​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 |

Retaining walls​

Case study - Aleena and RajCase study icon

Aleena lives in the property next door to Raj. There is currently no fence separating the properties. A fencing contractor has told Aleena that a retaining wall needs to be built under the fence to support any dividing fence between the properties. Aleena would like to know if she can ask Raj to pay for half the cost of the retaining wall as well as the fence and whether she needs to get approval from her Local Council to build the retaining wall. 

Normally the owners of neighbouring properties must equally share the cost of building a sufficient dividing fence. Under the Dividing Fences Act, a retaining wall is part of a 'dividing fence' if it is necessary for the support and maintenance of the fence.

    ​What is a reta​​​ining wall?

    A retaining wall is a structure to support or hold back earth. A retaining wall is often found between properties where the ground is at different levels, and:

    • provides structural support for the higher property
    • maintains the surface of the higher property at its present level
    • forms an essential part of the higher property and
    • prevents the movement of land between the higher and lower properties.

    Who should pay?

    Both you and your neighbour would usually equally share the cost of building, repairing or maintaining a retaining wall if the wall is necessary for the support and maintenance of a dividing fence between your properties.

    If the retaining wall does not support and maintain the dividing fence the situation is different. The responsibility for the cost of building, repairing or maintaining a retaining wall may be determined by looking at various factors such as:

    • ​the reason why building or repairing a retaining wall is necessary
    • the actions of the parties involved and
    • what is reasonable in the circumstances.

    If you are not sure whether a retaining wall is necessary to support or maintain the dividing fence, you should get legal advice.  

    What if we cannot reach an agreement?

    It is important to talk to your neighbour if you have a problem about a dividing fence. For more information, see How to talk to your neighbour

    If you and your neighbour cannot reach an agreement about who should pay for the retaining wall you can try mediation.  Mediation is an informal process, where an independent person (called a 'mediator') can help people resolve their dispute. For more information, see Mediation

    If after trying mediation, you and your neighbour still cannot reach an agreement, you should serve (give) your neighbour a Fencing Notice. If after one month of serving the Fencing Notice, you and your neighbour still cannot reach an agreement, either of you can apply to the Local Court or the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) for Fencing Orders. 

    For more information, see Cannot agree? 

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

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