Application for minor civil dispute - dividing fences

1. Before you apply to QCAT

You should try and resolve your dispute directly with the other party by contacting them, holding a face-to-face meeting and issuing a notice to contribute for fencing work. For more information about avoiding and resolving dividing fence dispute, please return to the top of this page.

If you are unable to reach a satisfactory outcome informally you can apply to QCAT as set out below to resolve your dispute.

Before you apply, you must give your neighbour a notice to contribute for fencing work or you cannot begin the QCAT dispute resolution process. Please ensure you have done this following any relevant timeframes as set out in process information above, or your application may be dismissed by QCAT.


2. Correctly name the parties to the dispute

If you proceed with making an application to QCAT, the applicant and respondent must be named correctly. If the party is not an individual then you must use the precise/exact company name, a business name (whether it is registered or not, including real estate agencies), or the name of a State agency or department.

To ensure that you are taking action against the right organisation you MUST include the correct ACN/ABN for the company or business name. If you do not correctly name a party you may not be able to enforce any order made against them if you succeed in your claim. You can find more information on identifying and naming the parties here or contact the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) for business name and company information here (a search fee may be charged). (LINK)

If your neighbour is not a company/business and not the owner of the property, in certain circumstances you may obtain the correct property owner’s name by conducting a title search through Titles Queensland at www.titlesqld.com.au or by calling them on (07) 3497 3479.


3. Complete and lodge online (Brisbane only)

If you live in Brisbane, QCAT now offers an online portal for you to securely file applications, referrals or documents electronically, view, manage and respond to your residential tenancy case. This fully-digital case management system makes filing and managing your case easier and more accessible by allowing you to:

  • view case information and documents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; access via desktop, laptop, mobile phone, and tablet
  • receive case updates and notifications in real time
  • lodge documents any time on any day of the week.

QCase online portal

4. Complete and lodge this form manually

If you live outside of Brisbane, or you cannot access the online portal, you can complete the application for dividing fence disputes listed below. Carefully read the form instructions, answer each question and tick an appropriate box when prompted.

When you apply you must ensure:

  • You attach a copy of either:
    • the notice to contribute for non-urgent fencing work with appropriate quote(s) attached
    • the notice to contribute for urgent fencing work with appropriate quote(s) attached; or
    • the notice of proposed fencing work for a swimming pool barrier with appropriate quote(s) attached

If the relevant form and quote has not been served, your application may be dismissed and your dispute may not be able to be determined until the form and quote has been given to your neighbour (served).

When you apply you must also ensure:

  • The other party’s name, address, email and all other contact information is included. You can name more than one applicant or respondent in an application. If there is more than one, then everyone MUST be named. If there is not enough space to include additional parties, you can attach the contact details (name and address details) on a separate sheet of paper to the application
  • The outcomes you are seeking are clearly included
  • you include a plan showing the adjoining properties and where the proposed fencing work will be done
  • you include photos of fences most commonly found in the neighbourhood
  • you include photos of the tree/s that will be affected by the fencing work (if applicable)
  • you include copies of all relevant documents, including but not limited to invoices, receipts and colour copies of photographs

When filing an application, you are required to file the application and supporting material along with three copies, plus one extra copy for every additional party named in the dispute, in one of the following ways:

In person or via mail to your local Magistrates CourtClick here to find a list of Queensland Magistrates Courts.
In person at the Brisbane registry

Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal
Floor 11, 259 Queen Street
Brisbane Qld 4000

Mail to the Brisbane registry

Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal
GPO Box 1639
Brisbane Qld 4001

* Please note that if the application is posted to the Brisbane registry, it will be heard and determined in Brisbane.

You are required to pay a fee for this application. Minor civil dispute filing fees are based on a sliding scale of how much is being claimed. You must pay the appropriate fee at the time of lodgement – (Credit card authorisation form for mail payments)

You can apply for a waiver of fees by reason of financial hardship by completing a Form 49 – Application for waiver or reduction of fees by reason of financial hardship.  Applicants must meet the relevant eligibility criteria.

Form 53 - Application for a minor civil dispute - dividing fences

PDF File (833.3 KB)

5. Giving your application to the other parties to the dispute

In dividing fence disputes, you are required to serve your application on the other parties to the dispute. QCAT will provide a sealed copy of your application and any attachments to you after the application is filed and accepted. You then have 7 days to serve a sealed copy of the application and attachments on the other parties to the dispute.

If your application is to prevent the respondent from doing unauthorised fencing work in the future, you need to give them a copy at least one (1) day before the application is heard.

If your application is about unauthorised fencing work that the respondent has already done, you need to give them a copy at least three (3) days before the application is heard.

You can serve the application personally, by post or use the services of a Magistrates Court bailiff, commercial agent or process server.

Visit this page for further information on service requirements.

Once the respondent has been served, the person who served the applicant (could be you, a bailiff, or another person) must complete an affidavit of service and file this with QCAT. An affidavit is a statement sworn under oath/affirmation in the presence of a commissioner of declarations, justice of the peace or a lawyer. The affidavit is required to prove the application has been given to the respondent. You do not need to give a copy to the respondent.

Form 9 - Affidavit of service

The purpose of this form is to prove your application has been served on all other parties. This form must be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace.

PDF File (520.4 KB)

6. If you are having difficulty personally serving the respondent

If you are having difficulty personally serving the respondent and require permission to serve via substituted service or require an extension of the 90 day time limit for service, you will need to complete the application to extend or shorten a time limit or for waiver of compliance with procedural requirement below. This application will then be considered by a QCAT decision-maker, and you will be advised of the outcome.

Form 42 - Application to extend or shorten a time limit or for waiver of compliance with procedural requirement

The purpose of this form is to ask QCAT for permission to make your application outside the 28 day or other statutory review timeframe.

PDF File (738.1 KB)
Apply Online

7. What happens next?

Once QCAT has accepted your application, you will be provided with a case number to keep track of your case.

You can find out what happens after you apply.