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Fencing around (Law blog)

The Wānaka App

Aspiring Law

07 July 2024, 8:00 PM

Fencing around (Law blog)

Thinking about whacking up a new fence? Hold on a minute, there’s a bit more to it than you might think.

 

Get your hands on a copy of the Act (the Fencing Act 1978), as well as your local district plan and a copy of your title to see if there are any land covenants to abide by. 





Each district plan zone can have different rules about approved fences and if you get it wrong then the Council can require you to take the fence down, at your expense.


Under the Act, the first step is to issue a ‘fencing notice’ to your neighbour with the details of the fence you want to build, dimensions, materials, dates of when the work will start and finish. Oh yes, and the cost. 


Before you issue your neighbour with a fencing notice, it’s important that the fence you have planned meets any land covenants registered against the title to your property. Some land covenants can be quite prescriptive as to what is and isn’t allowed, so even if your neighbour agreed to your proposed fence, if it doesn’t meet the covenant requirements you might be in breach and other neighbours may have the right to have you remove or change your fence.

   

If your neighbours are not on board with your proposed fence, they have 21 days to issue a formal counter-proposal outlining the objections and alternatives. Otherwise, you have carte blanche to erect the fence as per your fencing notice, and invoice them their share of the fence. 


Be warned though of ‘boundary bloopers’. Double check – no triple check – where the actual boundary line lies. Many a Kiwi has come unstuck after accidentally snaffling a few centimetres of their neighbour’s land! 



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