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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22174
Experience:  37 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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We have an easement on a driveway that belongs to the owner

Customer Question

We have an easement on a driveway that belongs to the owner of the large section at the end of the driveway. He is currently subdiving the section and selling them off. The contracters have spraypainted our fence and hammered nails, marking boundary lines. How legal is it? Even though it is a boundary fence, the fence was built when our house was built. The fence I am referring to is a fence between our section and the driveway, leading to his section. It is basically our street veiw as the fence is infront of our house.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 6 months ago.
Any work done on a driveway which is a right-of-way created by an easement has to be undertaken jointly. He must consult with you about the work being done and normally the costs are shared. The boundary fence is in a similar position, and work done on the fence would normally be undertaken with a fencing notice and the costs shared, and again any changes to the fence have to be done with consultation. So you are entitled to say to the neighbour that the fence has been damaged and spray-painted and that you require it to be restored back to the original condition. Tell him if he does not do the repairs, you will arrange to get a contractor and send the bill to him, and if he refuses to pay, you will bring a claim in the Disputes Tribunal. You can also remind him that work on the driveway must be done by consent. So there will need to be a discussion so that he knows your views, and the consequences.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I rang Churchill Lds as they are overseeing the construction, and he told me that the fence is not mine as it is on a boundary and the spraypaint they used is on their side of the fence, which he believes does not belong to me. I told him that we removed the markings as our initial reaction and thought was that someone tagged our fence. He said that they will be putting the markings back and that If i removed them again, could lead to criminal charges.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 6 months ago.
The fence is joint, and he needs to understand that he must consult with you. You cannot be charged criminally with removing paint from your own fence, even if it is a joint fence.

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