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Q: My rented property has a broken fence - who's responsibility is it to repair?

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last updated: 21 Jul 2014 report a problem

If the fence was broken by the tenant, then it is the tenant’s responsibility.

If the fence is broken due to wear and tear, then it is the landlord’s/neighbour’s responsibility. If you ask the neighbour if it is their fence, they are likely to say it is the landlord’s!

There are beliefs that the way a wall or fence is constructed can suggest who the owner is. For example: ownership is always on the right or left when you look from the front of a property – that the posts and arris (horizontal) rails of a fence are on the owner’s side. There is no legal foundation for such beliefs, but it can be a good starting point.

As a tenant, you pay rent and can expect the garden (if included in the tenancy agreement) to have safe and secure boundaries. If, from the above description, you feel the landlord is responsible, you could make a formal written request for the repairs to take place. As the owner of the property, the landlord is obliged to either pay for the repairs, or negotiate with the neighbour to ascertain who is responsible, or share the responsibility for payment. For more info you can see more at: