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  • To pay or not to pay?

    Hi I have been debating this for a few days and not sure who to ask. I have a rental property where there is a new house being built on the back section next door. Recently the owner called me said that he is required by the council as a condition of consent to rebuild the fence between our two properties and he wants me to pay half of the materials cost. He said one of the reasons the coucil wants it rebuilt is that a large tree on my side of the fence warped a part of the fence. (It was cut down before I even owned the property). The fence is in average condition, not great but does the job and I thought would last a few more years and then could be easily patched up to last a few more. He is suggesting I pay $600 for the pallings (he will pay for the labour), and then I would also have to repaint the thing also on my side. I just got a large tax bill and are feeling a little broke and if I had that kind of money to spend on my rental I could think of more necessary things than a fence!

    Any suggestions as to my obligations?

  • #2
    Just google 'Fencing Act'

    They have to serve you a fencing notice or you could just go with the $600 and suggest you can only pay when you can, best to keep on good side with neighbours

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    • #3
      Legally your neighbour is entitled to a reasonable fence and it sounds as though that is what you both already have. Not new, not perfect, but effective and not falling down.

      He could issue a Fencing Notice against you requiring a contribution of half of the cost, but you could object. Ultimately its a District Court or Disputes Tribunal issue but that's a last resort.

      I like Devious advice about getting on with your neighbours which is sensible. I had this happen myself and ultimately paid 1/4 of the materials cost rather than be legalistic about it.

      I do think the neighbour is a bit cheeky - the fence issue has only come up because of something he wants. Not because you both need a new fence.

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      • #4
        Mandy..... It all sounds a wee bit suspicious to me.

        Since when do councils inspect properties prior to issuing consents? I get the feeling this chap just wants a nice new fence to match his nice new property.

        Check with the council....will probably only take a phone call to sort.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ahar View Post
          I get the feeling this chap just wants a nice new fence to match his nice new property.
          Quick, take a photo of the fence in case it gets mysteriously damaged.

          I agree with the comments above. When I was in this situation, the neighbour called me to check I was OK with the new fence he was going to put up, I agreed, and next time I looked it was there (free to me).

          I hope he is not going to be a picky neighbour. Although I agree it is best to keep on good terms, you also want him to know you are not a push over.
          Personally I would get a male builder (or similar) friend to talk to him and check if he is trying it on. Or, if you want to do it yourself, arm yourself with the knowledge from council as suggested and during a friendly chat let him know. You could actually help him and save him some money by providing this info.

          Perhaps you could settle for paying 1/4, and some fence types don't need painting.

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          • #6
            Your paying tax !!!

            Well done.

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            • #7
              This happened to us. We took photos of the fence before they started building. Low and behold holes were kicked in the fence during the building process etc. Then ello ello neighbour comes knocking asking us to stump up for half the fence. Told him to p1ss off and said we had photos that the old fence was in fine condition before the build started.

              We didn't care to much about not getting along as they were over 60's units and were going to be all sold off. Plus he was a bit of a [email protected] Asked if he could prune back the branches that were hanging over the fence, said no worries, came back the next day and the whole tree had been chopped down and left in our yard!
              Need a website or anything to do with online marketing? Visit Christchurch Web Design.

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              • #8
                thanks

                Thanks all for that great advice. I have followed the fencing act search and read the act. Taking all into account I will meet with him at the fence objectively look at it as in is it an adequate fence... although it sounds like the council though have already assessed it as an inadequate fence. It appears that whatever happens I am liable for fixing the warp in the fence that was caused from my property's tree so realistically by the time I fix that it might cost a couple hundred. Lesson learned next time I'm buying a house that has a damaged fence I should demand as a condition of sale to fix to avoid future liability from the neighbor.

                tax debt was from before I had the rentals.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by mandy View Post
                  Recently the owner called me said that he is required by the council as a condition of consent to rebuild the fence between our two properties
                  Ask for a copy (with tracable names on it) of the council letter. Follow it up independantly.
                  www.3888444.co.nz
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                  • #10
                    YES, Keys! Council saying fence is inadequate???? Sounds like BS to me. Ask to see the demand from the council in writing. If he can't produce it, then it doesn't exist.
                    Squadly dinky do!

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                    • #11
                      $600 for a brand new fence sounds like a bargain. Just on that point I would jump at the chance.

                      All the best,

                      Niall

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Niall View Post
                        $600 for a brand new fence sounds like a bargain. Just on that point I would jump at the chance.

                        All the best,

                        Niall
                        My thoughts exactly.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Niall View Post
                          $600 for a brand new fence sounds like a bargain. Just on that point I would jump at the chance.

                          All the best,

                          Niall
                          depends on length and if you actually need one. Never a bargin if you don't need it.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Davo36 View Post
                            YES, Keys! Council saying fence is inadequate???? Sounds like BS to me. Ask to see the demand from the council in writing. If he can't produce it, then it doesn't exist.
                            sounds like bull to me too. Councils don't require a fence - you don't HAVE to have a fence at all so nothing for the council to enforce.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It would be unlikely the council was able to actually view your fence from the office desk where the consent was granted.

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