If you’re planning on building a new fence, it’s important to know that in Victoria there are strict rules and regulations. If you don’t follow these rules, then you are at risk of getting a visit from a council official and having to tear down your fence, which is an unnecessary waste of both time and money.
These rules and regulations can be confusing enough as is, but what makes it even more complicated is that there are some rules that apply Victoria-wide and others that depend on specific councils. Everlast Services is located in Hoppers Crossing so the relevant council for us is the Wyndham City Council.
Here is a rundown of the fencing rules and regulations in Victoria and Wyndham City Council so you’re not caught out if, and when, you decide to build a new fence.
When Do You Need a Permit for Building a Fence?
According to Wyndham City Council
You need a permit when a fence:
- Exceeds 1.5 metres in height and is within 3 metres of a street alignment
- Exceeds 1.2 metres in height, is within 3 metres of a street alignment, and is constructed of masonry, concrete or similar
- Is over 1 metre in height and is within 9 metres of an intersection
- Is constructed of barbed wire or similar material and is adjacent to a street alignment
- Forms part of a safety barrier for a swimming pool or a children’s service outdoor play area
- Exceeds 2 metres in height
What Are the Rules and Regulations When It Comes to Dividing Fences?
According to Victoria State Government
A dividing fence is a fence that divides two adjacent properties. Laws surrounding dividing fences encompass issues such as:
- Who pays for it
- What type of fence should be built,
- If when and how neighbours should be notified
- How disputes that may arise should be solved
Before sending out a fencing notice, talk to your neighbour about the dividing fence. If you are able to come to an agreement informally regarding the type of fence, the contractor you will employ, how it will be paid for, and the placement of the fence then you won’t need to end a formal fencing notice and you can start your fencing work.
If you are unable to get your neighbour’s agreement, then you will need to send them a fencing notice.
A fencing notice is a formal document that includes proposals about: the type of work to be carried out, the contractor engaged to carry the work out, and estimate of cost.
If your neighbour does not respond within 30 days, then you can go ahead with the fencing work and recuperate costs later through the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria.
If an already-existing fence is damaged or destroyed and requires immediate fixing, then you are able to undertake fencing work straight away and without obtaining your neighbour’s consent. In addition, if you would like your neighbour to cover some of the costs, then you will need to give them an urgent fencing notice.
In general, costs to build and repair are split evenly. However, this depends on whether:
- The fence needs repairing
- One party wants a more expensive fence
- One party was responsible for the damage that needs repair
If a new fence is being built to replace an old one, then it will generally be the same as the old one. If one party wants to upgrade or get something different, then they will have to cover the costs. But both parties must agree.
If you are unable to agree with your neighbour or come up with a compromise within 30 days of sending them the fencing notice, then you are able to carry out the fencing work and try to recover costs through the Magistrate’s Court later.
However, there is also a free dispute resolution service provided by the Victorian Government. This is worth considering – going to court can be very costly and stressful. Through this mediation service, you and your neighbour may be able to come to an agreement.
Fencing rules and regulations can be confusing – not to mention they can constantly be changing and vary depending on your location. Check out this other post about fencing laws specific to Wyndham.
For any assistance you may need to achieve peace of mind when constructing your fence, contact Everlast Services. We’re fencing experts. We’ll ensure your fence follows the rules and regulations and you get any of the permits you may need.