal with your neighbours and paying for a new fence might seem like the best option for them.

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