Dividing fences

If you and your neighbour cannot agree on fencing work, you can apply to NCAT to make orders and resolve the dispute.

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

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.

Before applying to NCAT

A Fencing Notice is the first step in the legal process to resolve a dividing fence dispute.

A Fencing Notice is a formal written notice about the plan to build, fix or replace a fence and a request to contibute to the costs. Visit the LawAccess NSW website for information about Fencin​g Notices.

If you and your neighbour do not reach an agreement one month after the Fencing Notice is sent, you can lodge an application to NCAT.

How to apply

Download and complete an application form. Lodge your application at any NCAT Registry Office or Service NSW Centre.


Fees are payable for dividing fences applications. View our fees and charges.

Time limits

To apply to NCAT about a dividing fences dispute, a Fencing Notice must have been served by you or your neighbout at least one month earlier.

Federal jurisdiction

Do you or the owner of your neighbouring property live in a different State? Check if you matter is affected by federal jurisdiction.

What happens next

Dividing fence cases are listed for conciliation and hearing. Check the notice of hearing from NCAT and follow the instructions provided.


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 conciliation.


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 the hearing.

Orders NCAT can make

NCAT can make a range of orders in dividing fence disputes, such as:

  • 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.


The following legislation applies to dividing fence disputes.

Organisations that can help

NCAT cannot provide legal advice. Find out how we can and cannot assist. Below are some organisations that can provide help or advice about your case.

Last updated:

31 Aug 2020

Was this content useful?
We will use your rating to help improve the site.

Please select a valid option.

Please don't include personal or financial information here

Please select a valid option.

Please don't include personal or financial information here
Thank you for your feedback.
We acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which we work and we pay respect to the Elders, past, present and future.
Return to top of page Back to top