Click here for information regarding the Fences Act rules that may assist you with questions about:
- who pays for a dividing fence/fence repairs
- the type of fence to be built
- process where adjoining owner cannot be located or does not respond
- notices that neighbours need to give one another
- how to resolve disputes that come up when discussing fencing works with your neighbour
- serving Notices to Fence
What should I do if I want to build a dividing fence or think my dividing fence needs repairing?
Talk to your neighbour informally first about the dividing fence between your properties. If you both agree that work needs to be done, then you might not need to follow the processes in the Fences Act. You might be able to agree on the type of fence, the contractor that you will employ, how the costs of the fencing works will be paid and the placement of the dividing fence. If you are able to come to an agreement like this with your neighbour, then the fencing works can go ahead as agreed.
However, you cannot go ahead and build a dividing fence or do repairs on a dividing fence unless you either have your neighbour’s agreement or you follow the processes in the Fences Act. If you do not have your neighbour’s agreement, then before you arrange for any work to be done, you need to give your neighbour a notice that contains information about the work you are proposing (fencing notice).
What if I cannot find the person who owns the property next door?
To locate your neighbour, you might need to make reasonable inquiries, including asking any tenant of the property next door about the owner's whereabouts. You can also try other ways in which to contact your neighbour including purchasing landowner information from Landata (address details of owner at the time of purchase) or finding out an address via the VEC roll. As a last resort council might be able to help put you in touch with your neighbour.
You may use the following form if you are unable to contact the owner of a neighbouring property by any other means to ask council to help you make contact or to serve a fencing notice. After submitting this form council will send a letter to your neighbour letting them know you want to get in contact with them about fencing and provide them with your contact details.