Believe it or not, fencing disputes arise quite commonly between neighbours. These disputes may be the root of bad relations and friction between neighbours. Not only does this create hardship and awkward encounters in your own neighbourhood, but ongoing disputes may cause financial and emotional distress.

What types of fencing disputes may arise?

  1. Building, fixing, replacing dividing fences
  2. Specification of the fence
  3. Dispute as to the boundaries
  4. Maintenance of retaining walls
  5. Dispute regarding enforcement of fencing orders

Below is a basic guideline as to what exactly these fences are, as well as providing information about the process of dispute resolution you may need to undertake.

Dividing Fences

A dividing fence separates the neighbouring properties. Generally, dividing fences are present on the common boundary between the two properties. It is important to note that dividing fences do not generally include retaining walls unless an exception applies.

Retaining Walls

A retaining wall supports or holds back the earth. It is present between two properties where one ground is higher than the other. Retaining walls provide structural support and are an essential part of property situated on higher ground.

What is the process of resolving my fencing dispute?

So you’ve tried to speak with your neighbour and come to an agreement about fixing, building or replacing a dividing fence, and it has all failed! What do you do now?

  1. Fencing Notice – A Fencing Notice is a formal written notice to your neighbour that states that you plan on building, fixing or replacing a fence. It asks for them to contribute to the costs.
  2. Application to NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) – If no agreement has been reached one month after the Fencing Notice has been served, you may lodge a Dividing Fences Application to NCAT. There are fees involved with applications. Both you and your neighbour will receive a Notice of Conciliation and Hearing.
  3. Conciliation – Parties will be asked to negotiate an agreement. If an agreement is settled upon, the Tribunal member will record the agreement terms. These agreements will then become a legally binding ‘Consent Order’.
  4. Hearing – However, not all disputes are resolved at conciliation. If an agreement cannot be made at conciliation, both parties will be required to present their evidence to the Tribunal Member at the hearing. The Tribunal Member will then make a determination and final orders.
  5. Final Orders – NCAT will make final orders which are legally binding and enforceable.

How can we help?H

Our lawyers are experienced in a wide range of neighbour disputes which arise every day. The longer the dispute continues without any sound legal advice, the more complex and troublesome it may become.

We will assist you in negotiating with the other party. We will ensure that your side of the matter is properly and succinctly prepared for mediations and legal proceedings.  

Submit an enquiry through our website and one of our lawyers will promptly contact you!

Disclaimer: The information above is intended to be general information only and it should not be relied upon it as legal advice. If you seek professional advice please feel free to contact the team at Lincoln Legal or make an enquiry.