MontCo Fence Blog

Love Thy Neighbor: Follow These Fence Laws to Keep the Peace

Robert Frost once said, "Don't ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up." There are a few reasons to install a fence: privacy, security, you want to keep something inside the fence, or you want to keep something out of your yard. 

Before you consider building a fence, it is important to know the fence laws in your town. There is no reason to build and get in trouble with your local zoning commission or your neighbors. 

Check out these things to consider before building a fence in your yard.

Type of Fence Allowed

The first question to consider before putting up a fence is whether your local ordinances or homeowners association allows them. If yes, are there restrictions on the type of fence allowed?

Often there are fencing laws that restrict the type of fence allowed. In most residential places, barbed wire and electric fences are restricted.

If you have an HOA, they might specify whether your fence should be made of wood, PVC, metal, or other chain links. An HOA might even only allow one type of fence installation.

Height of Fence

Most places will have restrictions on how high can a fence be. Many will not allow a fence to be taller than 6 feet. Other restrictions often apply as well, such as lower heights in front yards, lower heights near traffic lights, and near a street or curb. 

Often the height of fence might be restricted by the HOA as well. In many residential areas fences are restricted to 4 feet.

If you are building a fence for security or privacy, your goal might be to get the tallest fence possible. But make sure you check with your local ordinances and HOA to know the legal height of a fence allowed. 

Boundary Line Fences

Placing a fence on a property boundary line raises many questions. 

  • Is it legal to place right on the boundary line?
  • Can I expect my neighbor to cover part of the cost of the fence since both will benefit from it?
  • Who is responsible for maintenance?

Installing a fence right on a boundary line could cause a neighbor fence dispute. Many local municipalities will also have regulations about placing fences right on boundary lines. 

Local Regulations

Fencing laws obviously vary by state, city, or even neighborhood. It is important when considering building a fence that you do your research to understand exactly what is allowed and restricted for fences. 

Often local regulations will prevent conflicted neighbors from installing "spite fences". These are fences put up in an effort to spite an annoying neighbor. 

Other local regulations will include requirements for type and height as already mentioned. They might also include requirements for how the fence's appearance or condition.

Another thing to consider is whether there are local regulations for building permits if you are installing a fence in your yard.

Know the Fence Laws Before Building a Fence

Installing a fence around your yard can offer added security and privacy. It can also be a nice aesthetic feature of your landscaping. Before you install though, be sure to do your homework about the fence laws in your area. 

Check out more information here on our site on types of fencing and their installation. 

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