A dividing fence separates land belonging to different owners. The construction of new dividing fences or repairs to existing dividing fences should be discussed between the affected parties.
To help property owners understand the law behind dividing fences, the Building Commission has produced a comprehensive information booklet: Dividing Fences – Rights and Responsibilities which can be viewed on the Department of Commerce website.
The City’s Policy P350.07 Street walls and fences has been prepared with the following objectives:
- To regulate the height of obstructions adjacent to formed driveways and at the corners of streets and rights-of-way in the interest of pedestrian and vehicular safety
- To preserve or re-establish a desired ‘open front garden’ streetscape character
- To promote casual surveillance of the public and private realm through appropriate fencing design, in order to increase on-site and neighbourhood safety and security
- To regulate the height of side and rear boundary dividing fences in the interest of maintaining visual privacy
- To generally restrict the height of side and rear boundary dividing fences to 1.8 metres because higher fences can often adversely affect the amenity of an adjoining property by reason of dominant bulk, overshadowing or restriction of views
- To regulate the height of retaining walls in the interests of maintaining streetscape compatibility and protecting neighbours’ amenity.
For further information, please refer to the Dividing Fences Act 1961