The fence between my neighbour’s house and mine needs fixing, who should have to pay for this?

Question Details: I don't want to wait until it completely falls apart but my neighbour's not doing anything about it.

Filed under Neighbours | 2479 View(s)

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Answers by Lawyers

Community Law Wellington & Hutt Valley

As a general principle, the occupiers of adjoining properties, in this case you and your neighbour, are responsible for equal shares of the cost of work on boundary fences (unless you agree otherwise, or unless one party has damaged the fence).

If a fence is damaged or destroyed in an accident or some other sudden event, and it needs immediate work, then either you or your neighbour can do the necessary work without any notice and then recover half the cost of the work from the other neighbour (unless one of you is reponsible for the damage).

However, if your fence has just gradually deteriorated over time, as it seems yours has, you should first talk to your neighbour and see if you can agree to share the costs. If you cannot agree, you can start a formal process to require your neighbour to contribute by serving your neighbour with a "Fencing Notice".

Read about Fencing Notices (and see a sample notice) here:

Answered 12 Jul 2012. The IMPORTANT NOTICE below is part of this answer.

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