Property fences and retaining walls

Find out if you need approval when building and changing property fencing and retaining walls, including advice on how to avoid or resolve fencing disputes between neighbours.

Fences and retaining walls are commonly used to separate properties and to retain difference in property levels. Ownership of a dividing fence on a common boundary is shared equally between fence owners. Refer to  Neighbourhood Disputes (Dividing Fences and Trees) Act 2011.

Retaining walls serve a different purpose than fences. They are engineered to support built up or excavated earth. Retaining walls are not normally a joint responsibility for neighbours. Where a wall is constructed over and benefits multiple properties, the owners are jointly responsible. Retaining walls should be constructed entirely on one allotment to avoid disputes.