LegalWatch Updates

Home / News

As a property owner, one of the biggest headaches that you may have to face is property disputes. They can be complex, time-consuming, and expensive to resolve. Whether it’s an issue with your neighbour, tenant, or landlord, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the legal issues that can arise, and how to handle them. In this article, we discuss the key legal issues involved in property disputes, and what you can do to protect your rights.

Boundaries and Easements

One of the most common types of property disputes arises from boundary and easement issues. When there is a dispute over boundaries, it means that there is a disagreement about the exact location of property lines. Easements, on the other hand, are the right to use someone else’s property for a specific purpose. For example, your neighbour may have an easement to use your driveway to access their property.

These disputes can arise due to a lack of clarity regarding property lines or easements, changes in land use or physical encroachments. Mostly the matter is dealt with at the local Council level but if unresolved, and depending on the complexity may be a tribunal or local court matter.

Landlord-Tenant Disputes

Another common type of property dispute is between landlords and tenants. Issues may arise over security deposits, rent, repairs or maintenance, or illegal activity on the property. Both tenants and landlords have legal rights and obligations, and it’s important to understand them to resolve disputes. For example, tenants have the right to safe and habitable housing, while landlords have the right to collect rent on time and evict tenants for certain reasons. Depending on the matter it may be best resolved in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal or the Local Court.

Zoning and Land-Use Disputes

Zoning and land-use disputes typically involve disagreements over how land should be used, whether for commercial or residential purposes. These disputes can arise due to changes in zoning laws, changes in land use, or complaints from neighbouring property owners. It’s important to understand local zoning laws and land-use regulations to avoid these disputes or resolve them amicably. If this is not possible it may become an issue for the State Land & Environment Court.

Nuisance Claims

Nuisance claims can arise when a property owner creates or allows a condition that causes harm or annoyance to neighbouring property owners. Examples of nuisance claims include loud noises, foul odours, and dangerous conditions. To prove a nuisance claim, the plaintiff must show that the offending behaviour is unreasonable, substantial, and ongoing. Usually these types of issues are first notified to Council but if they continue can be brought as a claim in the relevant tribunal.

Property Damage Claims

Property damage claims arise when one property owner causes damage to another property, whether intentionally or unintentionally. This may include damage to buildings, landscaping, or other property. Property damage claims can be particularly contentious, as they involve financial damages and the potential loss of property value. These can be resolved through mediation but if this is unsuccessful, and depending on the value of the claim, can be dealt with in the local court.


Property disputes can be a major source of stress and frustration for property owners. By understanding the key legal issues involved in property disputes, you’ll be better equipped to handle them when they arise. It’s always advisable to try to resolve disputes amicably first, through negotiation, mediation, or arbitration. However, if you’re unable to resolve the dispute through these methods, you may need to seek the advice of an attorney. Remember to protect your legal rights, and seek professional assistance when necessary.

Contact us at Digital Age Lawyers for expert help.




*Featured image by Blake Wheeler