How to follow fencing guidelines in Australia?

Any substantial structure built along a boundary is likely to require planning approval and a building permit issued prior to construction. This is particularly the case for retaining walls, walls that form part of buildings, unusually high fences or fences made from unusual materials.

Fences that form part of a swimming or spa pool barrier also require a building permit from your local government prior to construction.

In many local government areas, brick and masonry fences require a building permit. Although simple, conventional dividing fences may not need a building permit.

You should always check with your local government first, as construction without planning and building approval is an offence.

Sample letter to erect a new dividing fence
(Your address)

Dear Neighbour,

I am writing to advise that I propose to erect a dividing fence on the boundary line between our properties (include property addresses).The fence I wish to erect is a (specify here the description of the fence, ie. type, length, height, material and the boundary line to be fenced).I have obtained quotes (copies attached) and propose to accept the quote from (fencing company – eg. ABC Fencing Company) for (amount – eg. $400). Your share of the dividing fence will be (half of the cost – eg. $200) which is half the cost of a sufficient fence according to the local government laws in the area.Please let me know within 21 days if you agree or disagree with this proposal.If you would like to discuss this with me I can be contacted on telephone number (your number) or by email at (your email address).

If within 21 days we cannot reach agreement or you do not respond, the Dividing Fences Act 1961 provides for the matter to be determined in the Magistrates Court.

(Your signature, name and date)
Sample letter to repair an existing fence
 (Your address)

Dear Neighbour

I am writing to seek your agreement and contribution for the repair of the dividing fence which separates our properties, (include property addresses) in accordance with Section 15 of the Dividing Fences Act 1961.
The dividing fence is in need of repair because (give reasons eg. several pickets are missing).
I have attached copies of quotes to have the repairs done. I suggest we accept the quote from (company – eg. ABC Fencing) for (amount – eg. $300). Your half share will be (half of the cost – eg. $150).
Please let me know within 14 days if you agree or disagree with this proposal.

If you would like to discuss this with me I can be contacted on telephone number (your number) or by email at (your email address).

If within 14 days we cannot reach agreement or you do not respond, the Diving Fences Act 1961 provides that I may repair the fence and then recover half of the repair costs through the Magistrates Court

(Your signature name and date)

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