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Fence Dispute with Your Neighbour

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A dispute over the common fence with your neighbour can trouble you every single day.

We have been instructed to assist our client resolve a dispute in relation to the shared hedge and fence amicably.

We are instructed that the hedge has been growing for many decades and our client has been unable to determine from who’s side of the property the hedge originates. Notwithstanding this, it is our view and we argued successfully that both parties are equally liable for maintaining the hedge and the boundary fence separating the Properties. It is important to note that in our case the hedge was established well before both parties purchased their property.

The leading legislation in relation to this matter is Dividing Fences Act 1991 which applies to dividing fence disputes. Disputes in relation to fences are determined before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

In relation tree and/or hedge disputes, parties who are unable to resolve the dispute can apply to the Land and Environment Court (the Court) in order for the dispute to be resolved. The Court has jurisdiction to resolve applications under the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006 (the Trees Act). The Practice Note available online explains the steps that need to be undertaken by the parties before the preliminary hearing, at the preliminary hearing, before and at the final hearing, and the evidence that might be given at the final hearing. While this option is currently being considered by our client, we are not instructed to proceed with an application to the Land and Environment Court at this stage.

As you can no doubt appreciate, being neighbours, it is important that the parties do everything they can to settle the dispute peacefully. Hence it is our focus that the parties will be able to resolve the matter without the need for expensive adversarial court litigation and instead come to a resolution more amicably. As per our recommendation, the matter was brought to a free mediation at the local Community Justice Centre (CJC). The conflict management services successfully assisted our client in an effort to resolve the dispute amicably and retain the good faith agreement in the mediation statement.

Should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact our office directly and one of our lovely team members will be more than happy to help you.

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