FAQs About Fencing in Adelaide

Fencing is an extremely integral part of all Adelaide properties. It sets boundaries, protects, and provides you with privacy. However, fencing can be the root of disputes. If you’ve ever tuned into Today Tonight or A Current Affair you will know only too well how bad some disagreements with neighbours can get. To avoid these types of problems it’s important to know what your rights are with fencing. To help you out, we have outlined some frequently asked questions about fencing in Adelaide.

Do I need to attain my neighbour’s consent when installing a new fence?
When you consider that the purpose of a fence is to separate two properties, it’s pretty clear that both you and your neighbour own the fence. If it helps, think about your fence as a joint asset you share between you and your neigbhours. It doesn’t matter if the neighbour hasn’t actually put any money towards it, this is just a given. Therefore, like any joint asset, you will have to consider your neighbours’ needs when making decisions.

In terms of existing fencing, you can’t just simple do what you want. You must either seek your neighbours permission or if that isn’t possible then a court order. If there is no fence on your property and you would like to erect on then you will have to discuss the matter with your neighour. They do have the right to object the fence if they way to. Even if you are offering to pay the entire cost, they still have a right to say.

What happens when you and your neighbor can’t agree on the fencing
If it comes to a point where you and your neighbor can’t come to an agreement about your Fencing in Adelaide then you then you will have to go a higher authority. South Australia has a dispute settlement centre that provides advice on fencing problems and offers  helpful resolution. There is also the possibility of serving your next door neighbor with a ‘Notice to Fence’ which is a legal document requesting they share the price of the fence with you. In the instance where your neighbor ignores your requests for more than 30 days then you have the option to take them to a magistrates court. It’s important to note that this can be an involved process and seek legal advice before taking your fencing problem to this step.

Fencing in Adelaide

Rental properties and fencing
If you are renting and are having trouble with your fencing, the good news is it is the responsibility of the owner of the property to deal with any disputes. However, in the case of a fence having to be repaired, if the tenant has caused the damage, then they will have to contribute to the cost. There are instances where tenants of more than five years having to help out with fencing costs in commercial situations, however, this are circumstance dependent.

The rules about things hanging over fences
If you have an annoying tree branch that is hanging over from your neighbours property and dropping leave and causing a nuisance, it is within your right to chop it off. By law, is it each property owner’s responsibility to ensure that they keep their property within their own land. If anything escapes, be it tree branches and roots, and finds itself into the neighbours yard, then you can do what you see fit. If there are branches hanging over into your backyard that you would prefer  not to be there, cut them off and place them over the fence back on your neighbors property. To avoid conflict, it’s probably best if you discuss this with your neighbor first. While you don’t need their approval, it’s just best to keep communications up so you have a good relationship with your neighbor.

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