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To Tree or Not to Tree

By Michael McMahon

“We are beginning to hear the banging of the war drums between neighbours over overhanging trees, bulging roots and dividing fences”, says Anthony Clark, Owner of Ray White Nundah, 1217 Sandgate Road, Nundah Village, 4012 .   07 3266 2055

According to numbers released by the Courier Mail, 17th November, 2012, “there were 234 tree and 281 fence kerfuffles brought to the Queensland Civil and administration Tribunal. (QCAT) In the first year of the Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Act 2011

Wow that’s a lot of arguments between ourselves.  One guy even had to undergo an allergy test to prove a reaction to the neighbours plant.

The Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Act 2011(the Act) commenced on 1 November 2011. The Act provides more effective remedies for neighbours to help resolve disputes about dividing fences and trees. It also gives jurisdiction to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to deal with these matters.

Our suggestion to our community is to have a good read of the Act and see just what QCAT will do to you if you ever end up waiting for your name to be called at Level 9, BOQ Centre, 259 Queen Street, Brisbane. (QCAT’s address)

Here’s an example.

Who pays for what in a dividing fence situation

Adjoining neighbours are each liable for half the cost of fencing work required to have a sufficient dividing fence. However, you must provide in writing to the other party a notice to fence. Where one neighbour wants to have more work done than is necessary for a sufficient dividing fence then they will be liable to pay the extra expenses.

For example, if a neighbour wants a higher fence for privacy or security they should meet this extra cost. This does not mean that QCAT will order that the fence will be built according to their wishes. In those circumstances, QCAT would consider the wishes of each neighbour and the other factors which QCAT is required to take into account. A neighbour’s contribution might be made of materials or labour.

Give the team at Ray White Lutwyche 497 Lutwyche Rd, Lutwyche a call on  07 3357 4888 and lets see if we can help.


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Michael McMahon

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