– KEY TAKEAWAYS
- Fence disputes can be common among neighbors in Perth due to confusion or disagreement over property boundaries.
- Resolving fence disputes in Perth requires clear communication, understanding of property boundaries, and a willingness to find compromise. By following the outlined steps and seeking appropriate assistance, you can navigate these conflicts amicably and preserve neighborly relationships. Remember, peaceful resolutions lead to happier and harmonious communities.
- Beers with your neighbour are so much better than arguing with your neighbour. Be cool, talk to your neighbour.
Understanding Fence DisputesFence disputes often stem from confusion or disagreement between neighbouring property owners regarding the exact location, ownership or maintenance of a shared fence. Such conflicts may arise due to various reasons, including:
- Boundary Confusion: Property owners may hold differing interpretations of the precise property line, leading to conflicts over fence placement.
- Maintenance Responsibility: Disagreements may emerge regarding the party responsible for maintaining and repairing the fence.
- Encroachments: In some instances, a fence may encroach on a neighbour’s property, sparking disputes over the encroachment and potential land ownership issues.
The Significance of Fence InspectionsFence inspections play a pivotal role in resolving fence disputes. Engaging the services of a professional fence inspector such as WA Building Inspections Perth offers an independent assessment of the fence and its condition, aiding in determining the responsibilities of each party involved. Here are some key reasons why fence inspections are crucial:
- Accurate Assessment: Qualified professionals conducting fence inspections ensure a precise evaluation of the fence’s condition. We meticulously examine the fence, identifying any damage, structural issues or encroachments that may exist.
- Expert Opinions: Professional fence inspectors possess extensive knowledge and experience in assessing fences. Our expert opinions hold weight and provide valuable insights into the dispute, facilitating a fair resolution.
- Documentation: Fence inspections in Perth typically involve thorough documentation, encompassing photographs, measurements & detailed reports. This documentation serves as evidence in resolving the dispute and holds significant value in legal proceedings, if required.
- Resolution Facilitation: By offering an impartial evaluation, fence inspections aid in facilitating the resolution process. The inspector’s findings and recommendations assist property owners and their legal representatives in negotiating a satisfactory agreement.
Selecting a Fence Inspection Service in PerthWhen choosing a fence inspection service in Perth, several key factors should be considered:
- Experience and Expertise: Opt for a company with extensive experience in fence inspections and dispute resolution. They should boast a team of qualified builders who have experience in WA’s dividing fences act 1961. WA Building Inspections is one of very few inspection companies who’s inspectors are real registered builders and we understand the dividing fences act 1961 because we have designed fences for construction projects for 20 years.
- Accreditation and Licensing: Ensure that the fence inspection service holds the necessary accreditations and licenses to operate legally in Perth. This guarantees adherence to industry standards and regulations.
- Reputation and Reviews: Research the company’s reputation by checking out online reviews and testimonials from previous clients. Positive feedback and recommendations serve as indicators of their reliability and professionalism.
- Comprehensive Services: Select a service provider offering comprehensive fence inspection services. This encompasses detailed assessments, accurate measurements, written reports & expert recommendations.
- Timeliness and Efficiency: Fence disputes often require prompt attention, so it is crucial to choose a company that provides timely and efficient services. Prompt response times and adherence to agreed-upon deadlines are essential.
What Does the WA Law Say?WA Commerce have a great flowchart that our fence inspectors make comment on in our fence inspection reports. Effectively, our report provides advice which can be used in legal proceedings for who must take ownership of the specific fencing issue, according to the law:
Process A: Constructing a New Fence on Developed Land
Step one: Negotiate with your neighbor
An agreement between neighbors has priority over the requirements of the Act. Therefore, when issues with a dividing fence occur, it is best to approach the owner of the adjoining land and try to resolve matters together.
In order to reach an agreement with a neighbor, keep in mind that they have a right to protect their property and animals, especially during construction. You should also be considerate of concerns they may have about their capacity to pay and discuss the option of a longer payment timeframe or payment plan.
While the Act does not specify the requirements for obtaining quotes, having quotes and a clear understanding of the costs can assist with obtaining a mutual agreement.
Informal discussions are a good starting point, but agreements in writing and signed by both parties clear any ambiguity and clarify any points of difference. It can also be used later to show what has been agreed if the matter comes before the courts.
Step two: Issue written notice
If for any reason an agreement is unable to be reached, the Act provides a mechanism for the construction of a new dividing fence, most often with a written notice. The notice must be in writing, signed, and delivered in person or by registered post to the person’s usual or last known place of residence.
Under the Act, to erect a new dividing fence, written notice must be provided to the neighboring owner which sets out:
- The boundary to be fenced
- A proposal for fencing which includes:
- The type of work to be done (new fence, repair, or realignment)
- The kind of fence (e.g., material and color) you wish to put up
- Who will organize to get the work done
- Where it will be located (especially if not on the official boundary line)
- How the costs will be paid and shared
You may also wish to check your ‘Certificate of Title’ with Landgate to check for any covenants that relate to dividing fences on your property.
Landgate website: www.landgate.wa.gov.au
Step three: Defining the boundary line
When neighbors disagree on the accurate location of a boundary line, both owners can agree to have it established by a land surveyor and share the costs.
However, if one owner believes the surveyor is not necessary, the Act provides a mechanism for resolving the process described below involving Owner A and the neighbor, Owner B.
Owner A gives notice to the adjoining owner B stating that he/she is going to engage a surveyor to define the boundary line.
If after receiving the notice, Owner B thinks a surveyor is unnecessary, Owner B has seven days to place pegs where they think the boundary is, or if Owner B wants to engage a surveyor, they have seven days to engage the surveyor and recover half the cost from Owner A. In both scenarios, Owner B must give Owner A notice of the action they have taken as soon as practicable.
Where Owner B has not used a surveyor but has defined the boundary by pegs and Owner A is still not satisfied, Owner A must wait one month after giving the notice