Do I Need A Survey For A Fence?

Do I Need A Survey For A Fence?

Most of the time, neighbours are happy to work together when there is a problem with a fence or a question over a boundary line. However, there are times where you and your neighbour will not be able to reach an agreement, or the other party is not cooperative. The most common problems neighbours have with their fences usually relate to:

  • When one neighbour wants a fence replaced or repaired, and the other neighbour doesn’t
  • Blame over damage to a fence
  • The fence being used inappropriately
  • The dividing fence forming part of a swimming pool fence
  • Disagreement over the height of the fence
  • Neighbours can’t agree on the type and cost of the fence


The most common dispute is usually over where a fence should be located, and more often than not, the existing fence turns out not to be on the title boundary. Builders and fencing contractors often take a ‘near enough is good enough’ approach which doesn’t bode well for the future. Only a licensed surveyor can help you determine where your boundary line is and where a fence should be placed.

Here’s what you need to know. 

How Do I Find My Property Boundary Line?

The only way to determine the location of your boundary is to have a residential identification survey performed by a licensed surveyor. If it’s not clear where your property boundary is, or there is a dispute, it’s important to hire a professional surveyor to make sure you erect your fence in the right place and avoid disputes with neighbours in the future.

Do I Need A Survey For A Fence

Fencing Laws NSW

When you need to build, fix or replace a fence, there are a number of regulations that apply. It’s easier if you and your neighbour agree on the type of fence and where it should go, but if there is a dispute, these fencing FAQ from the NSW Department of Justice will help.

Generally speaking:

“​A dividing fence will usually go on the common boundary line between two neighbouring properties.”

If this is not possible due to the nature of the land, the fence should be built as close to the boundary as possible.

Who Pays For a Fence?

Usually, costs will be shared between neighbours. However, if you opt to erect a fence without asking your neighbour to contribute financially, you may do so, but you must still come to an agreement regarding the type of fence. Found out more about who pays for a fence.

Do I Need Council Approval For a Fence?

In the Shoalhaven, you will not need council approval for a fence as long as it meets all the relevant development standards for exempt development. Shoalhaven City Council provides more detailed information about gates and fences in residential, rural, business and industrial zones on their website.


To obtain a professional, accurate survey in the Shoalhaven, call Leslie & Thompson. Our surveyors are knowledgeable about state and local regulations and use the latest technology and the most accurate methods for our surveys. We’re ready to complete a fast and accurate survey so you can move forward with your fencing project.