Neighbours House Burnt down and Damaged My Fence

So my neighbours house burnt down the other week. The fence is partially destroyed because of it.
I was wondering if anyone knows the course of action to get it repaired? Are they liable for the damages?
Im not sure who the owner of the house is. I am unaware on how to find out those details.

Sadly a man died as well so it makes it even more difficult to know what to do, let alone speaking to the family or the owners of the house about it.
I own a dog and I cant have him getting out from the yard.

Any advice from anyone would be much appreciated.



    Contact the police who attended the fire?

  • +2 votes

    Ring your council, they should be able to advise you

  • +2 votes

    The fence is partially destroyed because of it.

    Tell anyone that asks that the part of the fence that isn't damaged is yours. Insurance or the other owner will rebuild the damaged side.

  • +1 vote

    Insurance job (for the fence, not the poor chap that passed away)

  • +1 vote

    It's not your fence, it's the sadly deceased man's fence.
    I know that might seem a bit unfeeling, but if you say its your fence to a insurance company, you'll pay regardless of what happened (and/or your premiums will increase).

    • +2 votes

      I am not sure this is correct. If it is a boundary fence then both own it. If it is damaged and you can name the guilty party then they should pay. The issue here is the owner/occupant died. OP if you have home insurance, try your own insurance, they may be able to guide you on the process.


        Ok, it is true that you both do own it. The issue is that the owner at fault died. They aren't just going to say we'll make the deceased man pay for it. They're going to make you pay. Note the excess and all that nonsense that they put on as well. Is it worth claiming insurance on the fence? I think mine from memory has a $250 excess - as in you need to pay the first $250 yeah?


          Not if the deceased was renting…


          @Kangal: True, I didn't think of that.

          family or the owners of the house

          That right there is what I missed the first time around.

        • +1 vote

          They aren't just going to say we'll make the deceased man pay for it.

          The deceased can't pay, but their estate could be held reasonable. It's with in op's rights to file a claim against the deceased estate for damages.


          @whooah1979: This depends on a number of things.
          a) Who's the deceased estate?
          b) How much is that portion of the fence worth?
          c) How long will that take?

          it is my understanding that OP wants a solution as soon as they can, as they have a dog that they don't want getting out of the yard.

  • +6 votes

    Go talk to your insurance company and ask them what is the best way forward.


      This - best way forward. It might just be like cars where they say, give is the details and we will handle it.

  • +4 votes

    That's sad. It's such a horrible way to go.

    Is putting up a temporary fence a option for now to stop your dog from running out?

    There's no way I'd be able to bring myself to ask the neighbor's family to cough up any money to fix the fence.

    If there's really no insurance on either side, then it'll be tough one.

  • +8 votes

    Honestly mate, is it only one side damaged? Is it going to be expensive to fix? I'd probably just look at fixing it myself unless its a really expensive fence.

  • +5 votes

    I am more interested in your calmness writing this forum post when your neighbour's house burnt down…
    Is it exactly your next door neighbour? Were you present during the fire? How big was the fire? Did you feel the heat from the fire? Were you worried at all about your house?!


    Just build a new fence and move on.


    Get temp fences from bunnings and ask the family to chip in.


    Get something temporary until the insurance is sorted out. Give it a couple of weeks at least before contacting the property owner. Worst case, just rebuild/repair the fence yourself, depending on the damage and type of fence it might not cost that much and make life easier for the owner or relatives of the deceased.


      On the one hand, yes someone died and OP is going "but my (half of the) fence!"

      On the other hand, fences are expensive and keeping a dog cooped up in the house for even a week is bordering on cruel.

      Honestly, easiest is just for OP to contact his insurance and let them handle it without letting feeling get in the way.


    Your building insurance would normally cover the fence, so talk to your insurer about what you should do next.

  • +1 vote

    Speaking from industry, if the house has been burnt down and house was insured at the time; the insurer will generally arrange a few to 'make safe/board up' property. This involves fencing the area off so nobody comes in and covering all entry points (doors/windows/openings). This is intended to reduce their liability if anybody enters the property and gets injured.

    If you the police officer/fire brigade that attended its likely this would have been organised already.