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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.

Request fence owner details

You can request the name and address of a fence owner if you need to replace or repair your shared fence.

Under the Fences Act 1968 we can provide the name and address of the owner, but not their phone number or email address. 

You can request fence owner details if your property and theirs share a fence, and you are:

  • the property owner, or
  • applying on the owner’s behalf.

If you are applying on the owner’s behalf you must supply documents, such as a Power of Attorney or a will, to show that the owner consents to you acting on their behalf.

Request fence owner details

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 1300 372 888.

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