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What is the Line Fences Act?

The Line Fences Act is legislation in Ontario that helps adjacent property owners solve disputes about fencing. The Act only applies in certain situations and provides a way for property owners who can't reach an agreement to appeal issues to the local clerk.

The Line Fences Act applies in situations where a fence is being built or repaired on a property boundary. If, however, any property owners want to build a fence outside of the boundary line for any reason and there is a dispute about the building of that fence, then property owners will have to seek other legal remedies for negotiating the dispute.

If a fence is being built on the boundary line between two properties, the property owners should come to an agreement on how the fence will be built, what materials will be used and who will cover the expense of the fence. In some cases, property owners might share the costs of a fence if it is beneficial to or required by both.

Because fencing materials and build quality can make a difference in the value of a property, some property owners might have specific concerns about whether a fence is built out of metal, wood, stone or other elements. If both parties can't agree to these decisions, then they might end up in a dispute, and one or more of the property owners can apply formally to the clerk for assistance in settling the dispute.

If either property owner doesn't agree with the decision, there is an appeals process. Before entering any legal agreement about property, individuals might want to seek advice from experience real estate lawyers to avoid future woes.

Source: Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, "Line Fences Act," accessed Oct. 30, 2015

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Yigal Rifkind, Barrister & Solicitor Attorney

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