Friendly fencing and beautiful boundaries

25 January 2011 - 6 min read

Some people may never meet their neighbour, but when you’re building a brand new home, you immediately share something in common with your neighbour – your fence!

So who is responsible for what and who pays for which bit?

Before you even get into that aspect, it’s best to check the estate covenants with your land developer and also check with your local council regarding any fencing approvals, restrictions or requirements.

After you know what your fencing options are in general, it’s time to talk to your neighbour! There are no set rules when it comes to this part but here’s how it usually plays out….

  • The first home owner on the boundary line normally initiates the fencing project
  • Review your estate covenants and council regulations so you know what type of fencing is suitable
  • Obtain a range of quotes from a variety of contractors
  • Introduce yourself to your neighbour and get to know them, let them know you’re organising a range of quotes
  • Invite them to be involved – do they know any good fencing contractors?
  • Organise a time and place to sit with your neighbour and review the different fencing options
  • Usually the bill is split equally between both parties.

There are some alternative situations. Occasionally the land developer may ask you to pay half of the fence and they will follow up the other half of the cost once the block next to yours is sold. If you’re not on speaking terms with your neighbour you can also go to the council for some direction as they might be able to assist.

In relation to cutting overhanging trees, it’s best to check with your local council but it’s commonly organised by the owner who wants the tree trimmed. An owner of a property can cut any overhanging trees that penetrate their block. This doesn’t mean you can cut down your neighbour’s prized Poinciana, it just means you can cut it back on your side of the fence.

Every estate and suburb can have different regulations so start by contacting the relevant land developer and council.