Fences

Overview

If you keep animals or are planning to build a fence on your property, you need to be aware of the following laws and regulations.

Animals

To protect your pets or livestock, not to mention costly impoundment fees, keep them confined to your property with secure fencing. Check your fencing and gates regularly – they should be properly maintained.

Council laws are in place to protect both your animals and the safety of the public, particularly when animals wander onto roads. For penalties, see: Animals at Large

Building a fence on your property

You will need a building permit if you are constructing:

  • a side or boundary fence more than 2m in height
  • a brick front fence more than 1.2m in height, within 3m of a street alignment and located on, or facing, that street alignment
  • a fence that is more than 1m high and less than 9m from the point of intersection of street alignments (i.e.within 9m of the intersection of the street title boundaries at a corner – specific Council consent is also required)
  • a fence forming part of a safety barrier for a swimming pool and/or spa
  • a fence over an easement
  • any fence where Council consent is required for height or location.

For more information, see: Building permit application process

Trellises and lattice

Trellis and lattice (with or without holes) are deemed to be part of the fence. Specific rules apply if any part of the fence and trellis or lattice is:

  • higher than 2m above ground level; or
  • opposite your own or your neighbours’ windows, on the boundary opposite north-facing, habitable room windows.

Barbed wire

Barbed wire is not permitted on a street alignment unless at a height of at least 2m above the level of the street or public open space.

Tennis court fences

A building permit is not required for a chain wire fence surrounding a tennis court.

Additional information can be found at Fencing Online

Building estates

In some cases where the property is on a new estate, approval from the estate developer may be required as there may be restrictive covenants registered against the allotment.

Dealing with neighbours

If you would like to make contact with your neighbours to discuss shared fencing, you can apply to request their contact details via our form (available in Word(DOCX, 151KB) and PDF(PDF, 1MB)).

If you have a dispute with a neighbour regarding fencing, seek legal advice.  Council does not deal with fencing disputes.

The Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria can help you with dispute resolution around neighbourhood issues such as fences, noise, pets, trees property damage or behaviour.  Phone 9603 8370 or 1800 658 528 (free call for country callers).