Get off my boundary: The fence regulations


Putting up a fence to keep the elements out will never been the worst idea in the history of mankind. In fact, it is our every right to put up a fence to safeguard our surrounding property. With the kind of fencing that is being designed in our modern age it may seem like you are beautifying your home instead of securing it. But before you put up a fence there are a few matters you need to consider.

Can I put a boundary fence up without talking to my neighbour?

If your property needs fencing along the boundary line of your property, then first consult your neighbour about your thoughts on it and where you want it to go. Include the sort of fence you want and how much it will cost.

What if my neighbour does not agree?

If your neighbour disagrees to putting up a fence or refuses to talk to you, then under the Fencing Act, you are only required to give notice as to when the work will commence. If you fail to give the correct notice, your neighbour may not be required to contribute half of the costs of the boundary fence. You neighbour can even sought legal action to have the fence removed.

The exception

The only exception to this is if you have no other choice to urgently repair a broken fence or rebuilding, whilst your neighbour is out of town. Only in this case can you restore the fence to how it originally was before the damage, and ask your neighbour to contribute half the cost when they return.

The Fencing Notice

A Fencing Notice is a formal proposal to your neighbour which describes the fencing work you would like done to your property. This would include the cost of which you want your neighbour to contribute to. Only bring in a fencing Notice if your neighbour is being reluctant to comply with your request.

The notice has to specify the boundary line and where the work will be done and what the nature of the new fence is for, including what it will look like and the material that will be used. If you propose to share the cost equally, you must include in the notice the estimation of the cost of work and how the costs will be divided between you and your neighbour.

Your neighbour will have 21 days to object to the Fencing Notice if they decide not to comply with your request. If your reasoning is valid to put up a fence, and they still object they will be deemed to have consented to the work.

You have every right to put up a fence for your own security. You just need to be on the right side of the law to make your actions work for you.