Boundary fences between properties
The fencing between adjoining properties provides the delineation and separation of the properties.
A fence is in joint ownership of the abutting property(s) owners and by law, people with a common boundary share the cost of building and maintaining appropriate fencing.
Owners usually share the cost of a standard fence.
If one owner wants a special fence, they may require a building permit to build the fence.
The Law Handbook has further information on fences.
Property which shares a fence with Council-owned land or building
If the rear or side fence of a property adjoins Council-owned land or a Council-owned building, the fencing cost is equally shared by Council and the property owner.
The property owner should obtain and submit two to three quotes to Council detailing the cost per metre of a treated pine paling fence, the cost of removal of the old fence and the GST amount. Email Council Building Maintenance or post the quotes to Moreland City Council, Locked Bag 10, Moreland 3058, attention Building Maintenance.
A fence facing the street, road or laneway is different from a boundary fence and is the property owner's responsibility to maintain and replace.
Boundary fence size requirements
A standard boundary fence between properties is a 1.8-metre-high timber paling fence.
A boundary fence above 2 metres high including lattice or any other attachment, requires a building permit under the Building Regulations 2006.
The law about fences in Victoria is contained in the Fences Act 1968 and the Building Regulations 2006.
When neighbours disagree on a boundary fence
It is important to note that Council does not get involved in disputes between neighbours on concerns about the replacement or repair of shared boundary fencing.
These are civil matters between the adjoining property owner(s) and does not fall under the jurisdiction of Council. Disputes may be referred to the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (see reference below).
If the fence requires a building permit, then Council may be involved to ensure the fence complies with the building legislation.
Follow the procedure relating to fencing disputes and issuing a complaint information sheet produced by the Magistrates Court.
Contact the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria to discuss the fence and get a solution. The centre is an informal, independent, accessible and low cost dispute resolution service to all people in Victoria. The Centre can do free mediation between neighbours, give you extra information on a Fencing Notice, and show you how to get a court order to force your neighbour to help pay for the fence.
A front or side fence facing a street, road or laneway
A fence facing the street, road or laneway is different from a boundary fence between properties.
The property owner is responsible for maintaining and replacing fences facing the street, road or laneway.
The Building Regulations 2006 regulates what can be built and if a building permit is required. For example, a brick fence facing the street above 1.2 metres in height will require a building permit.
For further information about a permit for a fence facing a street or road, contact Council.
Request for ownership information for fencing purposes
Council may be asked to provide a property owner(s) contact details with respect to the specific replacement or repair of fencing.
The Information Privacy Act allows us to provide this information when the request is made in writing.
If you need the contact details for the owner of a fence, complete the Request for Address Particulars for Fencing Purposes form (DOC 38Kb) and email or post the form to Council or hand in person to a Council Customer Service Centre.
This information provided to a property owner or other authorised person must not be used for any other unrelated purposes.