NSW Clarification on Neighbour's Fences and Property Law?

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4 April 2016
Good morning

I have a query in relation to the dividing fence between my neighbour and myself.

My neighbour has lived in his house for around 7 years. I have purchased my house in December 2014.

All around the property, there are Colourbond steel fencing. We live in a very small cul de sac in Horsley. My house is at one corner of the rectangular end to the cul de sac, causing my house to be virtually battle axed beside my western boundary neighbour and we share access to the driveway to my property and his. On the eastern property side, my neighbour had added a small Colourbond addition to the side fence that then took the fence line out nearly to my letterbox and the boundary of the council verge. This was done well in advance of my purchasing the house.

Apparently, when putting in this addition to the fence, my neighbour inquired of the previous owner to pay half the share. At that time, D refused to pay for the erection of this small extra section to the fenceline (my neighbour was asking for $300 of the $600 cost).

This section of fence created a distinct line between my neighbour's drive and the grass section of my property that reached to the letterbox.

My neighbour is now proposing to move back to his parent's home in Port Kembla and rent out his house. He wants to take down the small section of fence (he says is 'his' as he paid the full price) to utilise the steel for an aviary at his parent's house.

I have offered to pay $150 towards leaving the fence as is, considering as it was built well before I moved in December 2014 and, therefore, I felt that half of the original half share was considered fair as it was no longer brand new. My neighbour is 'thinking about it' at present but I am wanting to know what my rights are within the realms of the Dividing Fence Act.

I believe that we are still shared owners of the fence regardless of who paid for its construction before I moved in and see it as part of the boundary fence and, therefore, half my ownership.

Could you please clarify this under Property Law?


Victoria S

Well-Known Member
9 April 2014
Hi there,

Under NSW law, where a dividing fence between your properties needs rebuilding or repairing because of deliberate damage caused by your adjoining neighbour, they are liable for the entire cost of restoring it to a reasonable standard. Therefore, if this guy pulls down part of the fence to use the materials for something else, he must pay for the costs of restoring the fence to a reasonable standard.