How to Avoid Legal Issues with Your Shade Sail

Shade Sails

While you may think that council permission will not be needed to erect a Shade Sail from One Shade Sails on your property, there are many rules and regulations to look at – and to make it more difficult they vary from state to state and sometimes from council to council within the same state. Most of those regarding shade sails are aimed at them not causing a public nuisance or causing an annoyance to your neighbours.

However, if you intend to install a shade sail it is imperative you discuss the matter with your council and adhere to their rules and regulations to avoid any legal issues. One of the main requirements is that the material of the shade cloth should be permeable material if you want to skip getting permission. Nearly all councils are agreed on this one point.

While an actual building permit is not normally required for the installation of a sail shade structure, there are often other regulations regarding size and height.


The main regulation for many areas regarding size is that the sail should not be more than 20 square metres.  However, again it differs, with some councils being much stricter than this with a size limit of just half that. Others use a percentage of the property size as their guide, with 10% as the normal. For this reason it is essential to check with your own council to find out what’s allowed and what’s not.


Height can be another issue with some councils dictating a limit of 3 metres and others enforcing a height that is even less than that. Again, much depends on the state and the council as to what is allowed.


The trouble with putting up anything these days is that it will cost some kind of council fee, even if they don’t have many restrictions. Whenever you have to make an application for approval, there is a fee to pay, so if you are on a strict budget it’s wise to look into the extra costs before making a decision. In some cases there may be costs for a building permit, and if so it is likely that an annual Building Services Levy will also be applicable.

However, it is still likely to end up being much cheaper to install a shade cloth area than add a veranda or gazebo to your property. These are likely to attract a different set of fees along with various permissions for approval and they work out more even expensive.

In the end, having a shaded area near the house is still a good idea because it will make you a great deal more comfortable, not to mention help to keep you and your children away from the harmful UV rays of the sun.