Last updated 13 December 2016
Mediation to Settle Neighbourhood Disputes
Public and Private Nuisance
Nuisance Law in Queensland
Nuisance Complaints against Neighbours
Rules about Neighbouring Trees and Other Plants
Rules about Neighbourhood Animals
Rain and Storm Water Problems Caused by Neighbours
Disputes with a Neighbour over Dividing Fences
Unauthorised Entry or Trespass
Common neighbourhood disputes such as disagreements about fences, barking dogs, trees, damage, odour, noisy parties and other problems can be solved in various ways.
Neighbours should try to discuss the problem with each other. It is possible to use a mediator to help try to come to an agreement if both neighbours agree. Where a neighbour is in fear of another neighbour, mediation will not be an appropriate solution.
If neighbours are unable to resolve the matter by discussion (and mediation does not help), then an aggrieved neighbour may be able to complain to a relevant authority or take legal action.
Before making a complaint or taking legal action, the aggrieved neighbour should find out their neighbour’s full name. Ways to find out the name include asking the neighbour directly (if it is safe to do so), asking another neighbour or investigating if the neighbour’s landlord, real estate agent or the local council will share it. If the neighbour is the registered owner of the land, it is possible to pay for a current title search of the neighbour’s address, which will also show the name of the landowner.
Complaints to councils or police can be made in many neighbourhood disputes, including disputes about noise on residential premises.
If making a complaint does not improve the situation, or if there is no authority that deals with the relevant dispute, people can consider taking legal action against their neighbour.
For dividing fences matters, obtaining peace and good behaviour orders, most boundary disputes and some other proceedings (including some nuisance matters), there is currently no government authority able to assist.
Legal action should be a last resort in dealing with a neighbourhood dispute. Legal action can be expensive and is unlikely to improve relationships between neighbours.