The Law on Dividing Fences

Updated February 21, 2017

The Dividing Fences Act of 1953 relates to Queensland, Australia, while the Dividing Fences Act of 1991 relates to New South Wales. These acts have been designed to ensure that adjoining neighbours have an equal say in the fence that separates their properties.


Under the guidelines of the Dividing Fences Act of 1991 and the Dividing Fences Act of 1953, a dividing fence is a fence that separates the land between two adjoining property owners. Both neighbours have the responsibility of maintaining the dividing fence unless one neighbour is willing to cover all costs.


Neighbours should always discuss the building of a dividing fence prior to construction. Conversations should include where the fence should be built, how high it should be and what materials should be used. If no agreement can be reached, the Small Claims Tribunal (New South Wales) or Magistrates Court (Queensland) will determine the details of the dividing fence construction.


Property owners who have agreed to share a dividing fence have the legal right to enter each other's land for the purposes of maintaining the condition of the fence under the guidelines of both acts. Fences should be sufficient enough to prevent livestock, such as cattle and sheep, from entering a neighbour's property.

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About the Author

Based in California, Noel Shankel has been writing and directing since 2002. His work has been published in "Law of Inertia Magazine." Shankel has a Bachelor of Arts in film and writing from San Francisco State University.