Your selected location:
  1. Home
  2. /
  3. HHG Articles
  4. /
  5. Do you know about your verge and driveway laws?
10 Oct 2019

Verge and Driveway FAQs by HHG Legal Group’s Property & Dispute Resolution Lawyers Murray Thornhill and Julia McCullagh 

Verges Driveways in Article image

With regular media reports filled with stories of residents’ shock at driveway access and front verge issues at their property, HHG Legal Group has pulled together some  answers to frequently asked questions which our property team lawyers are regularly asked about.

Do I own my verge?

No, you do not own your verge. The Local Government Act 1995 provides for local governments to care for, control and manage public land. Your verge is ‘crown land’ under the control of your local government.

Can the council control what I do with my verge?

The maintenance of a verge is the responsibility of the adjacent landowner or occupier. The Local Government Act 1995 gives powers to local governments to do certain things for the purpose of controlling and managing public land, this includes making local laws. What you can do with your verge is governed by the local laws of your local government and will vary depending on where you live.

What if I want to put up a swing or plant a garden?

Most local governments have lists of permissible “verge treatments,” which include planting gardens but have local laws preventing you from putting up “structures” without permission. Structures are generally considered to include built-up box gardens, swings and tree houses.

One reason why the local government may be reluctant to allow you to build swings and similar things on your verge is that (as the land is under their control, rather than private property) the local government is potentially liable for any injury.

Another reason that local governments may prevent you from putting up a structure on your verge is that they often have local laws aimed at protecting motorists’ lines of sight at intersections.  

The rules and local laws are, however, not always the same. Your first stop should be to check your local government’s webpage. The City of Vincent, for example, recently adopted a policy that allows residents to attach ladders, swings, cubbies and platforms to street trees, as well as decorations and lighting, residents can also install raised garden beds, seats, logs, rocks and various forms of paving on their verge.

Do I need local government approval to build a driveway?

Yes, local government approval is needed for the construction of that section of a driveway that crosses the verge from the road edge to the property boundary. Each local government has different rules and requirements for driveways (such as how wide they can be and how close they can be to street trees).  There are penalties for property owners who construct a driveway without council approval. Potentially they could be fined up to $5000.  Local governments also have the power to require property owners to repair the driveway and to remove a driveway that is no longer being used.  However, a property owner would not be prosecuted for a driveway constructed by the previous owner without approval. The local government also does not have the power to force a property owner to remove and re-do a driveway that was constructed by a previous owner and which does not comply with the local government’s driveway rules.

My local government won’t let me put up a swing or put in the driveway that I want. What can I do?

Under the Local Government Act 1995, if you are a person affected by an unfavourable decision you have a right to lodge an objection with the local government within 28 days. This objection must be reviewed by the Council or a sub-committee of the Council (rather than an employee of the local government).  You also have a right to apply to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) for a review of the decision. You can apply to the SAT for a review if you have not lodged an objection with your local government or if your objection was rejected or you did not receive a response.

Need more clarification? Contact our Dispute Resolution Team 

*This is general information only, and does not constitute specific legal advice. Please consult one of our experienced Legal Team for specific advice relevant to your situation.

Supporting Western Australians for more than 100 years

"Always fast and thorough service. Thank you"


My circumstances at the time I made contact with HHG were dire following my argument being rejected by two no win no fee firms. Following my initial meeting with HHG's employment law team I was left feeling extremely positive by the response and concern shown by HHG in regards to their support of my argument along with their preparedness to pursue an outcome on my behalf.

I accept the fact that nobody really wins in these cases (mental health/ workplace) however the end result was what would be considered most favourable and far in excess of what would have been achieved had I not sought the advice from HHG.

I have no hesitation in recommending HHG to anyone caught up in the messy circumstances I found myself in at the time.

Great advice and five-star commitment to their client!!"


"Thank you for such great assistance with the transaction of Flying Domestics on behalf of Lorna Good. It has been such a pleasure to work with the HHG Legal Group and I look forward to working with you in the future."


"Simon Creek and his team were at all times empathic, professional and confident.  My matter needed to be addressed within a pressing time frame, and their availability at short notice and contact after hours was much appreciated.  It caused me considerable stress, but having such a thoroughly reliable and competent team to call on helped me to feel in control. Although I hope not to need their services again in future, I would be confident in doing so!"


"A good outcome is what we can expect.  A great outcome is a sign of a company which does the very best for their clients. A very big thank you to Daniel Morris for showing empathy towards my small and much needed legal action.

To HHG Legal Group, thank you for a great outcome.  I would recommend your company to anyone seeking legal services."


"Your support this morning was amazingly kind, not to mention your totally reassuring competence, knowledge and wisdom that you used on my behalf.  It was extremely reassuring to have your knowledgeable support, and I particularly appreciated your real and obvious kindness to me. It means so much at a very difficult time. I'm so grateful to you."

Family Law Client

"Janene was very professional and we established a good rapport quickly. The subject of death and wills can be quite confronting to deal with, however, Janene's approach was soft and accommodating."


"A big thank you to HHG for their professional service, continued support, and wide range of legal knowledge. Our clients have given us nothing but kind words regarding HHG Legal Group and so we have no hesitation in referring and recommending Simon Creek and HHG Legal Group for their outstanding services and legal expertise."


"Simon is a friendly and practical legal advisor. I have received great feedback from the clients I have referred to him and his team at HHG Legal Group."


"Over the last few years, I have been impressed by Simon’s legal ability, management skills, entrepreneurial spirit, personal integrity and people skills. He appears to be that rare breed of lawyer – both knowledgeable and commercial."


"Our family has been a client of HHG Legal Group over many years.  Business has included drawing up of wills for three generations and preparing of probate for my father in law. I would have no hesitation in recommending HHG Legal Group to anyone requiring such services."


"You should be congratulated for the manner in which your staff address clients and we found our dealings with your company, once again a very pleasant experience and we would like to truly thank you for your efforts."

Steve and Jane

"HHG Legal were absolutely fantastic. Extremely responsive and brought calm to our chaotic family situation through their knowledge and caring attitude. Extremely professional from our very first contact with them and they expertly guided our family though the required legal process over almost a 12 month period."


"Fantastic team! They really care about their client. Tim Colcutt is a 'go that extra mile' guy who gives his client his all. I can't recommend HHG and Tim enough."


"I had a fantastic lawyer in Matthew Lilly. He helped me out a great deal with good, sound advice in a friendly, professional manner. First class, thanks Matthew"


"Marine Plant Systems has been working with HHG Legal Group for a few years now and they continually provide first-class service. Their professional advice has been invaluable to our company."


"We were kept up to date at all times. Pricing was always updated over the time period so we remained "in budget". Personal access to someone whenever I had questions. All in all a great experience without too much fuss."


"Good service you can count on."


"HHG Legal Group has provided outstanding support as I have taken the journey of buying a business, their professionalism is beyond reproach. Their assistance throughout the Due Diligence process has been invaluable, I would fully recommend them."


"Very friendly and efficient service - what a pleasure working with Matthew."


"I highly recommend Daniel from HHG Lawyer in Mandurah. When dealing with a complicated legal property matter recently I was extremely impressed by Daniel's honesty and integrity and the legal advice I received. I am very happy with the service from HHG Legal."


Select your location:

Please select your nearest office location so we can show you the most relevant information.