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Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 44895
Experience:  BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
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Maurice. We are having fence problems with out new

Customer Question

Hi Maurice. We are having fence problems with out new neighbour. They have threatened to replace the fence and put a caveat on our property to regain their cost. They have only just moved into a 3/4 rural residential property and wish to put up a 26 metre Colourbond Fence down the boundary. Originally they claimed it was for a pool fence but once they realised they were responsible for total cost, they now claim it is for aesthetic value. They do not want to look at our Garage/Studio. There is a considerable amount of vegetation between the properties. The fence is at present a wire and post fence in keeping with the area. The property is in Brisbane. We have no issue with replacing like with like (there is no problem with the existing fence) but we are not going to pay for a six foot, green colourbond fence to their liking. Are we even able to contest the type of fence?? Cheers Shona.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Leon replied 2 years ago.

Good Afternoon

My name is ***** ***** I am a NSW Solicitor. Thank you for your question, and will do my best to assist you with your question. Please understand this is not legal advise Please understand this is not legal advise but a guide to assist you.

Is there currently a fence and if so is there anything wrong with the fence?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There is a fence - wire and post. There is nothing wrong with the fence except for the very end of it - lower corner of property - where a tree has grown through it and making it lean. However, this is not where they want the fence replaced. The part of the fence they wish to replace is fine. There are some vines etc growing through it but the fence itself is sturdy.
Expert:  Leon replied 2 years ago.

Good Afternoon

If there is nothing wrong you write back to them and advise that.

If you can have a fencing expert go and see it and give you a report that will assist.

The law says if there is nothing wring with the fence and it is not in need of repair or replacement then you do not have to replace it and the cost is theirs.

I hope this makes sense and is of assistance.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Leon. Not quite my question. This is what we received:
Just a quick note to let you know that we have been advised to erect the fence and then place a caveat on your clients property. He then would have to take us to court to get it pulled down if he can prove that the original fence was not in disrepair..
I did not want it to come to this but unfortunately we feel we have no other course of action open to us.FOLLOWED BY (FROM OUR AGENT)In building the fence are you anticipating removing the treed fenceline, or just building a fence inside your boundary..?
Await your reply.FOLLOWED BY:
The fence will be on the boundry, so we will be removing the old wire fence and replacing with the new one. The vegetation on your clients side will need to be cut back a bit as discussed to allow the fence to be installed and the vine entwined in the fence down the bottom will have to come out altogether. Your clients only need to worry that their trees etc don't later on push the new fence over, so they will need to keep them cut back from the fence on their side. We have never stated that they have to remove their trees just cut them back from the fence line and remove the vine which has caused the wire fence to collapse.FOLLOWED BY (FROM AGENT)
I will advise my client.
The trimming of branches to allow for new fence is reasonable, but can I just caution you with regard to the vine. It is entirely possible to remove the wire from the vine and in the process trim the vine where it is entwined, but you should not remove the vine entirely, as it forms part of the established growth over my clients carport, and extends all the way to the front of the house. If you remove it the rest will die and my client may well be able to raise a damages suit against you.
Now that you have decided to go down this path, I am just trying to facilitate the minimum possible opportunity for a bad outcome for all parties.CAN THEY DO THIS? I am under the impression they can only request a payment of half the fence IF the fence is being replaced like for like and is in keeping with the surrounds (rural residential). The fence they wish to erect is a SIX FOOT COLOURBOND FENCE. 24 METRES IN LENGTH. Can they demolish the fence, rebuild their own fence and then place a caveat over our home to regain half the cost???? Do we have ANY say in the type of fence, colour of fence, height of fence. This is a Rural /Residential block - a colourbond fence is NOT in keeping with the surrounds. Also. How much of the fence has to be replaced. The WHOLE fence or only the piece THEY consider inappropriate. Originally they wanted us to replace the fence because of their intention to build a pool. When advised they were responsible for the WHOLE cost they reverted to.. their outlook onto our Garage/Studio was not to their liking. What are the legal ramifications here? Do we have to replace a fence that is OK. Do we have to pay for the whole length of the fence -once the fence is cut it will unwind - all wire and post fences are strained. Are we liable for half of their colourbond fence. Can it be built on the boundary. Can they remove the current fence without our permission. If this is not snipped in the bud.. it will get quite ugly.This is how I understood it: From the Queensland Justice Commission.If they want to replace the fence, it must be like for like and in keeping with the surrounds. Only the part of the fence that is unacceptable has to be replaced. Not 24 metres of it. If they wish to build a pool fence, the cost is totally theirs. If they wish to replace the fence with something other than what is there, the cost is based on ' cost of current type of fence - divided in half'. If they choose to upgrade - the extra cost is borne by them. They cannot just build a fence - coming onto our property is trespassing. Nor can they cut the vines on our side of the fence causing malicious and wilful damage to our property. If they wish to build their fence within 10mm of our boundary - they are in the right to do so, but we are not responsible for any cost. AM I CORRECT.Plus.... Is there in legal recourse of WHAT TYPE OF FENCE they are building. This type of fence is not in keeping with acreage - it is a residential fence. These adjoining properties are on the peripheral of a Koala Breeding ground. This type of fence would prohibit movement between all these properties.I await your reply.Cheers
Expert:  Leon replied 2 years ago.

Good Evening

is the current fence on the boundary?

They cannot cut down your trees without your consent and possible council approval.

This is not a notice required under the act

Here is some information about fencing in QLD

Any damage they cause to your property you can use for.

They have to give you a quote for the fence and ask you for 50% not the rest.