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LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself

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Fencing Orders

If you and your neigh​bour cannot agree on fencing work, either of you can ask the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) or the Local Court to make a 'Fencing Order'.

    What​ is a Fenc​i​​ng Order?

    A Fencing Order is a decision made by NCAT or the Local Court about what fencing work must be done. The order can cover:

    • what the fence should be made of
    • how high the fence should be
    • where the fence should be built
    • when the fence should be built
    • how the costs of the fencing work should be divided between neighbours.

    Applying for a Fencing Order

    To apply for a Fencing Order, you must fill in an application form and pay a filing fee.

    Alert iconAn application for a Fencing Order can only be made if a Fencing Notice was served by you or your neighbour at least one month earlier. For more information, see Fencing Notices.

    You can make an application to either the Local Court or NCAT. They can make the same orders. 

    If you are not sure where to make your application for Fencing Orders, you should get legal advice.

    If you want to apply to NCAT (or have already applied), see Going to NCAT.

    If you want to apply to the Local Court (or have already applied), see Going to the Local Court.

    Responding to an application for a Fencing Order

    Your neighbour may have made an application for a fencing Order in either the Local Court or NCAT. NCAT and the Local Court can make the same orders. 

    If your neighbour made an application for a Fencing Order at NCAT you will be served with (given) a Notice of Conciliation and Hearing. 

    If your neighbour made an application for a Fencing Order at the Local Court, you will be served with a copy of the application which will have a date for the mention. The mention is the first court date. 

    You will then need to decide how you are going to respond to your neighbour's application. 

    Alert IconAn application for a Fencing Order can only be made if a Fencing Notice was served by you or your neighbour at least one month earlier. For more information, see Fencing Notices.

    Handy hint iconNCAT and the Local Court can transfer applications to one another. This means that if your neighbour has made an application to the Local Court, but you think that the case should be decided by NCAT, you can ask the Local Court to transfer your matter to NCAT.

    If your neighbour has made an application to NCAT, see Going to NCAT.

    If your neighbour has made an application to the Local Court, see Going to the Local Court.

    Deciding between NCAT and the Local Court

    Before you decide where to apply, you should consider the following:

    • NCAT aims to have cases listed within four weeks after the application. The Local Court waiting times will vary. Some Local Courts in rural areas are not open every day and it may take longer before a case is listed. Contact your Local Court to check the waiting times.
    • NCAT will ask parties to discuss the dispute and try to come to an agreement, before having a hearing. This is called a conciliation. The Local Court may refer the parties to a separate mediation service but there is no mediation or conciliation​ help provided by the court.
    • NCAT is not bound by rules of evidence. This means that NCAT can be less formal than the Local Court in the way it hears matters.
    • If you need to enforce an order made by NCAT, there are some extra steps, and an extra fee.

    NCAT and the Local Court can transfer applications to one another.

    If you are not sure where to make your application, you should get legal advice. ​

    For answers to commonly asked questions, see Frequently Asked Questions​.​

    Picture registry staff explaining document to man
     

    Further inf​​ormation

    Local Courts NSW

    NSW C​​​ivil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) 
    1300 00 6228