As a homeowner it is not uncommon that you will often have a dispute with your neighbor. Once of the most common issues that causes stress and strain among neighbors involves privacy fences. To reduce that chance that you will get into a disagreement with your neighbor, be proactive and take the time to learn Colorado Fence Laws.
This will not only benefit you in the end but could save you thousands and thousands of dollars in court costs if the dispute reaches the court system.
Fence Laws in the State of Colorado
The heavily litigated cases in Colorado that are involve disputes about fences, the number one complaint is encroachment over property lines.
Unless you have a written agreement with your neighbor your allocated fence line is the actual property line between your home and theirs. It is the responsibility of both homeowners to follow these legal guidelines.
Once you start reading over Colorado’s fence laws you will see that the term “fence” does not only pertain to a fence as we know it. The term fence can also include any type of markers, bush and shrub lines, tree lines, and other types of partitions between properties.
Statutes at a Glance
The following statutes are the ones that you will want to familiarize yourself with before installing your privacy fence.
- Partition Fences: Colo. Rev. Stat. 35-46-112
- Partition Fences; Cost of Repairs: Colo. Rev. Stat. 35-46-113
- Tree Damages (Criminal): Colo. Rev. Stat. 18- 4-508
Along with these statutes having common knowledge about the following will also be of much use:
- When it comes to partition fences (fences that lie between two properties) the owners of each property are each responsible for building one half of the fence.
- Each property owner must maintain and split the cost of any maintenance or repairs unless other wise agreed upon in writing.
Every situation is different and there are endless issues that could become a point of contention between you and your neighbor. However, here are some of the most common problems that you might encounter. Since some of these are not covered in the state law statutes keeping these in the back of your mind may be helpful as you plan your privacy fence.
What is the height limit for a fence in Colorado?
In Colorado this is determined by HOA Covenants for each neighborhood if there is one. If your area does not have an HOA the height of your fence will be determined by local city ordinances.
My neighbor built a particularly “ugly” fence and we do not have an HOA?
We all have preferences for various types of fences. However, because you share a fence line what type of fence you use in not only up to you.
Colorado does have a little bit of extra protection and specifically addresses “spite fences”. These are fences that are purposely constructed to be displeasing and down right ugly to “spite” someone.
In these cases, the homeowner can sue for removal.
I just moved into a new home and the neighbor has already built a fence. Am I financially responsible for my half?
This can be a sticky situation. If your neighbor constructed the fence before you moved in that was their decision. Now remember ….. under Colorado law both homeowners are responsible for the construction costs at the time of installation. Therefore, it then lies on you and your moral compass after the fact. The right thing to do to offer up half of the cost to your new neighbor.
It is the hope that in most cases the installation of a fence will not cause major conflict with your fellow citizen. By being proactive and talking things over with them ahead time you should be able to avoid any problems.