What is an Encroachment and what to do about it?

A building encroaching on a neighbouring plot of land

A building encroaching on a neighbouring plot of land

Let me start by explaining what an encroachment is: An encroachment occurs when part of a building on a certain block of land intrudes another parcel of land next to it.

The NSW Encroachment of Buildings Act (1922) stipulates that “Encroachment” means “encroachment by a building and includes encroachment by overhang of any part as well as encroachment by intrusion of any part in or upon the soil”.

Some encroachments are obvious, whilst others might be harder to pick, such as the foundations of a building. Whether encroachments must be removed depends on a number of factors and the Act explains in detail what can be done in different circumstances. It also suggests other remedies, such as compensation.

What can I do about trees encroaching our property?Tree hanging over path

Trees are often a cause for disputes between neighbouring buildings. The roots can cause damage to common property or retaining walls. The NSW Tree (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006, details a low cost and user friendly process to address issues between neighbouring properties.

Our friends at Bannermans Lawyers have written an excellent article with additional information. Click here to view it.

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  1. […] must also be clearly defined (For more info, click here). The council must be satisfied that the encroachment(s) does not endanger the public safety or […]