Fencing in Victoria - contributions - privileges - consideration
Does the owner of a property (X) who offers to pay the full costs of a new fence between two properties obtain any benefits / privileges under the Fencing Act Victoria 1968? Specifically, I am worried X's offer to pay the whole cost of the fence is a tactic to quash any objections we may have about the development of his property. (ie. he is trying to use the offer as leverage).
Should I be concerned about X's offer ?
Hi there. There is no way of truly knowing if your neighbour is trying to create leverage with their offer, or if they are simply being generous. Luckily, there is nothing in the Fences Act 1968 (VIC) which will give your neighbour the right to use this act of generosity against you in future.
As a general principle, section 7 of the Fences Act provides that joining owners of property are equally liable for the cost of a fence between their properties. However, luckily for you, the act also states that there is nothing preventing neighbours from making an agreement between themselves to pay for the fence in a different proportion.
Suggested way forward
If you are worried that your neighbour is not an honest person, and may renege their offer to pay in full after the fence is built, it is advisable to ensure you have a written record of the agreement you come to. This could be a formal agreement, or simply emails back and forth. It might also be worth chatting to your neighbour if you are still suspicious of their motives.