Neighbour Drove an ATV through The Fence

A neighbour, who is renting, drove an ATV through my boundary fence. Which I built a few years ago at considerable cost.
They’ve said they’ll pay for it, someone’s coming to look at it tomorrow. But I’ve just pulled out the level and they might need to replace some posts as well- aka a big job.
It’s colourbond panels, a whole section will need to be replaced.

If the quote is considerable and they can’t pay, what are my options? I’m not 100% they will if it costs a lot. They seem to think it’s a couple of hundred worth. It will be a lot more than that if posts need to be reset.

I have insurance obviously. Can my insurance company pay and chase them for it?
Is the real estate agent responsible for damage and repairs their tenant caused?

I’m not sure what to do when it’s not my fault and caused by a third party. I need it fixed ASAP as I have a dog that can get through it.

All help appreciated


  • +8

    If you're being nice - Wait for the quote to come in the re-assess with your neighbour.
    If you're a Prick, contact their real estate ASAP and let them know what happened - potential for them to get evicted and the owner of the property will chase them for damages.

    I'd say wait…..

    • +2

      I think I will try and be nice, but it’s really annoyed me. I had a go at them for being idiots… which I’m not proud of, but hey. It cost me $7k.

      Then my dog got through and went their dog. I’ve had a terrible day :(

      • -3

        It cost me $7k

        Are you saying that you paid $7k for a few colorbond panels and fence posts?

        We got ~30m done for $1.2k five years ago.

        • +6

          I'm not sure if there is a large level of reading comprehension skills required to realise from the OP that this is a large piece of land we're talking about that is fenced

          • +1

            @kanmen: ^this. Thanks.

          • -3

            @kanmen: So the $7k is for all 3 sides. Repairing a bit that was damaged isn’t going to cost anywhere near $7k.

            • +4

              @whooah1979: I was talking about the total cost of the fence, not three panels. If you want to be pedantic, yes. That section was probably only a few hundred. Thanks for your input.

            • -1

              @whooah1979: Are you stupid?

          • +3

            @kanmen: I'd debate this, i assumed the OP stated just the section that was damaged was $7,000.
            For example if 1 of the windows in my house were smashed i wouldn't state that all the windows cost me $x to install.

            • +2

              @Drakesy: I was talking about why I had a go at them- because a couple of years ago the [whole] thing cost me $7k.
              Which is why I was mad. Sorry I didn’t explicitly state the cost of three panels and 2 posts versus what I actually paid.

              • +2

                @imnotarobot: I guess what I meant was, if someone reversed into my car, it cost me $30k, which is why I’d be upset.
                I wouldn’t say the boot costs $2k on its own… does that make sense?

                Sorry for not being clear

            • -1

              @Drakesy: I mean context is everything, they mentioned the whole thing cost them a lot at the start.

              So it would make sense to mention how much the whole thing cost as a reason for being upset about it.

              I wouldn't expect someone to know how much a section of it cost.

      • How long a section did they drive through, out of curiosity?

        It's easy to bump into a fence, but driving all the way through it requires a trained idiot.

        • +2

          A whole section, so three panels. Bent top and bottom rails, three sheets, two posts (four posts technically but two holes)

          • @imnotarobot: Clearly a trained idiot. How could he not hear the crash, and keep going?

            I hope you recover all your money.

            • +1

              @HowDoIDoThis: He tried to stop apparently but had quite a bit of momentum but I dunno.
              I did tell them they were idiots, but a bit more colourfully

          • @imnotarobot: I thought the common terminology for fence panels was 1 panel is the whole bit between the posts. It might have three pieces of sheet between, but it’s still one panel.

  • +1

    If they are just renting I believe it's actually the responsibility of the owner to fix the fence, aka the land lord. They would then seek the cost of the damages from their tenants.

    • Good to know, thanks

    • +3

      It's not the landlords issue… its the legal occupants, i.e the tenant.. if the fence was requiring normal repair/replacing, then generally 50/50 between the owners.

      • In NSW it is the owner responsible for damaged fences. This is not a matter of normal wear though is it?

        • +1

          I guess fare enough with landlords insurance.. if they cover that type of damage, but i feel that its so wrong to make it a landlord issue.. tenants need to be responsible and liable for their own mess..

    • +1

      That is so wrong.

      • It is not wrong in NSW.

  • +1

    The landlord should have landlord insurance. Fix the fence and serve them the bill. They can then take cost out of the tenant’s bond.

    • This might be an option if they can’t pay, thanks

    • Yes but no.

      You must allow them a reasonable time to fix it (and probably serve some paperwork), before you do things yourself.

      It would be perfectly reasonable to spend a small amount of money to make the fence dog proof and charge the owner (star pickets and appropriate cheap mesh)

    • -1

      Lol as if.

  • +2

    Dividing fences a guide
    Repair without notice
    Where a dividing fence is damaged or destroyed in whole or
    in part by flood, fire, lightning, storm, tempest or accident,
    an owner on either side of the fence may immediately
    repair the fence without notice. The party who repaired the
    fence is then entitled to recover half of the expenses of
    doing so from the owner of the adjoining land through the
    Magistrates Court.

    However, it is suggested that despite this right of action, it is
    better to try to give notice of your intention to repair the fence.
    Try to reach agreement on payment for repairs before taking
    court action.

    What happens if the fence is damaged by your neighbour?
    Situations may arise where you consider that your neighbour or
    neighbours should be paying for the entire repair of the fence
    because it has been damaged by their actions or inaction.
    The Act only recognises a limited set of circumstances where an
    adjoining owner or owners who are at ‘fault’ are bound to repair or
    renew a dividing fence at their cost. These are where the dividing
    fence is damaged or destroyed in whole or in part by fire, or by
    the falling of any tree (or portion thereof).

    • So the neighbour pays 100%

  • +3

    Or just be cool and theyll share their meth 👌

    • +3

      Nah, I read an article saying it’s $150 a hit now! Because of border lockdowns etc. No way they’ll share! :P

  • +1

    The power of these Apple TVs are getting out of control.

    • Just hit pause!

      Too late…


  • +1

    Ok definitely need a MS Paint illustration for this one

    • +1

      I thought they were shooting a AAMI advt…

  • +1

    If the quote is considerable and they can’t pay, what are my options? I’m not 100% they will if it costs a lot.

    Get some sleep before the quote comes in, otherwise you might not be able to sleep. There are bigger things to worry about than a section of colorbond fencing.

  • Damn.. no click bait there!

  • NAL, NLA.

    The responsibility to make good damage mostly lies with the damager (mostly; because sometimes responsibility can be elsewhere e.g. the employer of the damager). Here, the ATV driver (not their landlord) has the responsibility to make good your fence.

    Get quotes. Discuss with the damager and your insurer. If the damager pays up front: great. If the damager won't pay, but your insurer will, then suggest the damager reconsiders paying the bill because the insurer will pursue them for the bill amount + costs of collection. Which, in this case, might be double or triple the cost of the repair.

    It may be difficult to get agreement out of your insurer (they often deny, deny, deny) but they are who you currently have an agreement with (not the damager). If you think your policy covers this situation then don't take no for an answer.

  • A few panels and a couple of posts isn’t going to be that expensive to fix, especially if materials only. A few hundred probably.

    Get the quote and ask them to pay for it.

  • Dont forget the tradies time, that would surely be a couple hundred by itself.

  • I would definitely inform insurance company and have the assessor of the insurance company to assess the damage. Then, if the neighbour comes up with the quotes and and pays for it, just send those details to the insurance company notifying the issue is resolved. Otherwise, proceed with the insurance claim.