Fencing a stream?

Shirley asks:
(updated on Thursday, April 05th 2012)

If I buy a property adjoining a stream, do I have any legal obligations to fence off the stream before renting it out?

Our Experts Answer:

There is no legal requirement to fence off a stream before renting a property out. The Fencing of Swimming Pools Act was introduced in 1987, making Territorial Local Authorities responsible for ensuring that pool owners comply with the legislation i.e. fence pools and spa pools. A pool is described as being any excavation, structure or product that is used or is capable of being used for swimming, wading, paddling or bathing and includes spa pools. It excludes natural streams, rivers, lakes or the ocean. Even though it is not a legal requirement to fence off a stream, it may be practical and give piece of mind. However fencing a stream may give rise to flooding, cause water to bank up or shift a flooding problem thus giving rise to other unintended consequences.

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