Property Line Fence Disputes

Any fence placed on a lot line between two pieces of land is considered a division fence. As each property owner has an interest, disputes over building, repairing and paying for this kind of fence can happen. 

If you and your neighbour cannot reach agreement regarding the building, repair or payment for a fence, the Division Fence By-law includes a process to deal with this.

It is important to note the Municipality remains impartial and does not get involved in disputes, the process is available for residents to carry out and resolve. 

How to start

If you are interested in the Division Fence By-law process, start by following the steps below:

  1. Consider speaking to your neighbour about the issue. If you can reach an agreement you don't need to use the By-law.   
  2. Learn about the maximum permitted heights and other requirements for fences in Trent Hills.
  3. It is recommended that you read the Division Fence By-law. 

Common questions

Do I need to speak to my neighbour before starting the process?

You do not need to speak to your neighbour before starting the By-law process. However, it is recommended that you consider first discussing what you are planning with them and find out if they are interested in cost sharing. You don't need to use the By-law process if you can reach an agreement with your neighbour.

Can the Municipality provide me with a land survey?

The Municipality does not keep or provide land surveys for property owners. Property surveys are prepared by Ontario Land Surveyors and may be retained. You can contact your surveyor or the lawyer who completed your land purchase as they may have a copy. You can also contact the local Land Registry Office at 905-372-3813.

It is crucial to know exactly where your property line is before building a fence .

Do I need to hire a lawyer?
You don't need a lawyer or paralegal to complete the process in the Division Fence By-law. However, you may choose to hire one to help you as carrying out the notification process in the By-law, gathering evidence and recovering costs through court can be complicated.
Does the Municipality become involved in Division Fence disputes?
The Municipality remains impartial and does not become directly involved in or provide advice on specific cases.

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