Different properties across Darebin will have different requirements around fencing. Here is some general advice around the different issues you may face.
Dividing or common boundary fences
Boundary fences are generally shared with a neighbour, so discussion and agreement needs to be made in regards to heights, materials and the sharing of costs.
If you do not know the owner of your adjoining property, you can apply to request ownership details of a property. This takes less than 2 minutes to complete:
Boundary fences can be replaced without a building permit if they meet the following criteria
- up to 1.5m high within the first three meters of your front property boundary,
- a maximum height of 2 metres after the first 3 metres
You will require a building permit for any fences higher than these limits, or for any proposed variation from the building regulations through the Report and Consent Approval process.
If the dividing or common boundary fence also acts as part of the enclosure of a spa or swimming pool, a Building Permit is required regardless of height.
When does a fence need a building permit?
Some fences may require a building permit depending on:
- Height – the desired height of the fence may trigger the need for a building permit
- Materials – lightweight materials can be built to higher standards without a permit
- Location – this can be influenced by whether you live on a declared road, or whether the fence is a front, corner or boundary fence
Council has no jurisdiction on matters relating to a common fence where a Building Permit is not required. Fencing disputes are a civil matter between you and your neighbours.
Local Laws Officers are not able to resolve disputes between neighbours over matters such as boundary fences, and overhanging trees/shrubs are civil matters which should be dealt with privately.
The Magistrates' Court deals with disputes concerning both the repair of existing fences and the construction of new fences.
To assist with the satisfactory resolution of fence disputes, the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria offers a free advisory and mediation service.
For assistance with such fencing disputes, contact:
We will investigate dangerous fences in circumstances where the fence may pose a safety risk to the public.
See our fencing permit page for details on what may be a dangerous fence and what our building unit will investigate.