Fence Disputes

Dividing fences

QCAT has jurisdiction in relation to dividing fences including correction of new fences; repairs to existing fences; the position of fences; the conduct of other “fencing work” associated with any of the foregoing.

The general rule is that adjoining owners must share equally in the costs of erections and maintenance of dividing fences.

If an owner wants work to be done in relation to a dividing fence, they must first give their neighbour a Notice to Contribute for Fencing Work.

“Fencing Work” can include the conduct of a survey to identify the boundary and repairs to any retaining wall to which the fence is attached.

Even if work is intended to be done without asking the neighbour to contribute to the cost, such a Notice should be given.

Where a cost contribution is sought from the neighbour the Notice must be accompanied by a quote for the work.

Retaining Walls

If repairs to a retaining wall on or near the boundary are required in connection with repairs or the construction of an offence, the cost of the wall repairs is “Fencing Work” the cost of which must generally be shared equally between adjoining owners.

In other circumstances, the extent to which each owner must bear the cost of erection and maintenance of a retaining wall depends on a number of factors including the relative benefit each owner gets from the additional usable space on their side of the wall; the history of its construction; and whether one neighbour’s conduct has caused the wall to deteriorate.

Nuisance, eg water or sediment

If overland water flow has been diverted or concentrated by construction on higher adjoining land, relief may be available for the removal of the “nuisance”.

Queensland Business and Property Lawyers offers fixed fee packages for comprehensive advice; QCAT claims/ defences preparation and preparation of submissions. Terms apply.

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