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Boundary Locations

While council may be able to assist in boundary location issues by reference to council's existing development information, the exact location of boundaries and disputes between neighbours are civil matters which may require residents to seek independent legal advice.

The certificate of title indicates the dimensions of your property, however council cannot provide details of the actual location of the boundaries.

If a resident is seeking to find the exact location of their boundaries, whether it is for development, placing a letter box or due to a dispute regarding fencing, the only way to do this is to enlist the services of a surveyor.

If you are unsure of the exact position of the property boundaries, contact a surveyor. Surveyors can determine the exact boundary location for a fee. A list of surveyors can be found in the Yellow Pages under 'Surveyors - Land'.

Can I build on the boundary?

It is unlikely that you will be able to build on your front boundary or a side or rear boundary that is next to a public road. In these cases the council will require a set back from the boundary to the proposed building. The set back requirements will be different for each location so you should discuss your proposal with a planning officer. The construction of a building on a boundary adjacent to another property is permitted in most circumstances.

If you wish to build a structure (house, garage, etc.) on the boundary of your property, council may be required to notify your neighbour of the proposal as part of the application process.

In general, if notified, the neighbours have the right to comment on a proposal but not the right to appeal against council's decision. It is advised that you discuss your proposal with your neighbour to address any of their possible concerns, prior to your lodging of the application.

In addition you may need to construct the building with particular materials and designs to reduce the possibility of a fire or noise entering your property from next door. Please contact council on 8584 8000 for specific advice.

What do I need to do before I build on the boundary?

The boundary should be surveyed prior to construction to determine the actual boundary line. Note: the position of the current fence should never be assumed to be an accurate boundary line.

The wall of a structure on the boundary line, unlike fences, is not jointly owned. Your neighbour may not alter, paint or attach anything to the wall (such as a trellis, pergola etc.) without first obtaining your consent. Council will not approve an application for the attachment of a building or structure to the wall unless the land titles of both properties are altered to reflect the joint ownership of the section of the structure on the boundary line (commonly referred to as a 'party wall').

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