A dividing fence is a structure that separates the land of adjoining owners, whether it is on the common boundary or not. The Dividing Fences Act regulates the fences between neighbouring properties and includes such matters like who pays for the work.

On this page

When an application is required
Talk to your neighbour
When their is a dispute
Fencing on adjoining land owned by Council

When an application is required

Some exemptions are in place under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development). If the proposed fence is outside these requirements, then you will need development application approval from council.

Talk to your neighbour

Before building, fixing or replacing a fence, you should always talk to your neighbour. When you reach agreement, put it in writing.

If your neighbour's property is rented out, you could try asking the tenant or managing agent to pass on a letter to the owner to contact you. If this option is not available, you can make a Formal Access Application to Council. Fees apply.

When there is a dispute

Council has no authority over fencing disputes. If talking to your neighbour is not an option and negotiation, mediation measures fail you can seek a Fencing Order from the local court. Before applying you will need to follow a formal process of serving your neighbour a Fencing Notice.

If there is a disagreement about the location of the common boundary, a Boundary Notice can be served. Seek legal advice.

Information on fencing notices is on the NSW Justice Law Access website.

Fencing on adjoining land owned by Council

If your property has a shared boundary with Council owned land, whether costs are shared will vary. When land is used for commercial, investment or council offices, council may contribute a 50% share of the cost of the fence. For all other public land adjoining your property, Council will not contribute to costs.