How to Solve Fencing Dispute between Neighbour?

Hey guys

Last year, one side of my fence collapsed due to old age/wind in my investment property. My neighbour decided to build a townhouse in his backyard and told me to build a new fence once his townhouse got built, since he wanted the side of the townhouse to be part of the fence (which I really dislike but that's another story).

The townhouse has now finished and he wants to build the new fence with colorbond and insists that I cover half the cost. My dilemma is that

  • I'm looking to sell the house in a couple of years so I don't want to spend extra money on something that won't increase the property value

  • All the other fence (rear and opposite side fence) are wooden so it will look really awkward to have 1 side of the fence in colorbond and the rest in wood

  • The original fence was removed by him without consulting me. I'm pretty sure it could have been repaired but he removed it to build his townhouse (thus I've had no fence between me and him for over half a year).

The main problem is that I don't want to splash out the cash for a colorbond and he is insisting that we split the costs 50/50 for it when I'm more than happy to build a new wooden fence.

How should I go about resolving this dispute?




  • +4 votes

    Fence broke because of wind

    Neighbor removed it - saving you money in removal and demo - could be a couple hundred on your end

    plus the cost between wood and colorbond isnt that much more expensive but if you really want you can push -

    ""Legally you are required to contribute to a fence that is sufficient for the purpose it is needed. If your neighbour wants a more expensive fence, they will usually have to pay the difference in cost between a sufficient dividing fence and the higher standard.""

  • +4 votes

    "The original fence was removed by him without consulting me."

    I thought it 'collapsed due to old age/wind '?

    He cannot remove your fence without consulting you. The colourbond/Wood issue is one you'll have to sort out yourselves. If it's an investment property then the costs are tax deductible. Also, as it's only an investment property then the type of doesn't shouldn't really matter 'that' much? Usually the party that digs their heels in the most ends up paying for the whole thing. What is the cost difference between wood and colourbond anyway? Maybe other people will have more advice.

  • +1 vote

    If the house now forms part of the boundary, then the new fence will be shorter than the old fence, yes?

    What amount are you talking about, because from the sounds of what you are writing, you are being very petty.

  • +1 vote

    Disclaimer: Your council regulations may be different to mine so please check with your local council for legalities.

    I just got a new fence put in earlier in the year, I can tell you that you that colourbond is the cheaper option compared to timber. If you want to go for timber you will have to pay the difference compared to the colourbond fence. The neighbor will only have to pay 50% of the price of the cheaper fence.

    You are liable in any case for 50% of the cost of a new fence, ONLY because you agree that the old one is in a state of disrepair. If it was in good repair then thats a different story, the neighbor is liable for the whole cost, as a case could be made that the existing fence is sufficient.

    I know this as I got colourbond all the way around my place and my neighbors agreed with me as it was the cheapest option. Unfortunately for one of my neighbors, they have their other neighbor want to get a timber one that was more expensive, but according to our council they can just pay 50% of the amount for the colourbond fence and the neighbor who wanted the timber fence makes up the rest of the timber fence amount. They backed down pretty quickly and now my neighbor has colourbond all around as well. It may be different in you case but i'd contact the council to be sure.

    Here is a fact sheet that may help you:


      Interesting. My fences are all old and falling down too. I'd love to go colourbond but my neighbour wants brick. Cost is going to be like 10k each. I think I'll have to talk to my council and see if it works the same way as yours.


    We went through a similar process where our neighbour wanted to replace an old high wooden fence that fell down with a 'minimum spec' wooden fence that was a lot shorter. We ended up paying the extra to have a better fence put in after getting advice from the council.

  • +3 votes

    Pretty sure you are only obligated to pay half the cost for a wooden fence. If they want colorbond they have to fork out the extra.



  • +5 votes

    In my area colorbond IS the cheapest option, even pine cost more.


    We have a fence dilemma at the moment too. The horses on next doors property have pushed the fence over. We have never had animals on our side. The neighbour asked us to pay half. We were informed we didn’t have to and explained the fence was perfectly fine till his horses pushed it over. He is now selling and I’m worried the new owners will be wanting to get the fence replaced. Would we be liable to pay half once the new owners move in?

  • -3 votes

    It seems like your neighbour has to put up a fence anyway, so let him put up the fence he wants. You just don't pay your share…..
    The neighbour can send you letters, debt collectors and take it to the small claims court to pay your 50%, but afaik it's not binding (better double check) and the Council doesn't care so you don't have to pay.
    It's not good for the relation, but he started not being nice by "insisting" things ;-) And, you don't live there and want to sell anyway.

    • +2 votes

      Yes the Small Claims Court is binding, and you can end up before a Magistrate if you fail to pay.


        Thanks for that. I didn't know it was binding hence I couldn't be bothered taking my neighbour to the Small Claims Court and just paid his share.

  • +4 votes

    Why not just have a duel, and let a fencing match decide a dispute over fencing ?

  • +4 votes

    Call Donald Trump, he is expert of border fences


    Colorbond fences are great and cheap. I would say that yes a fence would increase the value of you house, pet owners would not buy a property without a fence.

    Fence issues issues are a nightmare. We were lucky here, we lost fences in a storm and all neighbours agreed on a certain colorbond. Wokred out brillaint. Looks good, and further away neighbours copied too.

  • +5 votes

    Does your council allow buildings on the boundary line..
    I'd be more annoyed by that than the fence.


      Thought that too. My neighbour just built a new house and it's the legal 900mm back from the boundary but still feels very close.

  • +1 vote

    Your not obligated to go colorbond, so stand your ground. If he insists, then he can foot the entire bill if you’re willing to concede with colorbound. Make sure you get it in writing. Technically, the same fence that previously existed should be the starting point for replacement and go from there. 100% correct he should not have removed the fence without agreement.
    Colorbond fences may be practical, but look sh1t. Also, if young kids are neighbours and start kicking balls around, you see some ugly dents. Good luck.


      Everyone forgot this bit, he removed a boundary fence without prior agreement. It doesn't matter what state it was in, he removed it without an agreement.

      Also, what council allowed a townhouse on the boundary?


    I’d go timber every time. Yes, colourbond sure looks pretty when new, but looks absolute crap when dented/damaged. And colourbond fence contractors often do a crap job, i.e. on the cheap. There’s a lot of new housing developments in my neck of the woods. All the new houses have colourbond fences, and after 2-3 years half the fences are now leaning over at all angles, i.e. post holes too shallow, and not enough concrete.

    • +1 vote

      100%. Shallow holes. Should be at least 800mm. They use rapid set and don’t properly pack it in. Shonky operators.


    Get a quote for each, decide you will pay for half of the cheaper one, give him the website for the small claims court if he disagrees.

    Unless you reckon he's a good bloke, in which case, work it out 50/50. But you don't have to.

  • -1 vote

    "The original fence was removed by him without consulting me."

    That says it all !

    Your neighbour is liable for "damages" being the full cost of the replacement fence. Doesnt matter what the condition. And it must be replaced with an identical fence.

    However you don't want this to go to a court case.

    Tell him what his responsibility is as stated above and suggest you are happy just to have him replace it with a cheap wooden fence but perhaps just agree to whatever fence he wants to put up at his cost to make life easy.

    Remember your neigbour is 100% liable for the replacement cost of the fence since he removed it without your consent ! Its called "compensation for damages"


    Get a quote for what you want.
    Give him the quote and tell him if he’s not happy then he can pay the difference for Colorbond.
    He can’t make you pay for colorbond.

    Not sure why you need to make a thread on here, you could have easily solved this.

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