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Boundary fence is being removed


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Hi all,

The neighbours at the rear of my suburban Perth property are renovating and today I received forms (BA20 & BA20A building forms) to sign confirming that I consent to having my rear fence removed while they install a parapet retaining wall & a new colorbond fence. They are offering to install a temporary fence but as yet haven't confirmed what it will be made of, how high it will be, or how sturdy.


The issue is that the existing colorbond fence (while dated, dented and leaning) is very successfully containing my two ageing Basenjis in their own yard and removal will expose us to an empty block and then onto a street. Just to be clear: Basenji = no recall/no road-sense and ageing basenji = going deaf and so can't hear approaching vehicles. 


I'm trying to get in touch with the local council about what I can legitimately expect in terms of a temporary fence and whether I can ask for assurances about the length of time we have to endure a "temporary" fence arrangement, but so far the person I need to speak to has been unavailable. Needless to say, although I have been asked to sign the consent within 2 days, the forms clearly state I have 28 days to respond BUT if I don't agree the builders can approach a Magistrate's court to permit them to do what they want anyway.


I thought I would ask the Dogzonline community for any information about your experiences with renovating neighbours, temporary fences and builders. Might be a can of worms?




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I'm no help at all with who to talk to about the fence, But this I understand..  "Basenji = no recall/no road-sense and ageing basenji = going deaf and so can't hear approaching vehicles"  


Take out the aging, going deaf bit and you still have a breed of dog that NEEDS SECURE FENCING.  I'm sure someone will suggest who you need to contact but when you do,, make sure you really push the aging, deaf, no recall part because most people don't get the breed bit but will understand (hopefully)the rest.


I haven't had a basenji, I've owned  Shiba inus... One was a 16 year old "blind, deaf, senile but still could climb a 6 foot fence if he felt the need.." kinda dog. 




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Our son had the same problem when the neighbour at the back wanted a retaining wall and a new fence. One of the Qld laws indicated that if the existing fence is still serviceable the neighbour has to pay all of the new fence, the other says:

The general rule to retaining walls is that whoever changed the ground level (or who benefits from it, if the property has changed hands) bears the cost in proportion. If the retaining is caused by a ‘cut’, that person bears the cost. If it’s a ‘cut and fill’, both parties do according to the relative proportions.

Next is to be sure as to the height of the retaining wall needed. Retaining walls up to 1 metre high generally don’t require building approval in Queensland, depending on load ratings (check with a builder). Retaining walls 1 metre in height or more require a building approval from your local Council

Then, if it’s on the boundary you’re going to need to negotiate with the neighbour about access. It’s difficult to impossible to build a retaining wall without accessing both sides of it.
So do a Google search and find out the rules, visit your council to clarify any questions, DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING!
Our son's neighbour's block was large and backed on to the three neighbouring blocks and she wanted all of them to contribute to costs, eventually she paid for everything herself as she didn't have a leg to stand on despite her trying to bully everyone including a 85y/o woman.
So do your research
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perhaps some of these links may help

What happens if the fence is damaged by your neighbour? ...11. Special rules for ... Local government laws regarding fences or what is a. 'sufficient fence' will ...
Dividing fences | Department of Mines, Industry Regulation ...
Jul 19, 2019 - The Dividing Fences Act 1961 (the Act) combines with local government by-laws to regulate the erection and maintenance of dividing fences in ...
Building Permits Licenses and Approvals | City of Perth
The occupancy permit is an important document because it sets out the approved use of the building and its classification under the National Construction Code.
Fencing regulations Perth - Suburban Fencing
The Dividing Fences Act 1961 (the Act) combines with local government by-laws to regulate erection and maintenance of dividing fences in Western Australia.
Fence. - Residential. Development. Refer to R-Codes. Appendix 1: ... Requirements for Fencing Design - Primary Streets and Within the Front. Setback Area.
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And breed makes no difference ,I now plenty of Basenjis who don’t tick your boxes .

