A Guide to Arkansas Fence Laws

Arkansas’s fence laws say that neighbors share responsibility for fences. Learn more about the fence laws here.
Written by Bonnie Stinson
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Updated on Jul 08, 2022
Fence laws in Arkansas are minimal but it’s important to stick to the legal requirements. From livestock enclosures to tree trimming and spite fences, here’s what you need to know about Arkansas fence laws.
Gilbert Chesterton said, “Don’t ever take down a fence until you know why it was put up.” That’s great advice for Arkansas property owners. It’s illegal to take down a fence without your neighbor’s permission in this state!
Fence laws are complicated. Whether you’re planning to build one, dispute one, or maintain one, you need to know what’s required so you don’t break the law. Homeowners and
car insurance
broker app
has put together a quick guide to Arkansas’s unique fence laws.
This article covers the basic fence laws in Arkansas, who is responsible for them, how disputes are handled, what materials and heights are allowed, and how to check your county’s zoning guidelines. 
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What are the fence laws in Arkansas?

Arkansas has several laws about the building, maintenance, and disputes of fences.
First, the Arkansas Code requires that all fields and grounds kept for livestock enclosures must have a fence enclosing them.
Next, the Code states that adjoining division fences will be thejoint responsibility of both parties on either side of the fences. In other words, neighbors share responsibilities for fences on the property line. Neither person can remove a section of the joint fence without the permission of the other.
In most residential areas, you do not need a permit for fences seven feet or less. However, some places (like Maumelle) require permits before fences can be built. You may need special permission to build a fence higher than eight feet in the backyard or six feet in the front yard.
Under Arkansas law, you may not have to inform your neighbor that you plan to build a fence unless you have an HOA. Of course, it would be courteous to inform them ahead of time either way.
There are no statues on tree trimming in Arkansas, and precedents are scarce. However, one legal decision found that landowners do not have the right to maintain a plant that extends into adjoining land.
If any disputes arise,
A.C.A § 2-39-107
requires that a justice will order three unbiased, local householders to “view” the fence and testify about the lawfulness of the fence.
Bear in mind that cities have their own guidelines and zoning restrictions. Barbed wire is restricted in most residential districts, and there may be color, design, height, and material restrictions in your local area.

Exceptions to the rules

Adverse possession is a legal doctrine that allows strangers to claim land by occupying it and caring for it over a certain period of time. 
If you build a fence around your Arkansas property but leave for 10 years, someone else could trespass and eventually earn legal rights to that property. Keep a close eye on encroachment of property lines to avoid disputes related to
adverse possession

Spite fences

Arkansas’s new laws prohibit spite fences, thanks to case law. 
Under older laws, anyone could build a fence just to annoy their neighbors. Thankfully, now this behavior is prohibited in Arkansas. If your neighbor has built a fence specifically to annoy you or decrease the value of your property, you should take them to court.
Key Takeaway In most cases, fences are the joint responsibility of neighbors in Arkansas. 

Does Arkansas law require fences?

There are only two situations in which fences are required in Arkansas.
Livestock enclosures are required to have fences and public pools (but not residential pools) are required to have fences. 
Be aware that your county and city may have additional regulations for fence requirements.

How to legally build a fence in Arkansas

Start by checking your local zoning and permitting requirements. In some cities, you must apply for a permit to build any type of fence. In other cities, permits are only required for fences above a certain height.
It’s good practice to inform your neighbors before you build, since the fence will become a joint responsibility. However, you may not be legally required to do so unless you are part of an HOA.
Note that barbed wire is prohibited in most residential districts in Arkansas. 

Does homeowners insurance cover fences?

Fences are considered “other structures” under your homeowners insurance policy, and they’ll typically be covered for up to 10% of your dwelling’s coverage limit. 
Coverage is limited to the
named perils
in your policy, like vandalism, lightning, fire, and windstorms. 
If your fence has been damaged by graffiti or a neighbor’s falling tree, check the details of your insurance policy to see if it’s covered. If it is, document the situation with photographs and a written description to submit with your insurance claim. 

How to save money on homeowners insurance in Arkansas

Arkansas experiences a large number of natural disasters. It’s very important for homeowners to have a policy that protects them from financial ruin if disaster strikes.
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