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The following steps will help you prepare for a conciliation and hearing at the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT):
You will need to gather the evidence that you are going to take with you to the hearing.
The person from NCAT who will look at the evidence and decide the case is a tribunal member. The tribunal member will need to decide a number of issues, such as:
Your evidence should address the questions that apply to your case.
If a Fencing Notice has not been served by you or your neighbour, or it is less than one month since the Fencing Notice was served, NCAT cannot hear the case (unless you have not been able to find your neighbour or your case relates to urgent fencing work).
If you made the application to NCAT, you will need to show that a Fencing Notice was served. You could do this by providing:
If you were not able to serve a Fencing Notice because you could not find your neighbour, you will need to provide evidence of:
If you want a new fence, you will need to show the tribunal member that the existing fence is not sufficient. If you do not want a new fence, you will need to show the tribunal member that the existing fence is sufficient.
Evidence about whether the existing dividing fence is sufficient or insufficient could include:
You or your neighbour need to show what sort of fence should be built. You should also bring evidence of how much the work will cost.
You could bring along:
Make sure you take quotes for building or repairing the fence with you to the hearing. If you do not take quotes it may delay your case.
A dividing fence will usually go on the common boundary line between two neighbouring properties. If a fence cannot be built on the boundary line because of the nature of the land, it will usually be built as close as possible to the boundary. If you and your neighbour disagree on where the fence should be built, relevant evidence could be:
You and your neighbour will need to tell the tribunal member how you think the costs of any fencing work should be split. Relevant evidence could be some of the following:
For more information about who should pay for fencing work, see
Who should pay?
If the application relates to urgent fencing work, relevant evidence might include:
You will need to take these things with you to the hearing:
If you want a witness to come to the hearing but you are worried they will not attend, or someone to give documents to NCAT for you to use in the hearing, you can ask NCAT to issue a summons. A summons requires a person to come to NCAT and give evidence or hand over documents named in the summons.
To apply for a summons, you must:
If NCAT agrees to issue the summons, you will need to:
For more information:
Before the hearing, the tribunal member will give you and your neighbour time to try to come to an agreement. This is called conciliation.
If you can come to an agreement, NCAT can make orders in the same terms as your agreement. This is quicker than having a hearing and you get a result that you have agreed to.
It is a good idea to prepare for conciliation by thinking about:
For more information on conciliation, go to the
Write down the main points you want to say to the tribunal member. This may include:
Now you have prepared for the hearing, the next step is to present your case on the day of the hearing.
For more information, see
Presenting your case at a NCAT hearing - Step by step guide.
For answers to commonly asked questions, see Frequently Asked Questions.