Issues around repairing or replacing a shared fence, damage to fences and boundary issues can all contribute to disputes between neighbours. Landholders have a legal obligation to fence their property. Your local council can provide some basic guidelines and minimum fencing requirements. Generally, the cost of a boundary fence between private land is shared equally between both parties. Boundary fences between private land and the Crown are the responsibility of the landholder.
The Boundary Fence Act 1908 consolidates the law in relation to boundary fences in Tasmania, in particular the repair and erection of boundary fences, and provides guidance on the responsibilities of neighbours. The Act does not apply to any unoccupied Crown Lands or Public Reserves, nor is the Crown liable under the authority of this Act to make any contribution towards the erection or repair of any fence between land of any occupier and any Crown lands.
Farmers have a legal responsibility to maintain property boundary fences in good order to ensure that stock do not cause problems for other community members. The Act, in most instances, requires that farmers share costs in relation to fencing.
The Boundary Fencing Act (Tas 1908) states: A boundary fence shall, as nearly as may be, be placed on the boundary line. Where any fence is to be erected on land covered with standing bush or scrub, and the required notices have been given, the person erecting the fence shall clear the bush and scrub and remove fallen timber for a width of not less than 2 metres on each side along the entire length of the fence, and may fell any tree standing in the immediate line of the fence, and may fell and remove any tree standing on either side of the fence which in the opinion of the said person may be likely to injure the fence; and the cost of such clearing, felling, and removing shall be added to the cost of the erection of the fence, and be apportioned and recoverable accordingly.