The Laws around Property Lines

Property Lines Explained in ADC QLD Insights

The Laws around Property Lines

Property lines have long been one of the most common disputes between neighbours in Queensland and are covered in the Neighbourhood Disputes (Dividing Fences and Trees) Act 2011. While it’s unlikely that you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the entire contents of the act, it’s important to understand that property and borderline laws exist and that you must take these laws into account when developing or making changes to your property. This is one of many reasons why land surveying is so important.

In Australia, a wealth of historical data relating to property lines is easily accessible in the form of parish and historical maps, most of which are digitised and accessible online. While you shouldn’t rely on these maps for accuracy (a modern boundary survey is far more accurate), they’re immensely interesting and you may be surprised what you learn about the history of your land.

Property Line Laws In Queensland

Queensland has strong laws concerning property lines and most of the information that would be relevant to your case (if you have a dispute with a neighbour) can be found in the Neighbourhood Disputes (Dividing Fences and Trees) Act 2011.

The act sets out the procedures for resolving disputes and the minimum requirements for sharing the costs of a dividing fence between two bordering properties. It also sets out your obligations when building a fence, including the written notice, ‘notice to fence’, which is an important document that may be required for legal purposes should a future dispute arise.

Notice to Fence

You may be on great terms with your neighbours, but it’s essential to always meet your obligations as a property owner, especially when it involves property lines. If you’re planning to build a new fence, you must give your neighbour a ‘notice to fence’ which outlines the type of fence you plan to build, the materials (timber, metal, brick, etc.), height and length, the costs involved, and the contractor providing the work. Other information that you’ll also need to provide includes who’ll get the ‘flat side’ of the fence and the colour of the fence.

Building near the boundary

There are strict rules in Queensland which set out the distances that houses (detached houses, townhouses and all other structures) can be positioned from property boundaries. The Queensland Development Code applies to all structures, including sheds and garages, except for properties in areas where another local or regional planning scheme applies.

If you’re building a new home or erecting a shed, the design and siting standards of the code apply, for example, a building must be sited one and a half metres from rear and side boundaries, and six metres from all road boundaries. Therefore, a boundary survey is a must, as all distances must be precisely outlined to prevent unnecessary complications.

The surveying team at Arnold Development Consultants works with all home and property owners to provide solutions that provide peace of mind when developing, building a fence or making changes to a residential property. Contact your nearest ADC office in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Rockhampton and Townsville to arrange a land surveying consultation with an experienced land surveyor.