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Fence placement along property boundaries is controlled under state law. In general terms, landowners may require approval from Council (or private certifier) in the following cases:

Fence MaterialFence HeightLocation
Masonry fence Greater than 1 metre Any location
Sheet metal or timber fence Greater than 2.1 metres Any location
Brush fence Any height Sited within 3 metres of a dwelling
Any material Any height On land identified in the Council Development Plan as one or more of the following:
  • State or Local Heritage Place
  • Contributory Item
  • State Heritage Area
  • Historic Conservation Area
  • Flood-prone land

Besides Council, approval may also be required from other bodies in the following cases:

Fence MaterialFence HeightLocationCheck with
Any material Any height On land subject to a Strata or Community Title Strata or Community Corporation
Any material Any height On land that is one or more of the following:
  • part of a new housing estate
  • subject to a design encumbrance listed on the Certificate of Title
Housing developer

Fences between private property and Council land

Landowners may wish to erect new or, replace or repair existing fencing on the boundary of their property and Council property (e.g. a park, walkway, or council building). In accord with the Fences Act, Council must be informed of this in writing and given an opportunity to respond before any works are commenced.

Landowners are often curious to know if the Council will contribute to the cost of a shared fence. There are some conditions, under which residents may be eligible to receive a 50 per cent contribution from Council by way of reimbursement. (No contribution is available for commercial or industrial land.)

If the proposed works are consistent with the Council’s Fencing Cost Reimbursement Policy(PDF, 82.83 KB) , residents can:

  • Serve a notice on the Council, setting out the proposed works and the contribution sought from Council (see Forms below).
  • Include two written quotes for the proposed works.

After receiving this, Council will confirm whether the proposal is eligible for a financial reimbursement.

If the proposed works are not consistent with the policy, landowners may be able to proceed, albeit at their own expense.

Notice of intention to replace, repair or perform maintenance work on a fence form(PDF, 180.94 KB)

Notice of Intention to erect a fence form(PDF, 169.35 KB)

Cross notice against intended fence form(PDF, 196.69 KB)

Fencing Process Flowchart

RESIDENT makes fencing enquiry to Council
COUNCIL determines if resident may be eligible for a reimbursement
RESIDENT (if eligible) provides 2 quotes and Notice of Intent to Council
COUNCIL confirms whether works are eligible for reimbursement

If the proposed works are not consistent with the policy, landowners may be able to proceed, albeit at their own expense.

Fences between two private properties

If approval is not required from Council, boundary fencing becomes a civil matter between neighbours. This is governed by the Fences Act 1975, which sets out the duties and rights of landowners when considering fencing on shared boundaries. Answers to common questions on shared fencing are available from the Legal Services Commission of South Australia website.

Legal Services Commission of SA

Pool fences

Section 71AA of the Development Act requires that backyard swimming pools include appropriate safety fencing. Approvals for pool fencing are issued by Council or a private certifier. The State Government's Pool and Spa Safety page has further details on the requirements.

Pool and Spa Safety

Roaming dogs and secure fences

The Roaming Dogs and Secure Fences fact sheet contains information on ensuring that private property fencing is secured (to prevent roaming dogs).

Graffiti on fences

Where fences or building walls are subject to graffit, residents can report these incidents to Council, which can arrange to have the graffiti removed (subject to certain conditions). Incidents can be reported by visiting the Online Services link below.

eCouncil - Online Services