You are simply a dog owner who needs to know the temp fencing going up is suitable to contain your dogs for the time frame given  as that’s a council requirement.

Most temp fencing will sit in the plastic holders that won’t be dog safe by that standard .


i agree go speak to the neighbour about your issues .


What time frame have they given for the job ,does it cover weekend with no work done   .

When doing the job on the day is the fence coming down..??
Theres are the things I’d be asking and if you need to day board your dogs as it’s a safer option will they pay ..

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I don’t think I’d trust any info you get regarding temporary fencing and take pro active action to protect the safety of your dogs. Yes it’s seriously annoying, and will possibly see you out of pocket,  but for your peace of mind I’d be looking at your own alternatives such as erecting a temp fence to your own needs, well inside your back boundary, so not only is it safe but so your dogs can’t be right at the rear boundary where the action is going on erecting the new fence, or fashion your own temporary kennel run using the layout of your home to assist, like fence off one side of the house or ‘enclose’ a verandah etc. or yes, use day boarding if you need to, see if you can get leave owing from work if you have that available etc. 

it sounds as if you’re not being asked to contribute to the cost of the new fence, so I guess that’s something.....short term pain, but a new fence at the end 

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Many thanks to everyone who took the time to reply - it's appreciated.

Boronia! you went above and beyond :) Thank you for all the helpful links, I'm following through.

Cannibalgoldfish - I hear you on the determined Shiba :laugh: My previous basenji girl was a lot like that.


I would gladly go speak with the neighbours but they bought and bull-dozed the rear house about a year ago, never lived there, obviously don't live there currently, and are only communicating through their builder, so I don't even know their names let alone faces. I've set up a meeting time with the site manager to explain our concerns. Preliminary emails suggest they want the temporary fencing up for more than 3 months. I really am starting to think 2020 is the most perverse year ever.

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Love the DOL hive mind .. ots of great information and suggestions.   I would add one more.  In addition to the building side of the council, I would also be approaching the Council Animal Control Manager for advice.    I would think you're entitled to ask for advice on being able to comply with your obligations to make sure your dogs are not at large, given the situation is changing through no fault or desire of yours.  That might be a back door way of getting to the building section guy.

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In Perth the most common temporary fencing is mesh panels, held in place by concrete-filled footings. 
There are a number of major problems with this:
It is not designed to keep animals out, and a Basenji will certainly get underneath.
They do nothing to stop dust, and you will be inundated with all the filth from the building site.
They will often attach shade-cloth or similar to the fence, to stop dust and screen the property, in which case they simply blow either.


3 months is preposterous.  It sounds like they are being typical lazy builder, always going for the easiest and cheapest solution.

First of all, your council will give you contact details for the owners of adjoining properties.
Secondly, be very careful what you agree to by way of encroachment .  A parapet wall should not encroach onto your property, it should be wholly contained on their side of the property line.
Note that a court order is easily obtained ONLY if you fail to respond, otherwise you are free to decline.  They can still ask the court for permission, but are unlikely to be successful if your response was reasonable.


They CAN erect an approved parapet wall without your consent.  They must give you 7 days notice, and may only remove that portion of the fence necessary.

That said, they will want access to your property to construct the wall, and they can't have that without your consent.


You need to figure out a solution that works for YOU, and propose that in writing,

You need to come up with a "temporary" fencing solution that works for you, and stipulate all the details in writing.  For example that it must be solid to prevent dust and noise, must be secured to prevent being toppled by the wind, must have no gaps and not be able to be dug under, and specify a minimum height.
Also specify its location (eg no more that 1m inside your boundary) that it must be in place and complete before any of the existing fence is removed, and that when removed your garden must be restored.

The builders will of course demure, but I can tell you that anything is possible.  A very common method is to use steel panels (a bit like colourbond, but much thicker and stronger) and they are simply driven into the ground using a backhoe attachment.  It is called "Sheet Piling" and whilst it might seem like overkill, it would be a very effective solution.

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