Sally owns a small cottage which is next to the local Council owned reserve. A white picket fence on the boundary of the properties separates her house and the field.  The condition of the fence had deteriorated over time and Sally contacted the Council to ask them to contribute towards the cost of building a new boundary fence. She assumed that the Council was liable to do so like any other property owner would be.

She was surprised when the Council said they weren’t liable to pay for maintenance or repair of the fence.  They drew Sally’s attention to a “fencing agreement” on the title to her property which recorded that the Council wasn’t liable to contribute towards the costs of putting up, maintaining or repairing the boundary fence.  Similar restrictions often exist when a property borders Crown owned property.

It pays to be aware of your rights with regard to contributions towards fences, especially when your property borders Council or Crown owned property.