A dividing fence is a fence that separates the lands of adjoining owners.
The fence may be a structure of any material, a ditch, an embankment or a vegetative barrier (eg hedge). It does not include a retaining wall or the wall of a building.
The cost of a dividing fence includes the cost of all related fencing work, such as preparation of the land, as well as the design, construction, replacement, repair and maintenance of the fence.
A sufficient dividing fence is defined as a fence which separates the properties, for example a paling fence in a residential area, or a wire and steel star post fence in a rural area. The owner who seeks a fence of a higher standard is liable to pay the difference in the cost between that fence and a sufficient dividing fence.
An owner wanting an adjoining owner to share in the cost of a dividing fence must first serve a fencing notice on that adjoining owner (personally or by post). Unless urgent fencing is required, no fencing work for which a land owner seeks a contribution from an adjoining owner should be done until agreement is reached or an order is made by the local land board or local court. Owners must share in the cost once agreement is reached.
Before erecting your new dividing fence you should contact Council to check if any specific requirements for fencing heights or construction methods are required.
Property owners are also advised to consult any private covenant that may burden their land with respect to fencing restrictions.
The Land and Property Management Authority (LPMA) is the authority charged with the administration of the Dividing Fences Act 1991.
For further information on dividing fences and dispute resolution, please visit the NCAT NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (new window)