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kmslaw
kmslaw, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 195
Experience:  I have 15 years legal experience behind me and I graduated from the University of Sydney with First Class Honours in Arts/Law.
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Our new neighbours want to replace a shared paling fence

Customer Question

Our new neighbours want to replace a shared paling fence that was installed 13 years ago using long lasting materials (hardwood and ironbark). They also want to increase the height from 1.9m to 2.25m and reverse the rails from their side to ours. The fence is still in good condition and does not need replacing. What's our legal position if we don't agree to the replacement.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  kmslaw replied 3 months ago.

Hello my name is***** am a solicitor in NSW who will help with your inquiry today. Let me just find the particular provision in relation to this situation and get back to you in a moment.

Expert:  kmslaw replied 3 months ago.

Okay, so the obligation between the properties is that there be a "sufficient dividing fence" - see section 7 of the Fences Act 1968 (Vic). If they wish to change the fence because they say it is not a sufficient dividing fence, I suggest you take photos of the fence at various points along the fence line immediately so that you can refute their position that it is not.

If If they wish to begin the legal process, they have to serve you with a notice, which contains the information found here. Then you have 30 days notice to lodge a complaint in the Magistrate's Court if you disagree with them on any aspect within the fencing notice. If they lodge the complaint first or if you want to lodge it within the 30 days, then go back to the information above and test the fencing notice as to whether it contained all of the relevant information because if it doesn't it is not a valid fencing notice.

They cannot do the fencing work unless it is urgent or unless a fencing notice agreement or other agreement or Court order is in place to govern what will occur. If they start to do the fencing work against your will, you can tell them you will be challenging the validity of what they are doing and therefore will seek to avoid paying any part of the cost of the fencing work. But best if you lodge a complaint in the Magistrates Court the moment they have written to you if you don't agree.

I hope that has helped you today.

Expert:  kmslaw replied 3 months ago.

In addition, if they have a tradesman do the fencing work against your will, and without agreement between you, you can prevent that tradesman from entering your property to do the fencing work, but be careful not to be violent as no assault is warranted by the situation. You have to tell the tradesman he cannot enter your land.

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