Fences – City of Burlington


Who determines the property line?

You can determine your property line(s) by looking at your property statement, which you should have received when you purchased your home. The City does not determine property boundaries. If you don’t have a copy of your condition report, you should hire a private company to inspect your property.

Does a person have the right to build a fence on the property line?

Yes, the dividing line between two properties is the common property of both owners. The fence along this line belongs to both neighbors.

Does a person have the right to remove an existing dividing fence and replace it with another?

Yes. Our F-divisionRules of reference states that the cost of rebuilding or maintaining a dividing fence must be shared equally between neighboring owners. A neighboring owner does not have to pay more than 50% of the base cost unless the neighboring owners have agreed to a different payment arrangement.

How is the base cost of a fence determined?

The base cost of a fence is based on the cost to build, rebuild, maintain or repair a steel chain link fence that is 1.22 meters high and has 2. 54 to 3.81 centimeters. A steel chain link fence is used as the standard to determine the base cost, regardless of the type of fence to be installed.

If my neighbor is building a pool enclosure or fence, do I have to pay part of the total cost?

If the boundary fence is the only pool fence, the pool owner is fully responsible for the construction and maintenance of the boundary fence under our Pool Fence Regulations. For more information regarding fencing for lots with swimming pools, please contact the building department at 905-335-7731.

My neighbor will not allow me access to his property for divisional fence repairs or modifications. Am I allowed to enter their property?

Yes, our Adjacent Property Entry Regulations allows access to an adjacent property for the maintenance, repair or modification of a divisional fence. You must give written notice to your neighbor 10 days before the start date of the work. The written notice must include a description of the proposed work, the proposed date of entry and the duration of occupancy. If the adjoining property is damaged as a result of the work, you must bear the cost of the damage.

Do neighboring owners have to share the cost of a dividing fence?

The cost of a fence between two properties must be shared between the two owners, as both parties are legally considered joint owners of the fence. Section FRules of reference helps neighbors decide how to split the cost of dividing fences. The steps to reach a decision are as follows:
  1. The settlement encourages neighbors to negotiate an agreement for the construction of a dividing fence
  2. If an agreement cannot be reached, the regulation requires a 14-day notice period before a homeowner can begin building, repairing or replacing a dividing fence.
  3. The homeowner building the fence must send a notice of intent by mail to their neighbor with three written estimates for the base cost of a fence. The notice must contain the wording required in Division FRules of reference
  4. Your neighbor is also allowed to provide three written estimates for the fence within 10 days of receiving the notice of intent.
  5. A copy of Division FRules of reference must be attached to the notice of intent.

What if my neighbor refuses to pay his share of the fence?

If your neighbor does not pay within 90 days of the completion of the fence, you can mail them a notice to comply with the settlement. The notice must state that if payment is not received within 30 days, appropriate action under Part 4 of the Provincial Offenses Act will be taken to recover their share of the payment. If payment is not received after 30 days, you can get a provincial court order under the Provincial Offenses Act.

I share a property line with the City. Can I enter into a cost-sharing agreement with the City for a new fence?

Please contact Service Burlington at [email protected] or 905-335-7777 to learn more about cost-sharing agreements with the City of Burlington.

If there is a fence in my neighborhood that is in poor condition and looks unsafe, who can I call?

Please contact the building department at 905-335-7731 or [email protected] A property survey will determine the property line and ownership of the fence.

Who is responsible for damage to a dividing fence caused by a fallen tree?

According to Ontario Provincial Fences ActIf a tree falls on a dividing fence and causes damage, the person who owns the land where the tree was located is responsible for removing the tree and repairing the fence.

Is a hedge or tree on the property line considered a dividing fence?

No. The hedge or tree can be removed with the consent of both owners and replaced with a dividing fence. If the neighbors cannot agree on the removal of a hedge, the disagreement becomes a civil matter and must be taken to civil court.

Who is responsible for trimming the height of a hedge at the property line?

This is a civil matter, which must be resolved between the owners.

Is there a rule that determines who gets the “right” side of a fence?

This is a civil matter, which must be resolved between the owners.

Who is responsible for painting or staining a division fence?

This is a civil matter, which must be resolved between the owners.

I live in a new development, when will the developer or builder install my fence?

For new developments, fencing is installed by the developer or builder once grading is complete and your grading deposit is returned. For more information on grading your property, please contact the Capital Works Department at 905-335-7694.

I want to erect a privacy screen. Are there any restrictions?

Privacy screens are permitted on patios and balconies for detached, semi-detached, duplex, triplex, quadruplex and townhouse dwellings with the following regulations:

  • The maximum height from the ground is 2.5 meters
  • The maximum height from the platform is 1.8 meters
  • It can only be closed on two sides
  • It must be set back nine meters from the street
  • It must be set back one meter from the lateral boundary of the field
  • He must be set back 1.5 meters from the back yard line
  • The maximum combined length of privacy screens per unit is 12 meters.

For more information, contact Zoning at 905-335-7642.


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