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The City of Armadale (the City) applies the Local Fencing Law 2011 to regulate the erection and maintenance of fencing within the City. The Local Fencing Law 2011 provides detailed information regarding what constitutes as a sufficient fence, including height and material requirements. Click on the following link to view the City's Local Fencing Law 2011.
Council approval is not required for fencing, providing that the proposed fencing is compliant with the Local Fencing Law 2011. Masonry fencing must be certified by a structural engineer to ensure that what is proposed is structurally sound for the particular site and wind terrain category.
Vegetation can have a detrimental affect on fencing of any kind. It is important to consider the possibility of future damage that may be caused by vegetation at the time of planting. Vegetation is the property owner's responsibility to maintain.
A property's zoning dictates what type of fencing is permitted and the different fencing options for each type of zoning are outlined in the Local Fencing Law 2011. If your property is located within a Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) zone, before constructing any type of fencing, please contact the MRA to ensure your proposed fencing is compliant with their requirements. To check what zoning your property is, refer to the City's Online Mapping service www.armadale.wa.gov.au/online-mapping
If you wish to construct a fence that does not comply with the Local Fencing Law 2011, you can lodge an application to vary the Local Fencing Law 2011 with the City. To lodge an application, you will need to submit the following
- A completed Variation to Local Fencing Law 2011 application form, outlining your reason(s) as to why your proposed fence cannot be constructed in accordance with the Local Fencing Law 2011.
- A site plan drawn to scale 1:200 showing the location of the proposed fence on the property
- Elevations of your proposed fence
- Material specifications
- Payment of the non-refundable application fee of $278.00
The application is then subject to assessment and you will be advised of the outcome in writing.
The erection and maintenance of dividing fences is a civil matter, which is governed by the Dividing Fences Act 1961 administered by the Building Commission. The Dividing Fences Act 1961 and the Local Fencing Law 2011 work in conjunction to regulate the erection and maintenance of dividing fences.
Generally in a residential zone, a sufficient dividing fence is a minimum of 1.8m high up to a maximum of 2.1m high. In a rural living or special residential zone, fencing must be constructed using either post and wire or post and rail.
When a dividing fence is in need of repair, owners of the affected properties are generally liable to equally divide the cost of the repairs. It is recommended that any repairs, and associated costs agreed to, should be recorded in writing, signed and dated by all property owners involved. The repairs should then be carried out in accordance with the agreement. If the affected property owners cannot reach an agreement, the property owner proposing the repairs should provide written notification to the adjoining property owner outlining the extent of the repairs or works. The adjoining property owner must be given 14 calendar days to respond or object. The Dividing Fences Act 1961 encourages property owners to reach a mutual decision as any agreement overrides the Dividing Fences Act 1961. Additionally, property owners who reach a mutual agreement can avoid undertaking expensive and time consuming legal action. A dividing fence between private property and land owned by the City is the sole responsibility of the private land owner to maintain, repair or replace.
The City does not have any power under the Dividing Fences Act 1961 and is therefore unable to comment or pass judgement regarding dividing fences. The Building Commission provides the Dividing Fences Guide as a reference, alternatively visit the Building Commission's website www.commerce.wa.gov.au/building-commission/dividing-fences for further information. A copy of the Dividing Fences Guide can also be obtained from the City's administration building or posted upon request. The Building Commission provides general advice regarding dividing fences legislation. The Building Commission and the City do not have the authority to provide rulings in relation to neighbour disputes regarding dividing fences. Where adjoining neighbours cannot reach an agreement, they should seek independent professional and legal advice.
Property owners can seek assistance or advice from the following
- Landgate - a copy of your Certificate of Title can be purchased from Landgate to assist identifying your property boundaries
- Magistrates Court - contact the Magistrates Court when you are unable to reach a resolution with your neighbour
For information regarding constructing a front fence, see the following information sheet
For information regarding constructing a retaining wall, see the following information sheet