Contributed by Anahita Surya and current to March 2022

Can my neighbour look into my house?

There is no legal right to privacy which prevents your neighbour from looking over the fence or listening to conversations. If the behaviour becomes threatening or harassing, you may be able to get a Personal Protection Order (PPO) against your neighbour. Refer to Personal Protection Orders for information.

Under some circumstances, the behaviour may constitute stalking. Stalking is a criminal offence under s35, Crimes Act 1900 (ACT). If you believe that you are being stalked, please contact the Police on 000.

Can my neighbour photograph me and/or my property?

There are no specific laws dealing with photography and neighbours’ rights. If your neighbour enters your property without your permission, they may be liable for trespass (see Trespass). You do not, however, have recourse to any legal mechanisms if they are photographing you or your property from a public place, or from their own property. In some circumstances, photographing someone may amount to a criminal offence. Call the Police on 000 if you are concerned.

If you want to discuss the matter with your neighbour and need mediation support, contact the ACT Conflict Resolution Service on 02 6162 4050. To talk to someone about your dispute, contact the Legal Aid ACT Helpline (9am to 4pm on weekdays) on 1300 654 314.

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