Boundary fencing is the subject of State legislation (Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Act 2011), which is administered by the Department of Justice. This Act defines the law relating to constructing and repairing fences that divide adjoining land.
Generally, owners of adjoining land not divided by an adequate fence are liable to contribute equally to the cost of a dividing fence. It is best to talk to your neighbour about your plans. Discuss the type of fence, the cost and how it will be built. Write out the details once you have reached an agreement.
Should you need to compel the owner of the next-door property to contribute, you must, before construction begins, give notice in writing. This notice should:
- specify the common boundary to be fenced
- specify the kind of fence proposed
- contain a proposal for the fence, including an estimate of cost, contribution required and the method of construction; as a matter of courtesy, two quotes should be supplied
If your neighbour accepts the proposal, they are bound to pay half the cost. It is a good idea to employ a registered surveyor to define the boundary if you are unsure of the precise location.
Land owned by State and Commonwealth governments, as well as local reserves or public parks, are exempt from the Dividing Fences Act.
Should a dispute arise, your solicitor can offer advice. A free dispute resolution service is also offered by the Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre, which can be contacted in Brisbane on (07) 3239 6007 or toll free on 1800 017 288.
Council should be consulted where the fence:
- is higher than 2 metres (an application may be required)
- forms part of a retaining wall
- could create a restriction to water runoff
- is to have some other unusual feature
For further information about these instances, contact Development Compliance:
- Phone: (07) 5582 8184
- Fax: (07) 5582 8802
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org