Fencing

Building and maintaining fencing and sharing costs is a matter between neighbours and Council does not have the jurisdiction to intervene.

Council can provide you with a notice to give to your neighbour if you are sharing costs with them. We can also post the notice to your neighbour if they live somewhere else and you don't know their address.

Building, fixing or replacing a fence

Step 1.Check whether you need Council approval

A standard 1800mm (1.8 metre) timber or colour-bonded metal dividing fence meets the required standards for fencing within Councils Residential Zones (R1, R2, R3 and R4) and so generally will not require Council approval.

Go to the NSW Planning Portal's website for more information on the standards required for residential fences and commercial and industrial fences.

Step 2.Sharing costs with your neighbour

Normally the owners of neighbouring properties must equally share the cost of building a new fence where there is not one, repairing or replacing a dividing fence that's been damaged, destroyed or has deteriorated or that is not a "sufficient" dividing fence.

The State Government's Dividing Fences Act, 1991 addresses how the cost of a dividing fence is shared between adjoining land owners and the procedure for resolving disputes involving the cost, type and position of a fence. 

Go to the Law Access NSW website for more information on the laws and processes around dividing fences.

If your property adjoins public lands

The NSW Dividing Fences Act 1991 does not impose any liability on a council to contribute to dividing fences. Coffs Harbour City Council does not generally contribute to boundary fences with public land like public reserves, roads, pathways etc.

Step 3.Notifying your neighbour

An owner wanting a neighbour to share in the cost of a dividing fence must first serve a Fencing Notice on that adjoining owner (personally or by post).

You must not start work until agreement is reached or an order is made by the local land board or local court. You can download a fencing notice below.

Fencing Notice(PDF, 33KB)

If you're paying for the fence yourself

If you are going to cover all the costs you don't have to serve the Fencing Notice. However it is still a good idea to talk to your neighbour about your plans.

If you don't know you neighbour's address

If your neighbour lives somewhere else we can't tell you their address, but we can forward the notice to their postal address on your behalf. We can't accept responsibility for your neighbour actually receiving it.

Fill in the Fencing Notice and provide it to Council using the contact details on this page with a note explaining your request.

Urgent fencing work

If urgent fencing work is needed, it is possible for a person to build or fix a fence without notifying their neighbour and still claim half the costs. 

Go to the Law Access NSW website for more information on urgent fencing work.