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From 2 April 2012, the Building Act 2011 requires a person who is proposing to do building work, demolition work or other activity that will affect adjoining land, also known as a notifiable event, to obtain consent from the neighbouring owners(s) before commencing work.
Under the Building Act, a consent (or court order) is only required when a ‘notifiable event’ is likely to occur due to any building work, demolition work or other activity that may affect adjoining land.
There are six notifiable events listed below that require a notice to be provided to adjoining owners and their consent given prior to commencing work.
2. Adversely affecting other land includes:
3. Placing a temporary or permanent protection structure beyond the boundaries of the land on which work
is being carried out; or
4. Building work affecting the structural, waterproofing or noise insulation capacity of a party wall, a
substantial dividing fence, or a boundary retaining wall that protects adjoining land; or
5. Removing a boundary structure such as fences or gates; or
6. Building workers accessing adjoining land for work, conducting a survey in relation to the work or delivery
of materials to the land on which work is being carried out without consent.
Complete the for events 3 to 6 above.
The builder, owner or other worker proposing works on adjoining property must first give the affected owner an official Building Commission form BA20 or BA20A. The owner has a 28 day period in which to give written consent.
If you do not give your consent, the person responsible for the work can seek a court order. If a court order is issued, both you as the adjoining owner and the person responsible for the work must adhere to the provisions of the court order. If neither consent is given nor a court order issued, the work affecting other land cannot proceed.
Local governments can enforce non compliance with these requirements. If consent is not obtained affected owners should contact their local government. A penalty of up to $25,000 applies under the Act.
A builder may attach to a building permit application a written statement that the permit authority may take into account for the purposes of satisfying itself that the application meets the requirements of section 20(1)(g) and (h) of the Building Act 2011 and regulation 16(3)(a) of the Building Regulations 2012.
Setting out that the following will not occur in respect of the building or incidental structure which is the subject of the application:
Download the guide Work Affecting Other Land for further information.
If seeking to replace a damaged fence or seeking payment from neighbours for a new fence or repair to a fence, the Dividing Fences Act applies.
In some circumstances the work affecting other land requirements under the Building Act may also apply, e.g. where access to the neighbour’s land is required to repair or install a fence or retaining wall.
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