Legal matters relating to the use of land

We don't give advice about this area of law

The following content is for general purposes only. Legal Aid Queensland does not provide legal advice in this area. For more information, please contact a lawyer.

If you have a problem with your neighbours, you should try and sort it out with them first before complaining to an official body like the police or local council.

Try talking it through, and give them options for resolving the problem rather than demanding it to be fixed. It’s a good idea to keep a record of any discussions in writing. If you can’t resolve the problem you can try mediation through a dispute resolution centre.

Legal matters related to the use of land can include (but are not limited to) disputes about:

  • fences and retaining walls
  • trees and plants
  • boundaries and easements
  • noise or air-pollution
  • dogs
  • property damage
  • smells
  • lighting fires.

To make a complaint about noise or air pollution, dogs, property damage, smells or fire you can:

For resolving disputes about fences and retaining walls, trees and plants or boundaries and easements the Queensland Government website has useful information to help you, otherwise you may need to speak to a private lawyer who specialises in this area of law.

The following resources may help you to resolve your matter.

Fences and retaining walls:

Trees and plants:

Boundaries and easements:

Get legal advice

If you need legal advice about any of these areas contact a Community legal centre in your area or the Queensland Law Society who may be able to refer you to a private lawyer for advice or representation.

Who else can help?

The following organisations may be able to help. They don’t give legal advice.

Dispute Resolution Centres provide mediation services to the community, including those involving neighbourhood disputes.

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT)can consider minor civil disputes including dividing fences and tree disputes.

The Department of Housing has information about pool fences and safety barriers.

The Department of Resources administer land titles in Queensland and gives information about property, titles and valuations.

Queensland Ombudsman investigates complaints about decisions of Queensland's public sector, including local councils.

Department of Environment and Science handle complaints about water, climate change, land and environmental services. They can tell you whether your complaint can be handled by them or your local council.

Local Councils handle some noise and air pollution complaints, including barking dogs, complaints about mistreatment of animals, restrictions on ownership of dogs and cats (including restricted breeds, restriction on barking dogs, complaints about mistreatment of animals, restrictions on ownership of dogs and cats (including restricted breeds, restriction on numbers of animals owned).

Search the local laws database for information about local laws enacted by councils across Queensland.

Disclaimer: This content is for general purposes only and not legal advice. If you have a legal problem, please contact us or speak to a lawyer. View our full disclaimer.

Last updated 10 November 2022