Can I Build a Fence Next to My Neighbours?

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As a homeowner, you may be wondering how to best go about getting your fence built. The answer is not as straightforward as it seems, but with this blog post we’ve compiled the steps for how to build a fence next to your neighbours property.


Can I build a fence next to my neighbours?

The short answer, is yes you can, but there are some practical consideration such as property boundary lines and local planning restrictions that we’ll cover in the rest of this article.


What is a property boundary?

Property boundaries are determined by where the use of land comes to an end. Generally speaking, the landowner owns any land that is ‘reasonably necessary’ for access and support of the building, even if this extends onto a neighbours property. For example, because a driveway serves only one home it will usually be regarded as a property boundary. It is possible, however, for a driveway to be jointly owned by two adjacent lots.

This means you can build a fence along your lot line, but not on your neighbour’s lot line. You cannot add any fences that would give you ownership of the extra land between the street and your property (such as an extended lawn). There are also limitations on changing or severing a lot line by building a fence or structure, for example, if it does not cross the line.

Your local council has a map that shows the boundaries for your area. It’s easy to get, and you might be able to find it with information about how big each lot is on property documents like deeds or mortgages in case there are any questions later down the road!

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Can I put a fence next to my neighbours fence?

If you’re asking whether you can build a fence up to the lot boundary, then yes. However, if your neighbour’s fence is on their property and pushing into yours, you should talk to them first as it may need to be moved due to some encroachment issues that they would need to resolve first (e.g. do they own the land on your side of their fence, and do they have approval to build a fence in that location etc.).

In the event that your neighbour has already put up a fence around their property, just make sure you remain inside of your boundary line when putting up your fence. You can build a fence up to the boundary but it is your responsibility and not your neighbours responsibility if you damage their property in any way.


Can my neighbour put up a fence without my permission?

If your neighbour wants to put up a fence that is within their property boundary, they can do so. But if they want to put up a fence in their front garden, it needs to be below 2 metres high. To find out the rules for fences in your area, you should go talk to your local authority.

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What type of fence should I put up?

If you have the option, it is best to use wooden fence panels with concrete fence posts. This type of fence will provide more privacy from your neighbours, and if built correctly is also far sturdier than most other types of fences. You can then add a hedge or trellis either side of the fence, which again provides more privacy for you and your family.

This could easily be a DIY job (with the help of a wiling partner or friend) and even if you decided to get a fencing company in to the do the work, then this should only take a couple of days. Be sure to read our blog on DIY vs. hiring a fencing company as this will provide you with more information on the costs involved.


Anything else I need to consider?

Whether you are putting up a fence or not, you need to ensure that your property is kept in good repair. This means that any problems must be dealt with as soon as they arise so they do not become more costly issues down the line.

For example, you should have all overhanging branches removed regularly so they don’t damage your neighbours property, keep your boundaries clear of weeds and shrubs so there is no confusion regarding where your boundary line actually runs etc.


In summary

If you want to build a fence next to your neighbours property line, it’s best that you talk with them first. If they already have a fence up and are encroaching on your land then there may be some issues that need resolving before another fence is put in place.

The rules for fences vary from area-to-area so make sure you ask the local council what can be done in this situation!