Side or rear boundary fences

Council has no involvement in shared fences or any costs that relate to shared fences as governed by the Fences Act Victoria 1968 (the Fences Act) and the Amendment Fences Act 2014.

When Council will not contribute to fencing costs

We will not contribute to fencing costs for land open to the public at all times including:

  • municipal and recreational reserves
  • municipal car parks
  • tree and plantation reserves
  • drainage reserves
  • playgrounds
  • road and right-of-ways
  • walkways

We will only contribute fencing costs for properties we occupy including:

  • Council offices and customer service centres
  • Council-owned residential properties
  • Council works depot
  • Council-run pre-schools and maternal and child health centres


The Fences Act directs the type of fence to be built, who pays for a dividing fence, notifications neighbours need to give one another and how to resolve disputes that come up when discussing fencing matters.

Fencing between two properties is a private matter between the property owners concerned and the rights and responsibilities of owners is administered by the Act, which is not administered by Council.

It is recommended that you discuss the shared fencing between your property and your neighbour’s property if you need to build or replace an existing fence on your property.

Council can assist you with your neighbour's contact details to discuss the matter with them. A request for contact details can be made by downloading and sending the request form back to Council at rates@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au.

If you are finding that you cannot reach agreement regarding the construction, replacement or the  contribution to its construction, or you are hesitant to approach the owner, you can obtain free advice on fencing issues at the Disputes Settlement Centre Victoria. This website has been designed to assist you in neighbourly disputes.

If you are still unable to find a solution to your problem, you can contact the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria. Disputes between neighbours involving dividing fences are the most common disputes dealt with at the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria. They can arrange free mediation sessions, provide information about fencing notices and information about obtaining court orders in relation to the fencing costs.

Council does not get involved in fencing disputes as adjoining boundary fencing is a civil matter and can only be addressed by you and your neighbour.

If you require more information, please call us on 1300 179 944 to assist you.



Fences near the street

The following matters must be considered for any proposed fence that faces a street or is within three metres of a street boundary:

  • type of fence construction – timber, metal, masonry or a combination of materials

  • allowable maximum heights

  • location of fence – front, side or corner

  • whether or not building and/or planning permits are required

The following height limits apply (unless Council consents to a greater height):

  • generally front fences can be erected to a height of 1.5 metres (check for any restrictive covenants and consider the safety of pedestrians)
  • on a declared road the permitted maximum height is two metres

  • fences setback at least three metres from the street boundary may be constructed with a maximum height of two metres

  • on corner blocks (with side street) a fence cannot be greater than 1000mm when within nine metres of the corner intersection of the allotment

Generally a building permit is required for:

  • a brick fence where any part of the brickwork exceeds 1.2 metres in height

  • other types of fences (e.g. timber, metal, lightweight construction) over 1.5 metres in height within three metres of the street boundary

  • all fences over two metres in height

The above information is general, and only applies in respect to the building regulations.

Please contact Council’s Town Planning Department to enquire if a planning permit is also required for your proposal.

Council’s Community Local Law also contains the following requirement:

  • an owner or occupier must not within four metres of a street alignment construct or allow to remain in place a side fence of height greater than 1.2 metres and which is beside a driveway or vehicle access way from a premises

For further information please contact Council’s Building or Town Planning Departments on 1300 179 944 or email customerservice@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au.