​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |
LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself - LawAssist

How to talk to your neighbour 

There are a number of ways you can talk to your neighbour about a fencing issue.

Alert iconIf there is an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) between you and your neighbour, you should get legal advice before talking to your neighbour.

    ​Meet fac​​​e to face ​​

    If you have a good relationship with your neighbour, you could try knocking on their door or talk to them about your fencing issue.

    Handy hint iconTry to talk to them at a time that is convenient to both of you, for example​ on the weekend, not when they are running out the door on their way to work.

    Talk on the phone

    If you are uncomfortable meeting your neighbour face to face or they do not live next door, you could try talking to them over the telephone.

    Send a letter, e-mail or text

    If you find it difficult talking to your neighbour directly or you want to keep a written record of the attempts you have made to resolve the issue, you can send a letter, e-mail or text.

    Keep your letter, e-mail or text short and explain what you are asking for in a clear and simple way. If you have quotes, you could attach copies of the quotes. 

    Tips on talking with your neighbour

    It is important to talk to your neighbour if you have a problem with a dividing fence. You may find this difficult or you might not know where to start. Here are some tips that can help you get the best result when you need to discuss fencing work with your neighbour:

    Be polite and respectful

    Even if you have had troubles with your neighbour before, you should try and speak to them calmly and politely. Do not shout or let yourself get angry. Be patient and give them time to consider what you are asking for.

    Focus on the fencing issue

    Do not bring up other problems that may have happened in the past. Try and stay focussed on the fencing issue.

    Listen to your neighbour 

    When discussing the issue with your neighbour, it is important that you listen to them. Understanding their point of view may help you reach a solution that suits both of you. 

    Get quotes

    It can be helpful to get quotes for the fencing work you would like to do and show these to your neighbour. If you and your neighbour have different ideas for what material should be used for the fence or its design, you could get quotes for both ideas and then discuss them. There is no minimum number of quotes you should get, but it may be helpful to have at least two so you can talk about your options.

    Consider a compromise

    It is much quicker (and may be cheaper) to come to an early agreement with your neighbour than to go through the process of getting an order from the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) or the Local Court. Think about whether you could compromise on the type of fence that will be built, or its height or location. If you want a fence that is more expensive than the type your neighbour wants, you could offer to pay the additional cost of the more expensive fence.

    For more information, see the Negotiation topic on this website.

    Try mediation 

    Sometimes talking to your neighbour directly may not be the best option, partic​ularly if you do not have a good relationship with them. You should always keep your safety in mind. You can try mediation which involves the help of a third person to try and settle the dispute. For more information, see Mediation.  

    Take notes

    Keeping a record of your attempts to resolve your fencing issue may be important if you later decide to go to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) or the Local Court for a Fencing Order. 

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

    Men shaking hands over fence