Potential Changes to Fence and Tree Disputes Legislation

The Queensland Law Reform Commission (QLRC) is conducting a review of the Neighbourhood Disputes (Dividing Fences and Trees) Act 2011 (Qld).  This legislation sets out rules for dealing with disputes between neighbours in relation to dividing fences between adjoining properties and overhanging trees.

The current legislation gives the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT), the power to make decisions in relation to disputes regarding:

  1. Who should bear the costs of overhanging branch removal;
  1. Disputes in relation to trees causing damage to property or injury or interfering with the use of land e.g. a tree on a neighbouring property blocking the view;
  1. Who should bear the costs and responsibilities for construction or maintenance of dividing fences.

The current legislation is aimed at ensuring the rules in place in relation to trees and dividing fences facilitate resolution between neighbours without a dispute and an application to QCAT should be an option of last resort.

The QLRC wants feedback from the public and the legal profession about the effectiveness of the current legislation.  If you have any personal experiences in relation to neighbourhood tree or fence disputes that you think will assist in determining what changes should be made to the current legislation, you can access the QLRC’s Discussion Paper here and contact the QLRC to make submissions using the following details:

The Secretary
Queensland Law Reform Commission
PO Box 13312
George Street Post Shop Qld 4003
Email:                    [email protected]
Facsimile:            (07) 3247 9045

The closing date for submissions is 10 August 2015.

If you require assistance in dealing with a neighbourhood dispute, contact local Gold Coast Lawyers, McLaughlins Lawyers.

Author: Sonaaz Farhadi-Fard

Partner: Ian Kennedy

Date: 28/07/2015