A Guide to Connecticut Fence Laws

Fence laws in Connecticut vary wildly from one town to the next, with little statewide regulation. Here’s what you need to know about fence laws in Connecticut.
Written by Matt Terzi
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
fence laws aren’t as strictly defined at the state level as in many other states. Each town has its own laws and ordinances defining where and how fences can be constructed. It’s strongly recommended you never build a fence directly on the property line, as ownership of that fence can get confusing.
We may never know who invented the world’s first fence, probably back in the Bronze Age, but we’d bet dollars to donuts they got into an argument with their neighbor over it. Fences around property have been a contentious subject for thousands of years. And unfortunately, it’s still something people argue over, sometimes childishly and sometimes litigiously, today.
Connecticut fence laws can get confusing pretty fast, so the home and car insurance broker app
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What are Connecticut’s Fence Laws?

The State of Connecticut doesn’t use blanket laws for fence regulations like so many other states do. There are a few rules you’re expected to follow statewide, but most fence regulations and ordinances in Connecticut are local ones.
It’s advised, even by Connecticut officials directly, that you should never build a fence directly on a property line. If you build a fence on the property line,
a neighbor can assume half of the fence’s ownership
(and also half of its cost and expenses) by simply incorporating it into the rest of their fencing around their property.
To avoid complications, messy legal disputes, or nasty arguments, it’s best to discuss your plans to build a fence with neighbors beforehand. Look into local laws, and consider even speaking with a lawyer to better understand your rights before starting a construction project. 
Definitely have your property professionally surveyed too, which is something all homeowners should do regardless of whether or not they plan to have a fence built.

Exceptions to Connecticut's Fence Laws

Your city or town has selectmen who can settle fence disputes, and who serve as the authority on what constitutes violations of local and state fencing laws.
If your fence is in need of repair, neighbors can reach out to selectmen to look at the fence and determine if it’s running afoul of local or state laws. 
If the selectman decides your fence needs repairs, you’ll be given 15 days to get it fixed. After that, your neighbors can foot the bill and charge you double the selectman’s estimate for those repairs, and that amount can be used in a lien against your property.

Spite fences

Disputes between neighbors can get utterly ridiculous, and some people might try outlandish or childish tactics just to irritate their neighbors. A “spite fence” is a great (but also terrible) example of this behavior. It’s a fence constructed with the sole intention of bothering a neighbor.
Thankfully, Connecticut laws prohibit the construction of spite fences and any other structure “intended to annoy and injure any owner or lessee of adjacent land in respect to his use or disposition of the same.”
In other words, if your neighbor decides to block your otherwise spectacular view of the Atlantic ocean by building a 12-foot wall plastered with photos of that garbage can that accidentally blew into their yard last week, they’re violating a general statute and you can sue them. It’s up to you though to prove they built the spite fence with malicious intent.

Does Connecticut law require fences?

Most states have laws involving the use of fencing around pools, and Connecticut is no different. Local laws and county laws will vary, but as a general rule, your pool needs to be in an enclosed space surrounded by fencing, mostly to avoid accidents.
Pool fencing should be at least four feet high, with a gap no greater than two inches between the ground and the bottom of the fence. If the fence has rails, you need to put them on the inside of the fence (facing the pool) to keep people from attempting to climb over the fence. Chain links need to be 2.25 inches square or smaller.
MORE: How to settle into a new house

How to legally build a fence in Connecticut

To avoid running into regulatory issues or lawsuits, it’s generally best to follow these rules when building a fence in Connecticut:
  • Research local laws first to see what is and isn’t allowed in your municipality
  • Speak with your neighbors second. Let them know you intend to build a fence, ask for and be open to their input, and take their concerns seriously. There’s no better way to avoid issues than simply communicating first and collecting opinions.
  • Get your property surveyed so you know precisely where the edges of your property are.
  • Don’t build the fence on the property line, and make sure “the good side” of the fence—the flat side—is facing your neighbors. The side with railings should be facing inward, toward your own property.
  • If for some reason the fence needs to be on the property line, get an agreement with your neighbor on paper regarding the costs and upkeep of the fence. But again, try to avoid building fences directly on the property line.

Does homeowners insurance cover fences?

Homeowner’s insurance policies protect against different “perils”—accidents and disasters like fires, wind damage, vandalism, lightning, etc.—and your fences are usually protected as “other structures” against the same perils as your home, up to 10 percent of the coverage limit of that home.
If your fence is damaged or destroyed by one of the perils covered by your insurance policy, you’ll want to take photos of the damage and communicate with your insurance provider directly to see if you’re covered. It’s a good idea to review your policy ahead of time too and know precisely what is and isn’t covered.

How to save money on homeowners insurance in Connecticut

Fence laws in Connecticut are a bit confusing, given how few statewide rules there are. But we do hope we helped take some of the guesswork out of Connecticut’s fence laws with this guide.
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A fence built on a property line in Connecticut belongs to both owners of the adjoining properties. If a neighbor uses that fence to enclose their property, they’re responsible for half of the fence’s construction and upkeep costs as well.
Local and county laws vary from one area to the next, so it’s strongly advised you look up those local laws first. But in most of Connecticut permits aren’t required for fences under six feet in height.
That’s really the best-case scenario! If you and your neighbor get along great (and we really hope you do), and you can sit down and mutually agree to where a fence should be located, what the fence should look like, etc., that’s really a perfect situation.
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