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Protecting neighbouring properties from building work

When conducting any building works, you must protect adjoining properties from potential damage.

If building work is close to or adjacent to an adjoining property boundary, protection work may be required to ensure that the other property is not affected.

Adjoining property can include land, or a street, road or laneway, that can be at risk of significant damage from building work.

Protection work can include:

  • under-pinning or structural support of adjoining properties
  • retaining walls or shoring due to site cuts
  • barriers or overhead protection to prevent materials from falling

Your building surveyor will determine whether protection work is necessary based on your building permit application.

It is an offence to commence any building work where protection work is required without first obtaining approval.

Property owner’s responsibilities

If protection work is required, the property owner must:

  • Provide the adjoining property owner with a Protection Work Notice. If we are issuing the building permit, use our Protection Work Notice (Form 3), which will explain to the adjoining owner:
    • the extent of buildings to be erected
    • the form of building work to be carried out
    • equipment to be used on, over, under or in the air space near the adjoining property
  • Obtain the statutory insurance.
  • Prepare a survey of the adjoining property. This will protect both parties, as it provides evidence against false damage claims.
  • Pay expenses incurred. You should expect there to be legitimate expenses incurred by the adjoining owner related to the assessment and supervision of protection work.

We encourage owners to engage their neighbour when developing plans, so that they have an understanding of what may take place.

If the owner explains what is intended, they can address the adjoining owner's concerns early.

Neighbouring property owner’s responsibilities

The adjoining property owner must:

  • Respond to the Protection Work Notice within 14 days. If we are issuing the building permit, use our Protection Work Response Notice (Form 4). If you receive no response within 14 days, you are deemed to have agreed to the work being undertaken.
  • Agree or disagree to proposed work or request more information.
  • Help the owner survey the adjoining property before the building work begins.

Further information