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9 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 242139 12-Oct-2018 18:44
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Hi, I'm new to this site, and looking for advice please

 

My neighbour and I have lived next door to each other for 12 years.  We have shared a 55 meter fence between us for all of that time.  Just recently my neighbour happened to have a boundary survey done on his property and it has come to light that the fence that we've lived with for all that time as a boundary fence is in fact 200 mm away from the boundary line into his property.  So, the fence actually belongs to him, and as such, it seems that there is no actual boundary fence.

 

Now my neighbour has decided that it is necessary to remove the current fence that is on his property and construct a new 2 meter high fence on the actual boundary line, albeit only 200 mm away from where the current fence stands.  I know that we are liable to contribute 50% cost of an adequate boundary fence under the fencing act, but do we have to agree to this as there is already currently a good dividing fence between us already even though it is not on the actual boundary line?  And, I assume that he will be liable for the costs of removing the current fence?

 

I think my neighbour just wants to use the fact that the fence is not quite on the boundary line as leverage to get us to pay for half of a nice new fence.  But, we can't afford to re-fence the whole boundary, especially when neither party has questioned the fence line over the past 12 years.

 

Do we have any options, or are we going to have to find a way to finance this?  And, what happens if we just don't have the money to pay for a new fence?  My neighbour has no problem with money and has told us that he'd be prepared to take us to court to force us to re-fence on the correct boundary.

 

Thanks for your help.

 

 


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  Reply # 2106964 12-Oct-2018 18:45
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Talk to a lawyer.





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  Reply # 2106978 12-Oct-2018 19:17
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In general terms, $100 per lineal meter is the going rate for a standard wood fence. So for 55 meters, you're looking at half of $5500, or lets call it $6000 to be conservative - so $3000. A brief consultation with a lawyer probably starts at around $150, so I'd be asking the question if that is good value for money given that you are at best deferring your $3000 liability until the current fence fails to be adequate.

 

Perhaps the Citizens Advice Bureau could advise how distance from boundary factors into defining an adequate fence under the fencing act?

 

Removal costs is an interesting question - on the one hand it is wholly on their property, so their problem. On the other hand, you have half ownership, thus half liability, of the fence. Most fencing contractors would offer to remove and bundle it into the price of the new fence.


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  Reply # 2106979 12-Oct-2018 19:19
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Unfortunately, you will just have to pay up. Read the fencing act (Google it) It specifies the correct procedure that the neighbour must follow to make you liable for half the cost. Maybe you will be lucky, and he will fail to follow that procedure.

Get your own quote for an adequate fence, so if his quote is too expensive, you can serve a cross notice.

He might be intending to sell his house. Meaning he would have to disclose that the fence doesn't match the boundary. If he doesn't get a new fence.

The above assumes that you and the neighbour are on separate properties. If you are part of the same cross lease, then the fencing act doesn't apply.





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  Reply # 2106994 12-Oct-2018 20:09
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moore4:[snip] I know that we are liable to contribute 50% cost of an adequate boundary fence under the fencing act,

 

My emphasis.

 

Is the existing fence adequate, other than location? Could it be moved? If it is adequate, are they asking for something that is more expensive than the current one?


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  Reply # 2107007 12-Oct-2018 21:03
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What's the purpose of then fence? Is it to define the boundary only, or to keep a dog in, or privacy etc. That may determine the type of fence. There are examples of an adequate fence I believe in the fencing act. To save money you could also build it between you in the weekend, saving on labour.




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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 2107009 12-Oct-2018 21:05
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nickb800:

 

In general terms, $100 per lineal meter is the going rate for a standard wood fence. So for 55 meters, you're looking at half of $5500, or lets call it $6000 to be conservative - so $3000. A brief consultation with a lawyer probably starts at around $150, so I'd be asking the question if that is good value for money given that you are at best deferring your $3000 liability until the current fence fails to be adequate.

 

Perhaps the Citizens Advice Bureau could advise how distance from boundary factors into defining an adequate fence under the fencing act?

 

Removal costs is an interesting question - on the one hand it is wholly on their property, so their problem. On the other hand, you have half ownership, thus half liability, of the fence. Most fencing contractors would offer to remove and bundle it into the price of the new fence.

 

  We've had two quotes done.  The cheapest was over $230 per linear meter for a 2m high wooden fence, and the other quote was astronomical!  So, not quite a conservative $6000 unfortunately.  I should have mentioned that almost half of the fence will need to be installed where currently a concrete patio is, which bumps the price up. 

 

I did contact a lawyer to ask how much it would be to answer my questions, and they estimated somewhere between $500 and 1500.    I think we might be getting ripped off with prices up here in Northland!  We may have to go to CAB.  They do a free legal advice clinic that allows 10-minute appointments, and maybe they can answer the question about adequate fencing and distance from boundary.

 

Thank you.




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  Reply # 2107010 12-Oct-2018 21:08
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Aredwood: Unfortunately, you will just have to pay up. Read the fencing act (Google it) It specifies the correct procedure that the neighbour must follow to make you liable for half the cost. Maybe you will be lucky, and he will fail to follow that procedure.

Get your own quote for an adequate fence, so if his quote is too expensive, you can serve a cross notice.

He might be intending to sell his house. Meaning he would have to disclose that the fence doesn't match the boundary. If he doesn't get a new fence.

