Examples of dividing fence disputes
One of the most common causes of disagreement between neighbours is over dividing fences. It might be useful to look at the outcomes of dividing fence disputes that have been through the resolution process in Queensland in the last few years if you find yourself in a dispute with your neighbour(s).
Reviewing the outcomes of past disputes that are similar to your own situation might help you to resolve the issue yourselves.
See examples of QCAT decisions about dividing fences disputes after 1 December 2009.
Common types of dividing fence disputes
A dividing fence dispute can arise if neighbours disagree about fence construction or maintenance. For example, if you or your neighbour:
- refuses to contribute to the cost of building or repairing the fence—prior to the fence being constructed or repaired
- challenges the cost of building or repairing the fence
- disputes the type of fence to be built or repairs to be done
- disputes the alignment of the fence
- demolishes the fence without permission
- damages the dividing fence with attachments such as carports, washing lines and shade sails.
Dividing fence disputes decided by QCAT
If dividing fence disputes cannot be resolved privately, they will often go to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for a final decision.
QCAT can decide matters about dividing fences including:
- which of 2 or more fences on a boundary is the dividing fence
- whether a fence is a sufficient dividing fence
- where the fence should be built if not on the common boundary
- what type of fence is to be built and who pays what share
- timing of fencing work
- any other related work—such as a retaining wall or drainage work—required for dividing fence repair or construction.
You can read the QCAT decisions on past dividing fence disputes.
The decision reports will tell you:
- what the dividing fence dispute was about
- what claims each neighbour made to QCAT
- QCAT’s final assessment.
Laws that cover dividing fence disputes
If you can't find any past disputes that are similar to your own situation, you can try looking at legislation that covers dividing fence disputes.
Relevant Acts include:
- Neighbourhood Disputes (Dividing Fences and Trees) Act 2011, formerly known as the Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Act 2011
- Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009