Fencing between two properties that is less than 2m in height is generally a private matter between the property owners concerned.
The rights and responsibilities of owners and the design and construction of jointly owned boundary fences is administered by the Fencing Act, which is not within the jurisdiction of Council.
Therefore, any disputes relating to side boundary fences are civil matters and you should seek independent legal advice.
Disputes over cost
The cost of constructing a dividing fence is usually shared by the property owners. In some cases, difficulties may arise when one neighbour may not be able to afford to pay or want a new fence or one owner may want a certain type or colour fence that the other owner does not agree to.
So before you and your neighbour enter into an agreement to build, replace or repair your adjoining boundary fence, we recommend that you communicate and negotiate about the type of fence you want and how much money each will contribute to its construction. This can avoid increased costs, delays, arguments and possible legal action.
Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria
Disputes between neighbours involving dividing fences are the most common disputes dealt with at the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria. They can arrange free mediation sessions, provide information about fencing notices and information about obtaining court orders in relation to the fencing costs.
If you find that you and your neighbour cannot come to an agreement, or you are unsure about the best way to approach your neighbour, you can obtain free advice on fencing issues on the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria website.
If you are still unable to find a solution to your problem, contact the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria on (03) 8803 8533.