A Guide to Kentucky Fence Laws

Kentucky law requires landowners to “cost-share” fence construction and maintenance. Find all of the details of Kentucky fence regulations here.
Written by Melissa Harvey
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Kentucky fence regulations can vary between counties—but state-wide, Kentucky landowners must split the cost of building and maintaining boundary fences. If a neighbor fails to upkeep their side, leading to damage in your yard, they can legally be held liable. 
Understanding the legal language of fence statutes can be tricky. Before you break ground on your fence, you need to make sure it doesn’t encroach on your neighbor and that it's within height limits. 
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How tall can a privacy fence be in Kentucky?

Fence height regulations vary from county to county, but for most of Kentucky, privacy fences in the front yard can be a maximum of four feet tall
Your side and backyard fences can be as tall as six feet if they are solid or eight feet if they are made of chain link fencing. 

Who owns a fence on property lines in Kentucky? 

Adjoining landowners are responsible for building and maintaining one-half of the fence. If you and your neighbor come to a different agreement over financing the wall and upkeep, you can get that agreement in writing and have it recorded at the county clerk’s office. Fencing agreements filed this way have the same effect as a deed
In Kentucky, if you fail to maintain your side of the fence and it leads to damage on your neighbor’s property, you’ll be held liable for any damage caused. Say animals in your yard were able to squeeze through the fence and tear up your neighbor’s garden. You’ll be held responsible for that. 
Key Takeaway Adjacent neighbors are supposed to split the cost of partition fences. If your neighbor’s animals break through the fence into your yard, they’re responsible for paying the damages. 

How do you know where the property boundary is? 

The best way to locate the boundaries between your property and your neighbors is to conduct a survey. You’ll need to hire a professional surveyor to come out to the property and measure your yard. The surveyor will mark your boundaries with stakes or spraypaint. 
If you cannot hire a surveyor, you can request plat maps for your neighborhood from your county assessor. The plat maps will give you a pretty good idea of where the divisionary boundary should be. 

Can I put a fence on my side of the property line?

Yes! Fences in Kentucky may be between three to eight inches from the boundary line. 
Be sure to discuss the fence with your neighbor before you start building to avoid issues down the road. 

Do I need a permit to build a fence in Kentucky? 

Yes, a permit is required to build a fence in most districts of Kentucky. Fence regulations can vary wildly between districts, so you’ll probably need to go through the permit process to agree to the rules in your area. 
If you have any questions about fence height regulations, contact your local municipality for more information. 

Can I replace an existing fence without a permit? 

No—you must have a permit to replace an existing fence in Kentucky. 
County laws require you to get a permit to replace your fence, even if you’re using the same materials in the replacement process. 

What is a spite fence? 

Spite fences are any fence that is constructed with the goal of excluding their neighbor from the pleasure of viewing or enjoying the property.
If your neighbor is building a wall or fence out of spite for you in Kentucky, you can sue in court to have the fence removed. And if your fence doesn’t serve a functional purpose, your neighbor can request injunctive relief or damages from the courts.

Does homeowners insurance cover fences?

Fences are covered under the “other structures” section in home insurance policies. You can only receive coverage for up to 10% of your dwelling coverage limit if the fence is damaged by a
peril named
in the policy. 
If your fence is damaged by a careless neighbor or a named peril, be sure to check the details of your insurance policy to see if the damage is covered. If your fence is protected and you need to submit a claim, don’t forget to include pictures of the damage. 

How to save money on homeowners insurance in Kentucky

Homeowners in Kentucky tend to pay $500 above the national average for home insurance coverage. Why? Because Kentucky homes face increased property damage to natural disasters like tornadoes, convective storms, floods, and wildfires. 
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Yes, you’ll need to seek a permit from your local municipality and learn the exact regulations for your area.
Yes, you are legally obligated to help with the costs and maintenance of half the boundary fence.
It depends on where exactly you live!
In some districts, you can have an eight-foot fence in some Kentucky counties if the fence is made of see-through materials like chainlink or wire.
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