Rules of the game for fencing on the property boundary: what is possible and what is allowed?

Recently, we have been getting a lot of questions about what is possible and allowed when placing fences on the property boundary. Current article attempts to answer the most common questions.

Can I force my neighbour to install a fence?

Yes this is possible. In this case, your neighbour will have to contribute half the cost. It is then important that you agree on the height and material of the fence. You will also have to agree with your neighbour on the maintenance of the fence. If you cannot reach an agreement, you can take the matter to the Justice of the Peace.

Do I always need my neighbour's permission to install a fence?

If you want to place the fence on the plot boundary, as indicated above, it is always necessary to have an agreement with your neighbour about this.

If this fails, you can always consider installing your own fence. This will then have to be on your side of the plot boundary. In principle, you do not need your neighbour's agreement for this, although this is also recommended here.

From when do I need to apply for an environmental permit?

Under certain conditions, the installation of a barrier is exempt from authorisation:

  • For closed closures up to a height of two metres in the side and rear gardens, you do not, in principle, need to apply for a permit. However, this is on condition that the property is mainly licensed and that the closure is within 30 metres of the property. If one of these conditions is not met, you will have to apply for a permit.
  • For open closures up to a height of two metres in the side garden, back garden and front garden. No special conditions apply to claim this exemption.
  • For closed closures up to a height of 1 metre in the front garden. No special conditions apply to this exemption either.

'Open closure' means a closure in wire or wire mesh. All other types of fencing (e.g. fencing) should be considered closed fencing.

Note: these exemptions only apply if they are not deviated from in, for example, a spatial implementation plan or a subdivision permit. Municipalities may also impose stricter conditions on these acts. Or stricter conditions may have been imposed in a previously granted permit. Also, these exemptions do not apply near protected monuments, among others. In all these cases, these stricter regulations always prevail.

Read more about exemption from planning permission here.

What if I disagree with the fence placed by my neighbour?

If your neighbour has to apply for a permit for his closure, it is always possible to appeal.

Please note: permit applications for closures are normally covered by the simplified procedure.

That is, no public enquiry will be organised on this matter. Under this simplified procedure, the board is only obliged to seek the opinion of the owners of adjacent plots. This only insofar as the permit application concerns the erection, extension or demolition of dividing walls or walls eligible for common ownership.

Find out more about contesting an environmental permit here.

For other applications, there is no obligation to seek the views of adjacent owners. In this case, you will have to wait until when the neighbour posts his permit. From the time of posting, you will have 30 days to appeal.

Do you have other questions about plot boundary fencing? If so, please feel free to contact on.

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