14 Fox Street
Tugan QLD 4224
Dear Ms Marshall,
RE: Fence Issue
We refer to the above matter and your interview with the writer on January 31, 2013.
We confirm your instructions to provide advice to you on your options in having the dividing fence replaced between your property located at 14 Fox Street, Tugan and that of Julie and Michal Robinson, located at 12 Fox Street Tugan.
You advised us that you were aware the adjoining fence between your properties was in need of repair when you purchased the property and you subsequently got a quote for the repair of around $3,600. You dropped a note to the Julie and Michael Robinson advising them of this.
In December 2012 you had the fence looked at again and discovered it now requires replacing due to further damage that has occurred to it. A note was again dropped to your neighbours about this.
However no agreement has been reached between you and Julie and Michael Robinson.
Our advice to you is based on these instructions.
- You can enter into a negotiation with Julie and Michael Robinson about replacing the fence. A negotiation is where you all sit down and discuss the matter and attempt to reach an agreement. As you described getting a response from them has been difficult, so we are happy to write a letter to them inviting them to a negotiation if you wish.
- You can invite Julie and Michael Robinson to enter into mediation whereby a mediator will hear from both sides and assist both parties to reach an agreement in replacing the fence. We are again happy to write a letter to Julie and Michael Robinson inviting them to this mediation if you wish.
- Mediation will usually take place over the telephone and generally takes between one and three hours.
Rights Under Legislation:
- Under the Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Act 2011 if there is no sufficient fence in place, as you have described, then the cost of replacing the fence is to be distributed equally between the landowners, being yourself and Julie and Michael Robinson.
- However unless the work is urgent you cannot force Julie and Michael Robinson to contribute to the costs unless it is ordered by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). QCAT is a tribunal that will hear and make a decision to resolve a dispute. You can make an application to QCAT by visiting their website (http://www.qcat.qld.gov.au).
- Before making an application though you must supply Julie and Michael Robinson with a notice to fence, which is a letter outlining an estimate of the cost, their required contribution to the cost and the method of construction. You should supply two quotes with the letter. If after one month an agreement has not been reach between you then an application can be made to QCAT.
Our recommendation to you is to proceed to mediation and allow a mediator to help both parties reach an agreement in replacing the fence.
If you have any questions or would like us to assist you in anyway please don’t hesitate to call our office.