Understanding Your Rights: Can Your Neighbour Erect a Fence Without Your Permission in NSW?

Understanding Your Rights: Can Your Neighbour Erect a Fence Without Your Permission in NSW?

Living in a residential area often means sharing boundaries with neighbours, and property rights can sometimes be a source of contention. One common concern is whether a neighbour can erect a fence without seeking permission. In New South Wales (NSW), the laws surrounding fencing are governed by the Dividing Fences Act 1991, which outlines the rights and responsibilities of property owners regarding fencing. Understanding these laws is crucial for ensuring harmony between neighbours and protecting your property interests.

1. The Dividing Fences Act 1991: Under this legislation, neighbours are generally required to share the cost of constructing and maintaining dividing fences. This means that your neighbour cannot unilaterally erect a fence without your involvement or contribution.

2. Consultation and Agreement: Before erecting a fence, your neighbour is obligated to consult with you and reach an agreement on the type, cost, and location of the fence. This ensures that both parties have a say in the matter and can negotiate terms that are fair and reasonable.

3. Dispute Resolution: If you and your neighbour cannot agree on the terms of the fence, the Act provides mechanisms for dispute resolution. This may involve mediation or arbitration to help reach a resolution that satisfies both parties.

4. Exceptions to the Rule: There are some circumstances where a neighbour may be able to erect a fence without your permission. For example, if there is an urgent need to protect property or ensure safety, your neighbour may proceed with fencing work without consultation.

5. Boundary Determination: It’s essential to establish the exact boundary line between properties before erecting a fence. Disputes over boundary lines can lead to costly legal battles, so it’s advisable to engage a surveyor to accurately determine property boundaries.

6. Adverse Possession: In some cases, a neighbour may claim adverse possession of part of your land, which could affect their rights regarding fencing. It’s crucial to address any boundary disputes promptly to prevent adverse possession claims.

7. Legal Obligations: Both you and your neighbour have legal obligations under the Dividing Fences Act. It’s essential to familiarise yourself with these obligations to avoid potential disputes and legal complications in the future.

8. Enforcement: If your neighbour proceeds with fencing work without your permission or fails to comply with the terms of the Dividing Fences Act, you may seek enforcement through the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). NCAT has the authority to resolve disputes and enforce compliance with fencing laws.

9. Communication and Cooperation: Effective communication and cooperation are key to resolving fencing disputes amicably. It’s beneficial to maintain a respectful and open dialogue with your neighbour to address any concerns or issues that may arise.

10. Seeking Legal Advice: If you’re unsure about your rights and responsibilities regarding fencing, it’s advisable to seek legal advice from a qualified solicitor or conveyancer. They can provide guidance and assistance tailored to your specific situation.

Protecting Your Property Interests

Understanding your rights and obligations regarding fencing is essential for maintaining harmonious relationships with your neighbours and protecting your property interests. By familiarising yourself with the Dividing Fences Act 1991 and actively engaging in communication and cooperation with your neighbour, you can navigate fencing disputes effectively and ensure a fair and satisfactory outcome for all parties involved.

Contact Chainwire Fencing Specialist

Contact Chainwire Fencing Specialist

If you’re facing a fencing dispute or need assistance with fencing installation or maintenance, don’t hesitate to contact Chainwire Fencing Specialist. Our team of experienced professionals can provide expert advice and services to help you resolve fencing issues and protect your property interests. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can assist you.


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