Fencing and Retaining Walls

What is the law?

Fencing Law in Victorian is governed by the Fences Act 1968, the Building Regulations 2018 and the Hume Planning Scheme. The Fences Act contains rules about who pays for dividing fences, the types of fences which can be built, and the process for neighbours to install and repair dividing fences on their land. The Building Regulations determine which fences require building permits and which are exempted from needing a permit.

When is a permit required?

You need a building permit when:

  • Installing a side or rear boundary fence more than 2m high.
  • Installing a front fence which is more than 1.5m high and is within 3.0m of the street.
  • Installing a corner fence that is more than 1.0m high and is within 9.0m of intersecting streets.
  • Constructing any brick or masonry fence more than 1.2m high.
  • Constructing a retaining wall higher than 1m.

You don’t need a building permit to build:

  • A fence on the side or back of your property that’s up to 2.0m tall. If it’s within 3.0m of the front street, it can’t be more than 1.5m tall.
  • A brick fence in the front that’s not more than 1.2m tall and is at least 9m away from where two streets meet.
  • A wooden fence in the front that’s not more than 1.5m tall and is at least 9m away from where two streets meet.
  • A chain wire fence around a tennis court.

Submit a Building Application 

Requesting Property Owner Information for Shared Fences

When building or repairing a fence, you may need the property ownership details of your neighbour.

Property Ownership Information Request

Or complete the printable Property Ownership for Fencing form(PDF, 59KB) and return it to Council.

This form is an application only, and you are not guaranteed to be given ownership details. If you are given property ownership details, you will need to abide by strict privacy laws and can only use the information provided for the reason you requested it.

Half-Cost Fencing Scheme

Properties which share a boundary with Council land, such as parks and reserves, may qualify for a Council contribution towards the cost of installing a fence.

Council offers a half cost fencing program that community members are invited to apply for. In some circumstances you may be eligible for a Council contribution towards your fence. See the Half Cost Fencing Policy(PDF, 235KB) for more information or use the application form below to apply.

Application For Shared Cost Fencing form(PDF, 176KB)

Council will not fund the construction of a fence which runs along a street alignment. This includes corner allotments, curved streets, laneways, walkways, and road-closures. If you would like to request a half-cost fence, please download and submit the below form to Council.  

Fencing Disputes

Council does not have the authority to mediate fencing disputes between private property owners. If you are having a fencing issue with another property owner, please visit the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria website for more information about your options for resolving the dispute.

Retaining Walls

Retaining walls less than 1 metre in height are exempt from building permits unless they are associated with other building work or with the protection of an adjoining property. If you are completing a larger project with a building permit, your retaining wall must be included in your building permit.