Dividing fences

NCAT can hear and decide an issue or dispute about a dividing fence that separates neighbouring properties in NSW.

Dividing fences cases are managed through NCAT's Consumer and Commercial Division.

Orders NCAT can make

NCAT can make orders in dividing fences cases including:

  • What the fence should be made of
  • How high the fence should be
  • Where the fence should be built
  • When the fence should be built
  • How the costs of the fencing work should be divided between you and your neighbour.

For more information about the orders NCAT can make, refer to the Dividing Fences Act 1991.

Check if your matter is affected by federal jurisdiction.

How to apply

You can apply online. Learn how we handle your confidentiality and privacy.

What do I need to do before completing this application?

Fencing notice

A Fencing Notice is the first step in a dividing fence dispute. You must serve (formally give) your neighbour a Fencing Notice at least 1 month before applying to NCAT. You must attach the notice to your application.

Gather your evidence

Relevant information includes:

  • Fencing notice
  • Photographs or diagrams
  • Receipts
  • Current survey of boundary line (if available)
  • Witness statements or affidavits.

Correctly identify the other party

To make a claim against a person, business or company, you need to use their correct name or legal entity. You also need the correct address for service. 

If the other party is a business or company, search ASIC's Registers and attach the search to your application.

NCAT may ask you for more information to ensure the other party's details are correct. Not providing correct details can cause delays or the making of unenforceable orders.

Need more information?

Application fee

View our current application fees and charges.

Concession card holders are eligible for a reduced fee. Have your concession card with you when you lodge the application to claim the reduced fee. 

Time limits

You can apply to NCAT at least 1 month after the Fencing Notice has been served by you or your neighbour.

What happens next

Dividing fences matters are first listed for conciliation and hearing. Check the notice of hearing from NCAT and follow the instructions provided. If your case is not resolved at the first hearing it may be listed for a contested hearing on a later date.

Read the hearing preparation checklist to prepare for your hearing. 

Can someone represent me?

Most people represent themselves at NCAT. You can conduct your own case without a lawyer or other representative. If you want to be represented you can find out more about representation at NCAT.

Organisations that can help

NCAT cannot provide legal advice. For more information, go to Get legal help and advice for organisations that provide free or low-cost legal advice and information. Find out how we can and cannot assist.

Last updated:

19 Nov 2023

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