Before you build, fix or replace a dividing fence, you should serve (give) a Fencing Notice on your neighbour.
Case study - Samah and Burt
Samah and Burt have been neighbours for some time. The fence dividing their properties is 75cm tall and in good condition. Samah and her partner would like a taller fence to improve the privacy and security of her backyard. Samah has tried to talk to Burt about getting a new taller fence, but Burt is happy with the existing fence.
If you and your neighbour have tried to talk and you still cannot agree, you can serve a Fencing Notice on your neighbour.
Before serving a Fencing Notice you could try mediation. Mediation is a process where independent people, called 'mediators', help people in a dispute to reach agreement. For more information see
A Fencing Notice is a formal written notice to your neighbour that says that you plan on building, fixing or replacing a fence, and asks them to contribute to the costs.
There is no standard form you need to fill out when giving a Fencing Notice to your neighbour, but there are certain things you need to make sure you include in the Fencing Notice.
For more information on preparing your Fencing Notice and the things you must include, see
Fencing Notice - Step by step guide.
For completed examples of Fencing Notices, see:
If you serve a Fencing Notice and, after one month passes, you and your neighbour still cannot come to an agreement (or your neighbour simply does not respond to the Fencing Notice), either you or your neighbour can apply to the Local Court or the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) for a Fencing Order. For more information, see
A Fencing Notice is a formal written notice from your neighbour that says that they plan on building, fixing or replacing a fence and want you to contribute to the costs.
If you have been given a Fencing Notice by your neighbour, or have received one by post, it is a good idea to contact your neighbour to discuss the proposed fencing work.
If you agree with the fencing work, you and your neighbour can put your agreement in writing. For more information, see
Agreement in writing.
If you do not agree with the fencing work your neighbour wants to do, you can try and negotiate an agreement. If you need some help coming to an agreement, you can contact a Community Justice Centre (CJC) and arrange mediation. For more information, see
If you do not talk to your neighbour or cannot come to an agreement, after one month, either you or your neighbour may apply to the Local Court or the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) for a Fencing Order. If you have received an Application for a Fencing Order, see
For answers to commonly asked questions, see Frequently Asked Questions.
Community Justice Centres
Local Courts NSW
NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) 1300 00 6228