A Guide to Tennessee Fence Laws

Under certain circumstances, Tennessee’s fence laws require a property owner to give notice to their neighbor before removing a partition fence.
Written by Melanie Krieps Mergen
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
law outlines the requirements for fences built on the boundary line between properties at the state level. Under certain circumstances, Tennessee residents who want to get rid of a partition fence will have to notify their neighbor in writing first.
Understanding Tennessee’s fence laws is important, especially if you live in a rural area and want to add a fence to your property line or remove an existing one. If you have a partition fence on your property, you might also be responsible for some of its maintenance costs.
Knowing your legal responsibilities for a fence on your property is important and can help you avoid disputes with neighboring property owners. To help you get started, homeowners and
car insurance
broker app
is here with the rundown on Tennessee’s fence laws at the state level.
Let Jerry find you the best homeowners insurance policy for your needs
* checking your rate won’t affect your credit score
Shop Now
* checking your rate won’t affect your credit score

What are Tennessee’s fence laws?

of the Tennessee Code outlines requirements for partition fences at the state level, which it defines as fences erected on the property line between land owned by different landowners. 
The language of the law is a bit open-ended and doesn’t make specifications or exceptions for different types of landowners. It speaks mostly to circumstances involving at least one agricultural property. Still, to see if it applies to your property where you live, it’s a good idea to check with your city and county officials.
Under Tennessee law, partition fences “may” be built and maintained by both landowners. If a person creates a partition fence by “joining to it or using it as such, that person shall pay to the person erecting it that person’s proportion of the expense” of the fence.
If one landowner responsible for a partition fence fails to keep their part of the fence in good condition, they could be liable for damages to the other landowner’s property due to escaped livestock.
If the land on one side of the partition fence is agricultural but the other is not, the owner of the non-agricultural land can disclaim responsibility for the erection or maintenance of a partition fence in writing.
That disclaimer should be delivered in a method that allows receipt of the notice to be verified, like certified mail. To be considered non-agricultural, land must be the site of a residence, have no livestock, and not be used for other agricultural purposes. 
MORE: How to settle into a new house
If a non-agricultural landowner gives up responsibility for a partition fence, they also give up their ability to hold the agricultural landowner liable for any damages caused by livestock that escape due to the fence’s condition.
Under the law, an existing partition fence can’t be removed without the landowners’ common consent, or else the landowner who wants the fence removed needs to provide six months’ written notice to the other landowner. “After the expiration of the time of the notice, the party may remove the fence or part of the fence,” as noted in
Section 44-8-208
Removing a partition fence without giving required notice (outlined in Section 44-8-208) constitutes a Class C misdemeanor. The property owner who removed the fence could be liable for damages to the other person due to the fence removal.

When owners don’t agree

When landowners can’t agree on who will cover the construction or maintenance of a partition fence, a general sessions judge can have three neutral freeholders look at the fence and determine how much each landowner should pay for a repair.
If you and your neighbor can’t agree on a partition fence, there’s also the option of constructing your own fence within your own property’s boundaries.

Does Tennessee law require fences?

Tennessee law requires fences to contain livestock and crops (to help prevent damage from livestock). Section
of the Tennessee Code outlines these fencing requirements.
Local fence ordinances can vary at the city and/or county level and can include requirements like acceptable materials to use, how high fences can be, and how close they can be to property lines.

How to legally build a fence in Tennessee

If you’re planning to build a fence on your property, check for any city- and county-level requirements that may be in place, like what materials can be used, whether permits are required, how high it can be, and how close it can be to a property line. 
If your plan involves installing a fence on your property line and it’s allowed where you live, you’ll want to discuss your plans with any neighbors involved
Before the construction of your fence gets underway, you’ll want to get your property surveyed so the boundaries of your property can be clearly outlined. This can help you make sure your fence is set up in the proper place, whether that’s on your property line or a foot or two away from it. 

Does homeowners insurance cover fences?

This depends on the cause of damage, your coverage level, and what your policy says. Under a standard home insurance policy, fences are classified as “other structures,” which are commonly covered for up to 10% of the main structure’s coverage limit.
If your home insurance covers other structures like fences, to warrant coverage, the cause of damage to your fence will have to be a peril named in your policy. Common perils include fire, vandalism, hail, falling objects, and windstorms.
If your fence experiences damage due to a peril named in your policy and you have coverage for other structures, you can choose to submit a claim to help cover the fence’s repair costs.

How to save money on homeowners insurance in Tennessee

There are all kinds of ways to find savings on a homeowners insurance policy in
, and one of them is using the
Never used Jerry before? Here’s how it works: once you download the app, you’ll just enter your information, which takes under a minute. Then, Jerry will show you customized quotes from top home and car insurance providers! From there, you can pick the right amount of coverage for you at the right rate.
Jerry users save an average of $887 a year on car insurance alone, and you could find further savings when you bundle your home and
car insurance
It’s not all about the savings, though—Jerry’s start-to-finish support can also help you with setting up and canceling your policy, as well as answering any questions you might have along the way. Later, when your policy’s up for renewal, Jerry will even automatically find you quotes again to make sure you’re still getting a good deal.
Service like this is what makes Jerry the #1-rated insurance app!
was wonderful! I used it for my auto and renters policies. I trusted it so much that I signed up my homeowners insurance under Jerry as well. All of the agents are amazingly nice and knowledgeable.” —Mary Y.
Thousands of customers saved on average $887/year on their car insurance with Jerry
This app is great, but the customer service is even better! Not to mention convenient! My husband and I got the lowest rate (much lower than the rates I was finding online through my own searches), quickly, and pretty much all through text message! Thank you so much for a hassle free experience👍
Gabriella R.
Find insurance savings
rating primary
4.7/5 Rating on App Store


Whether you need a permit to build a fence in Tennessee depends on where you live and what city- and county-level ordinances there are regarding fencing where you live.
Under certain circumstances, yes. Partition fences can be jointly maintained by property owners. In cases where a non-agricultural property neighbors an agricultural one, the non-agricultural property owner can give up their responsibility for the fence. This also means they give up their ability to hold the agricultural landowner responsible for any livestock-related damages.
You might be able to build an eight-foot fence in Tennessee, but it depends on where you live and whether there are any city- or county-level requirements that limit how high a fence can be.
Save an average of 18% by bundling your home and auto insurance
Bundle your home and auto insurance with Jerry and save!
Try Jerry

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings