When A Fence Is Damaged Who Is Responsible?

Posted on 5th Aug 2020

If your fence is damaged by fire, flood, wind, vandalism or other unforeseen circumstances who foots the bill?

You?

Your neighbour?

The insurance company?

Fortunately, there are a number of resources to help you figure out where you stand.

We've summarized the questions we are most frequently asked below, but in most cases you and your neighbour will need to share the cost (pay half each) of repairing or replacing a shared fence.

 

My Fence Was Damaged By a Natural Disaster. Who Pays? 

You and your neighbour are equally responsible for the cost of repairing or replacing the fence. Talk to your neighbour to see if you can agree on a plan (what type of fence, cost and the boundary).

My Neighbour Damaged/Destroyed The Fence. Do I Have To Pay?

If you believe your neighbour is responsible for damage to a boundary fence, you can certainly ask them to pay for the repair of the fence in full. There is no guarantee they will comply and if you can't resolve the dispute the matter will have to go to arbitration. 

What If My Neighbour Doesn't Want To Contribute?

If you have tried to negotiate with your neighbour and still can't come to an agreement, the dispute goes to arbitration (a formal alternative dispute resolution process).

Do I Need My Neighbour's Permission If I Pay For The Entire Fence?

No, but it is a good idea to keep them informed. If you have decided to pay the entire cost for a new fence on your land or on the boundary, you do not need your neighbour's permission.

My Neighbour Is Disputing The Boundary. What Can I Do?

If you have an ongoing dispute with your neighbour over the location of a boundary or another fencing matter, you can contact the Hobart Community Legal Service for help.