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Protecting adjoining 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. Find out about the rights and responsibilities of property owners and neighbours.

Construction can often mean heavy trucks and trade vehicles, machinery, noise, and dust. Dealing with these temporary impacts may require some tolerance, however, the video below explains the most common types of complaints or concerns, and who to contact.

Managing the impact of the construction video transcript (DOCX, 15.30KB)

How is my property protected from damage by a neighbours’ building works?

A property owner who is proposing building works is obligated under the Building Act to protect adjoining properties from potential damage. In some cases, this means undertaking protection works on the neighbours’ property.

Who decides what building protection works are required?

The building surveyor who issues the building permit is responsible for determining what, if any, protection works are required.

What does the property owner have to do if protection work is required?

The owner of the property where the building works are proposed must: 

  • Issue a protection work notice to the neighbour which explains what is required and why and seeks their agreement.
  • Obtain a contract of insurance.
  • Prepare a survey of the neighbours’ property.
  • Pay all associated expenses.

What are the neighbours’ obligations and rights?

The owner of the property potentially affected by the proposed building works must: 

  • Respond to the protection work notice within 14 days either agreeing, disagreeing or requesting further information.
  • Assist the property owner to prepare the survey of their property before work commences.
  • Seek reimbursement from the property owner for any reasonable expenses incurred while protecting their interests.

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.

Forms

Adjoining/neighbouring property owners details siting form (PDF, 365.75KB)

Adjoining/neighbouring property owners details protection works form (PDF, 268.63KB)