How can I resolve my fencing dispute?

Previous page: General Fencing Principles

If you and your neighbour cannot agree on a particular approach to your fencing issue, you should try to negotiate with them to facilitate an outcome. You should also consider whether the following steps will be appropriate for you:

  1. Obtain one or more quotes from a licensed fencing contractor. This will ensure that you are negotiating over a figure that is practical and can be applied to your situation. Either party can request a quote to begin the process.
  2. Have a discussion with your neighbour about the proposal. Do they have any concerns? Have you listened to them and tried to come up with a solution? It is far better at the early stage to have an informal discussion and try to reach an amicable agreement.
  3. Send a Notice to Fence via Registered Post. A Notice to Fence is a formal document that outlines a proposal to repair or replace a fence – you can download a copy on our Notice to Fence page. It is advisable to send it via Registered post and attach one or more quotes for the work. Once received, your neighbour has 30 days to respond to the proposal. If they agree, you can build the fence as per your proposal. If they disagree, you will need to negotiate a solution. If they do not respond, you must wait the full 30 days, and may proceed with the proposed fencing works after that period. You may then commence an action in the Magistrates’ Court to recover their share of the costs if required.
  4. Attempt mediation through the DSCV. If your matter is suitable and parties are willing, DSCV may be able to facilitate a resolution with you through the mediation process. Mediation is a free, confidential and non-adversarial process – more information can be found on our mediation page. To speak to one of our Dispute Assessment Officers about how DSCV may be able to assist you with your dispute, visit our Contact Page.
  5. Obtain legal advice from an independent professional. It is important to be aware of your rights and obligations in regards to any legal matter. DSCV officers cannot give you legal advice; you will need to speak to an independent professional who may be able to assist you with your matter. You may wish to try the Federation of Community Legal Centres or the Law Institute of Victoria.      

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