Protecting neighbouring properties

Building work can be disruptive and affect neighbouring properties if not managed carefully. While some temporary disruption may need to be tolerated, protections are in place to ensure that neighbouring properties are not permanently impacted

Owners must protect adjoining properties from potential damage from any building work. If your building work is close to or beside your neighbours' property, you may need to carry out protection work.

This is a requirement of the Building Act 1993.

What is protection work?

Common types of protection work are:

  • retaining walls
  • overhead barriers to stop material from falling on adjoining properties
  • propping of walls
  • underpinning existing footings.

Who decides what building protection works are required?

Your building surveyor who issues the building permit will advise you what protection works, if any, are required.

What do I need to do?

Before a building permit can be issued, you must:

  • give the adjoining owner a Protection Work Notice to let them know about your plans
  • give the adjoining owner a Protection Work Response Notice, which gives your neighbour the opportunity to agree, disagree or request more information
  • give the adjoining owner a list of all proposed protection works, along with construction and engineer plans
  • obtain a contract of insurance
  • prepare a survey of the neighbour's property
  • pay all associated expenses

What do my neighbours need to do?

Your neighbours must agree before a permit can be issued. They can respond by completing the Protection Work Response Notice and returning it to your building surveyor within 14 days of the notice issue date.

If your neighbours do not agree to the works your building surveyor will make a determination about the protection works.

Who can help me if I have concerns?

All questions on specific obligations and rights or concerns should be directed to the building surveyor.

If your concern is not resolved or this is not appropriate, you can contact us or the Victorian Building Authority. Where we are not able to directly intervene with your concern, we will assist you to direct it to the agency that can.