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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22320
Experience:  37 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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Boundary fence 1. Leonie is my neighbour in front unit 2.

Customer Question

Boundary fence
1. Leonie is my neighbour in front unit
2. Pam is neighbour back unit from Leonie
3. Me front unit currently rented
I would have liked a fence exactly the same as the old one, because of the close proximity of the fence in relationship to my house it has gaps in between. The fence would have had the same measurements (no more) as the existing one. Leonie did not agree with this.
October 30 2015 at 730am Pam phoned for a meeting to discuss the fence.
She said she new of a good fence builder and was getting a rubbish container.
31 Oct
Went to discuss fence with Leonie. Pam showed me a fence on her side of the property which had spaces which I liked. Pam said she knows a good fence builder called Steve, which happened to be working on a something in her house?
I went back to Leonie’s side,of the fence and she said she didn’t want any spaces in it and was threatening to put up a hedge which she said would grow to 2 metres or more I said the fence must not exceed the highest point, which is 1:50 meters. She then said do you want to think about it and I said yes and went home.
6? November. I phoned Pam reluctantly agreeing on a fence with no spaces I said the fence must not exceed the highest point, which is 1:50 meters.
22 November Sunday left message. On answer phone, which said” you have reached the voice mailbox of Pam and Steve” .Left a message “When is Steve building the fence”.
23 November 7:30am Monday Pam phoned and said “this is not anything to do with her. Leonie is going to get a relative to build the fence. Steve: doesn’t have any time to build the fence”.
27 November I sent a letter to Leonie which said : As the fence is now only between us to consider. I thought I would again stipulate that the fence must not be over 1.50 at any part. I have compromised reluctantly with your wish for the fence with out gaps. So I trust that you will adhere to the height.
When you get a fence contractor I would appreciate a proper quote before starting and that the workman will give me a tax invoice at the end of the job so that I can forward it to my accountant for tax purposes. I would appreciate if you could give me your phone number for my records.
I have had no contact..I believe that Leonie could demolish the dividing fence without my authorisation, and the fence could be built higher .
I not sure what to do next?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 11 months ago.

The best way forward will be to now send a formal fencing notice which specifies the fence you want. Get a proper tradesman to quote for the costs and this will also help with the wording in the notice. Then give the notice to the neighbours and they can either agree or give a cross notice. The relevant parts of the Fencing Act are below.

10Notice to do work to be given

(1)Any occupier who desires to compel any other occupier under this Act to contribute to the cost of work on a fence shall serve on him a notice in form 1 of Schedule 1 or to the like effect.

(2)The notice shall—

(a)specify the boundary or line of fence, or the parts of the boundary or the line of fence, along which the work is to be done; and

(b)specify (whether by reference to a fence described in Schedule 2 or otherwise) the work proposed to be carried out with sufficient particularity to enable the occupier on whom the notice is served to—

(i)comprehend the nature of the work proposed and the materials to be used; and

(ii)estimate the cost of the work; and

(c)specify the consequences of failure to comply therewith.

(3)If it is proposed that the cost of the work shall be borne otherwise than in equal shares, the notice shall state the shares that are proposed.

(4)Except as provided in section 16, in the absence of agreement to the contrary the occupier of any adjoining land shall not be liable to contribute to the cost of any of the following:

(a)any part of the work on a fence that is done before notice relating to the work has been duly served on him:

(b)any part of the work that is done after the due service of such a notice and before the due service of a cross-notice on the occupier who gave the notice or the expiration of 21 days from the date of the service of the notice, whichever first happens:

(c)any part of the work that is done after the due service of such notice and cross-notice and while differences between the parties remain to be resolved either by agreement or by the court.

Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 11 months ago.

Schedule 2 Specimen types of fence

s 12(2)

Urban

1 Post and rail fence: A post and rail fence, at least 1 m in height, of substantial material, firmly erected, with not less than 4 rails, the space between the 2 bottom rails, and the bottom rail and the ground, not to exceed 125 mm, and the posts to be not more than 2.75 m apart.

2 Close boarded fence: A close boarded fence at least 1.5 m in height with posts and 2 rails, and having split or sawn timber placed upright, and well nailed to both rails, there being no openings between upright pieces of timber.

3 Paling fence: Any paling fence, at least 1 m in height, with posts and 2 rails, and having split or sawn timber placed upright, and well nailed to both rails, there being not more than 100 mm of opening between upright pieces of timber.

4 Panel fence: A panel fence at least 1 m in height with posts spaced not more than 2.7 m apart and having 2 or more rails with asbestos cement infil panels securely screwed to the rails.

5 Masonry walls: Walls of brickwork, blockwork, or stonework adequately supported.

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