new timer paling side fence

Do I need a permit to build a fence?

Some fences require a permit. It depends on the height of the fence, the material it is made with and its location on the property.

Use the online checklist to find out if you need a building permit.

You may also need a planning permit.

Fencing on a corner block


Diagram of the guidelines for fencing a corner block


A building permit is not required for a timber, paling or 'colorbond' fence provided:

  • the height of the side and rear fences is not more than 2 metres
  • the height of a front fence is not more than 1.5 metres
  • the height of the side street fence is not more than 1.5 metres
  • the fence is not more than 1 metre high if it is within 9 metres of an intersection.

A building permit is required for:

  • any fence height greater than that listed above
  • any brick or masonry front fence or side street fence over 1.2 metres
  • any retaining wall on or next to a title boundary or over an easement.

Things to note: 

  • Fence heights (including any trellis or screen) are measured from natural ground level
  • No part of a retaining wall (e.g. footing, excavation) may cross the title boundary
  • Gates must not swing out over the title boundary or footpath/road reserve.

What if my property is next to council land?

Fences that adjoin a road, laneway or right of way are the full responsibility of the property owner, including all associated costs, under the provisions of the Fences Act 1968 and the Road Management Act 2004 (Schedule 5, Clause 4).

Council may contribute up to half the cost of repair and/or replacement of a standard height (1.65 metre) boundary fence, that joins council owned land and is beyond repair.

Complete the common boundary fencing application before starting any work. You'll need to provide three quotes and 2-3 photos of the fence from your side.

Complete the application form

How can I get my neighbours details?

We can provide you with details for neighbouring properties.

Complete the adjoining property owner information application.

Disputes over fencing

We do not have the authority to intervene in fencing disputes between two privately owned properties unless the fence violates building regulations.

The Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria can assist in these matters.