A dividing fence dispute is a disagreement between neighbours about a fence or proposed fence that separates neighbouring properties. A dividing fence is usually located on the common boundary between the two properties.
If you and your neighbour cannot agree on fencing work, you can apply to NCAT to make orders and resolve the dispute.
A Fencing Notice is the first step in the process before applying to NCAT for an order about fencing work. Visit the LawAccess NSW website for detailed information on
If you and your neighbour have not reached an agreement one month after the Fencing Notice is sent, you can lodge an application to NCAT.
Download a Dividing Fences Application Form [PDF, 225kB]
Applications must be lodged with the appropriate fee. Find out our current
fees and charges.
NCAT will send you and your neighbour a Notice of Conciliation and Hearing with the date, time and location at which the matter will be heard. Dividing fence applications are listed for hearing within
When you arrive at NCAT for the hearing you will be asked to attempt conciliation. Conciliation is an alternative dispute resolution process used by NCAT to help parties settle the dispute. Learn more about
At the hearing the matter will be heard and determined by a Tribunal Member. If you reach agreement in conciliation, your agreement is formalised into an NCAT order. Otherwise you and your neighbour will present your evidence to the Tribunal Member. The Member will make a determination and final orders. Learn more about going to
Final orders made by NCAT are binding and enforceable. Learn more about
orders and enforcement.
NCAT can make orders about dividing fence disputes under the
Dividing Fences Act 1991. The Tribunal's order can cover:
Definitions of terms used in the
Dividing Fences Act 1991.
Adjoining ownersThe owners of land on either side of a common boundary
Dividing fenceA fence separating the land of adjoining owners, whether on the common boundary of adjoining lands or on a line other than the common boundary.
FenceA structure, ditch or embankment, or a hedge or similar vegetative barrier enclosing or bounding land, whether or not continuous or extending along the whole of the boundary separating the land of adjoining owners.
Fencing workThe design, construction, replacement, repair or maintenance of the whole or part of a dividing fence.
Dividing Fences Act 1991
Fees and charges
How to resolve your matter
NSW State Library - Find Legal Answers
Community Justice Centres