The above assumes that you and the neighbour are on separate properties. If you are part of the same cross lease, then the fencing act doesn't apply.
  

 

Thank you.  My neighbour is about to issue us with a fencing notice, so he will be following procedure.  We are on separate properties.  And, he's not intending to sell his house as far as I'm aware.  He's mentioned replacing the fence before, and I think he now just wants to use the boundary issue as a way to enforce that.




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  Reply # 2107011 12-Oct-2018 21:12
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RunningMan:

 

moore4:[snip] I know that we are liable to contribute 50% cost of an adequate boundary fence under the fencing act,

 

My emphasis.

 

Is the existing fence adequate, other than location? Could it be moved? If it is adequate, are they asking for something that is more expensive than the current one?

 

 

The existing fence is completely adequate, other than it being off the boundary.  But, he doesn't want it moved.  He just wants it replaced with a new fence because the current fence is made up of three sections that don't match.  His words were, "I can afford a new fence, so why not?"




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  Reply # 2107012 12-Oct-2018 21:16
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mattwnz:

 

What's the purpose of then fence? Is it to define the boundary only, or to keep a dog in, or privacy etc. That may determine the type of fence. There are examples of an adequate fence I believe in the fencing act. To save money you could also build it between you in the weekend, saving on labour.

 

 

We both have dogs, so we need a fence to keep them in.  But, to define boundary as well, i guess.  Our neighbour wants no part in building it.  He just wants a contractor to come in and do it all.  Unfortunately, half of the fence will need to be placed into a concrete patio that will need to be cut, so it's not just a simple fence in soil.


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  Reply # 2107014 12-Oct-2018 21:16
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You would only be liable for the cheapest type of fence deemed adequate for (I assume) urban purposes, likely a 1m post and rail which wouldn’t be too expensive. If they want to upspec that then they should bear the cost especially if funds are tight on your side, you can use that to reinforce your position.



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Reply # 2107021 12-Oct-2018 21:25
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Lastman: You would only be liable for the cheapest type of fence deemed adequate for (I assume) urban purposes, likely a 1m post and rail which wouldn’t be too expensive. If they want to upspec that then they should bear the cost especially if funds are tight on your side, you can use that to reinforce your position.
  Thank you.  I think this is the way we will have to go.  We are not opposed to putting a fence up on the boundary, but at present our finances won't allow us to do the fence that we'd both ideally like.  But, I think from his side, he'll probably take it to disputes tribunal or court to get a decision made.


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  Reply # 2107022 12-Oct-2018 21:28
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moore4:

 

RunningMan:

 

moore4:[snip] I know that we are liable to contribute 50% cost of an adequate boundary fence under the fencing act,

 

My emphasis.

 

Is the existing fence adequate, other than location? Could it be moved? If it is adequate, are they asking for something that is more expensive than the current one?

 

 

The existing fence is completely adequate, other than it being off the boundary.  But, he doesn't want it moved.  He just wants it replaced with a new fence because the current fence is made up of three sections that don't match.  His words were, "I can afford a new fence, so why not?"

 

 

 

 

IANAL, but you may want to get some form of legal opinion as to whether the current fence could be considered a boundary fence or not.  But very difficult without a lawyer, or finding a precedent, but maybe the CAB can advise. If you do go down the new fence route, if the neighbour doesn't a want to help you build, you could offer just to pay half the cost of the materials, and offer help to the person building when they start building it. But you should get a quote for materials from somewhere like Bunnings, so you can buy in the materials directly, instead of through the person building it, as you can save a lot by buying in the materials yourself. But I am not a lawyer, so it is always good to get advice about this sort of thing from the CAB, as I am sure that fences must be their bread and butter. 


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  Reply # 2107023 12-Oct-2018 21:29
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moore4:

 

RunningMan:

 

moore4:[snip] I know that we are liable to contribute 50% cost of an adequate boundary fence under the fencing act,

 

My emphasis.

 

Is the existing fence adequate, other than location? Could it be moved? If it is adequate, are they asking for something that is more expensive than the current one?

 

 

The existing fence is completely adequate, other than it being off the boundary.  But, he doesn't want it moved.  He just wants it replaced with a new fence because the current fence is made up of three sections that don't match.  His words were, "I can afford a new fence, so why not?"

 

 

If it's ugly (sound like it is), just do it. It's only money.  Better to spend it on a fence rather than on a lawyer because you get hung up on the "principle" of it.


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  Reply # 2107028 12-Oct-2018 21:57
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moore4:

Hi, I'm new to this site, and looking for advice please


My neighbour and I have lived next door to each other for 12 years.  We have shared a 55 meter fence between us for all of that time.  Just recently my neighbour happened to have a boundary survey done on his property and it has come to light that the fence that we've lived with for all that time as a boundary fence is in fact 200 mm away from the boundary line into his property.  So, the fence actually belongs to him, and as such, it seems that there is no actual boundary fence.



I remember this coming up a couple of times on the TM Real Estate forum. When it was just a problem with the end post the fence was in line with a boundary peg. Have you measured from the new peg to your other fence and compared that to your title? Does your other fence have pegs?

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  Reply # 2107037 12-Oct-2018 22:19
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Definitely do your own measuring to check it lines up with what is claimed.




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