Some sobering an unfriendly statistics have shown that some South Australian communities have become embittered, evidenced by fence disputes on the rise.
In a recent Advertiser article, Chris Boundy of the Legal Services Commission noted the reason for increased rates of reported fence disputes between neighbours is largely due to negotiations starting “with a legal letter, rather than a discussion”.
He recommends best results can be achieved when owners make a friendly approach to their neighbour to discuss property boundary discrepancies, especially with an attitude of trying to see things from the other party’s perspective.
Five thousand South Australians sought free legal help on fence disputes last year, up by 14 per cent, with Prospect, Morphet Vale and Seaton topping the list.
Why are fence disputes on the rise in some areas more than others?
There is no doubt there are many fences across South Australia that are not sitting on property boundaries with land owners oblivious to this fact.
It becomes an issue, most of the time, when a property owner decides to undertake some development, only to discover they have less land within the fenceline than they are entitled to.
It is also not surprising that the top ten list of suburbs with fence disputes, tends to be dominated by older suburbs where developers stand to achieve greater yields when their projects are sold.
Can my conveyancer help me?
The short answer is that fencing and boundary disputes are not things we get involved in, generally speaking.something we really get involved in unless the parties come to an agreement to realign the boundaries to where the fence is currently located (if not currently on the boundary).
The exception would be when parties come to an agreement to realign the boundaries to where the fence is currently located (if not currently on the boundary).
This means our Land Division team gets involved at the end of the realignment process to finalise the documents to be lodged at the Land Titles Office to amend the boundaries on each of the titles.
While we are more than happy to chat with our clients about these issues so we can steer them in the right direction, the Legal Services Commission’s common fence question web page has further advice available and even some free forms to help both parties work through the process thoroughly and in a civil manner.