Good fences make good neighbours, observed the poet Robert Frost.
The same can be said for strata communities, where keeping fences in good repair keeps the relationship between neighbours sweet.
So, whose responsibility is it to maintain fences?
In Queensland and New South Wales, it’s straight forward:
- The fence between a lot and the common property is shared equally between the Lot Owner and the Body Corporate/Owners Corporation;
- The fence between two lots is shared equally between the Lot Owners;
- The boundary fence between a lot and an adjoining property is shared equally between the Body Corporate/Owners Corporation and the adjoining property owner because the fence is in essence the boundary of the scheme.
In Victoria, the situation with boundary fences is different.
If there is no common property between the Lot Owner’s fence and another property, then the Lot Owner, not the Owners Corporation, is responsible for that boundary fence. For example, a front fence that separates a lot from a Council-owned footpath is the responsibility of the Lot Owner and not the Owners Corporation.
However, you do need to check your by-laws or community rules because depending on your scheme, as there may be some other arrangement for fence maintenance.
What Is A Fence?
And to misquote Shakespeare: a fence, by any other name, still marks a boundary and it has to be maintained.
Under accepted definitions, a fence doesn’t necessarily have to be made of timber, Colourbond or chain link. It may also be made of brick or stone blocks – even a dividing hedge is considered a fence.
In general terms, structures which are not considered fences are:
- Retaining walls, and;
- Walls that form part of a building such as a house or garage.
Find out more about the legislation in your state here:
Since 1995, SSKB has been the industry leader in strata management. Servicing clients through Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, we have a broad portfolio of schemes under management and pride ourselves on having the most experienced and skilled management team in the industry.
As a lot owner, you will have access to our expert Client Solutions Team who are on hand to deal with general enquiries. This team works on a “one call resolution” policy, aiming to resolve any issues on your first call to us. The team have a 94% rate of answering questions on the spot. By having our Client Solutions Team assisting lot owners, It allows our Community Managers and Assistants to be on hand to better deal with the requirements of the committee.
Our proven strategies achieve positive results and these are guided by the company’s mission statement:
“The SSKB team seeks to create the best community management company by making a positive difference to our strata communities”
We provide a wide range of strata related services and are affiliated with some of the best businesses in the industry to help make the entire process of being part of a body corporate or owners corporation as easy and seamless as possible for lot owners.
SSKB is Australia’s leading strata management company specialising delivering expert advice and management to Owners Corporation and Body Corporate communities.