Dividing fences

Council does not become involved with dividing fence issues between neighbours.

The Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Act 2011 defines the law relating to constructing and repairing fences that divide adjoining land, and neighbour’s responsibilities for trees.

For information on requirements and assistance in resolving tree and fence disputes, visit Department of Justice and Attorney-General website.

Local, State and Commonwealth governments are not required to contribute to the cost of a boundary fence that borders on government land and the legislation does not apply to trees within a public space.

All fences constructed more than two metres in height above natural ground level require approval from a private building certifier.

Retaining walls

The Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Act 2011 specifically excludes a retaining wall.

Retaining walls serve a different purpose than fences. They are engineered to support build up or excavated earth. Retaining walls are not normally a matter of joint responsibility for neighbours because a retaining wall is usually of more benefit to one neighbour.

The responsibility of the wall lies with the land owner that the retaining wall is in favour of and is site specific, (i.e. if they had their block cut to have a level building pad the retaining wall was put there for that purpose and the responsibility lies with the owner of the lower block, the reverse can be true if the block is filled). The matter may become civil in regard to responsibility of maintenance/drainage. The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) may or may not be able to assist.

Depending on the type of retaining wall constructed, building approval from a private building certifier may be required.