Fences and the Law

What is Council's involvement with fences? Council approval is required for a swimming pool fence, masonry - brick, cement etc. fence higher than one metre and any other kind of fence, colourbond, galvanized iron, wooden etc. higher than two metres.  The height is measured from the lower of the adjoining finished floor levels. There are special requirements to front and side fences near corners. Please contact Council's planning department for further clarification on when Council approval is required.

Does Council get involved in fencing disputes? The issue of cost sharing for the erection of new and existing boundary fencing is a matter to be resolved between the property owners. Should there be difficulties resolving these issues parties are encouraged to contact their local community mediation service, South East Community Legal Service (08) 8723 6236 or freecall 1300 369 236.  Fences less than 2 metres in height and on a common boundary between neighbours are subject to the Fences Act. Council has no authority in respect to the Fences Act and dealings between neighbours.

The Legal Services Commission produces a useful pamphlet "Fences and the Law" that contains the relevant information and forms required to assist in fencing negotiations and/or disputes. The pamphlet can be obtained from the Council Office or through the Legal Services Commission website.

Under Section 20 of the Fences Act 1975 Council is exempted from cost sharing in the following cases:-

  • the land is, a single parcel of land more than one hectare in area; or
  • the land is a public road or road reserve; or
  • the land is exempted by regulation from the provisions of the Act.

For further information please contact Council.