What Is the Legal Height of a Fence Between Neighbors?

Many jurisdictions specify that the height of a fence cannot exceed five feet. However, it is not always easy to determine where you can build or place your fence and what its dimensions need to be in order for it to comply with local laws.

The “gap between neighbors fences” is a legal question, and one that can be resolved through the law.

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There may come a moment when you decide you want a fence, whether it’s for your children to play, your dogs to run about securely, or to divide your land from your neighbor’s. If you want to put a fence up on your property, you should be aware that there may be certain requirements to follow.

Fences separating neighboring houses are typically four feet tall in the Yard in front and six feet tall in the rear. Depending on whether you reside in a city or a rural region, your height may differ.

If trees or shrubs are placed in a row and create a barrier between your yard and the neighboring yard, this height restriction may apply to them as well. Continue reading to learn about the regulations governing fence heights between neighbors in the United States.




Laws on Urban Fencing in the United States

If you reside in the United States, the most stringent rules are usually found in metropolitan areas. It is advisable to examine local zoning rules; some of the most important cities’ zoning laws are as follows:

City Yard in front Backyard Lot on the Corner
NYC 4’ 6’ 6’
Seattle 4’ 6′ tall with a 2′ topping 6’
Los Angeles is a city in California. 3.5’ Depending on the zoning, 6-8′ Depending on the zoning, 6-8′

As you can see, the basic laws are that fences in the Yard in front need to be at the highest, 4 feet, and in the back and side yards, 6-8 feet. Most places do not require a permit if it is less than 4 feet or 6 feet, but you do need to double-check your area’s rules. 

“Fences bordering a roadway must not exceed 7 feet (2,134 mm) in height in Residence or Waterfront Districts, nor 10 feet (3,048 mm) in Mixed Use, Special Purpose, Commercial, or Industrial Districts,” according to the Washington DC municipal code. 3112.3…. Fences between a structure’s front façade and the front lot line must be at least 50% open.” 

If you live in a certain location, you may be able to request that your fence heights be increased by a few feet.

  • Your next-door neighbor is a “waste of space” (like a plant, public owned or another type of industrial or business complex) 
  • You may show that you need it.
  • You are granted exceptional permissions.

Suburban areas may be subject to special HOA regulations but six feet for the backyard and four feet for the Yard in front are the typical legal requirements. If you live in a rural or unincorporated area, they may be different. Some HOA rules can be stricter than urban and require special materials to be used or certain looks to the fence so everything looks the same. 


The restrictions in rural regions are the laxest. Fence rules or zoning laws may not exist in certain remote locations, but it is always a good idea to check with your local state and county legislation. 

Other Laws Concerning Fence Construction

Aside from the height limit, there are additional restrictions on how high a fence may be built. In certain locations, you must provide your neighbors written notice with the cost, timeframe, and other data at least 30 days before you intend to start construction. Some areas may allow the neighbor time to attempt to halt the construction, but if the fence is on your property’s side, the neighbor will have very little power to stop it. 

Contacting the city or county planning and permitting department in your region is the best way to find out what information you need to provide. You may also be permitted to construct a fence along the property line, but if your neighbor is a government entity, they may require you to construct the barrier farther on your own land and not along the property boundary. 

Depending on how near your fence is to the property line, your neighbor may be permitted to maintain, decorate, and add to it on their side of the fence. You may also make them pay for their side of the fence in certain situations. 

If your neighbor is on board with the fence, you may be able to enlist their assistance with the fence’s construction and upkeep. You may still construct the fence even if they aren’t on board; however, it may create a split between you two. They may be able to legally compel you to cease constructing the barrier. 

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Is it necessary to get your neighbor’s permission before erecting a fence?
On the subject of property, Yes, in the majority of situations.
On your line of business No, in most circumstances.
On the dividing line between the two property lines You may be required to provide a written intent for up to 30 days in certain cases. 

If someone constructs a “spite fence,” you may be able to legally compel them to quit. On the same note, they would have the same authority to order you to cease constructing one if there is evidence that they, or you, are doing it to annoy you or to settle a grudge. 

You or your neighbor might be legally ordered to halt installing the fence if there is evidence of the “spite.” The spite must be shown, which may be difficult. 

The Laws Concerning Fences and Neighbors

In some areas, you can even get the neighbor to pay for half of the fence’s expenses, despite them agreeing or not if it is On the subject of property,. The same can happen to you, though. 

Some areas require the fence to be 100 percent On your line of business and require that you have a certain space between your fence and the edge of your property line. 

Instead of facing in towards your yard, fences should have the finer side of the outer board facing the neighbor’s yard. This aesthetic guideline is mandated in certain locations and simply common politeness in others. If you reside in an area where there is a homeowners association, you may be compelled to maintain the fence looking a particular manner or to construct it using certain materials. That is another another rule and regulation to research. 

You may not be subject to the same zoning restrictions as individuals who reside inside city borders if you live in a rural or unincorporated region. You’ll need to check with your utility provider to ensure that your fence won’t interfere with a gas or water line, but apart from that, you may be allowed to construct on your property without obtaining permits or authorization. Check with your municipality or county to see whether the unincorporated region where you reside is zoning-free.  


Your best bet is to look at the laws in your city, state, or county. The laws are different for different people but in the US, most fences cannot be higher than four feet for the Yard in front or six feet for the backyard. You can always get special permits to raise the cost and permits are not always needed. 

The laws are not usually the same in unincorporated areas, and they do not always have the same zoning and permitting requirements. 

Your neighbor may be able to halt or delay the building of your fence in certain instances. They’d have to show you why you shouldn’t construct the barrier, which would be tough. It can, at the at least, put a halt to your development. It’s usually a good idea to verify your county’s rules and regulations before doing anything with your property. 

When it comes to your neighbors, there are a few more things you should do or know. Check out what I can plant to obscure my neighbor’s view, as well as if you can block your neighbor’s window for privacy. Finally, how near can you go to your neighbor’s land in order to construct something?


The “how to get around fence height restrictions” is a question that many individuals have asked themselves. The answer to the question is that you can be as high as 10 feet on your property, but it is important to keep in mind that fences are not just for keeping people out.

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