Fences and Property Lines: A Guide to Maryland Fence Laws

Fences and Property Lines

Buying a new property with a fence? Excited to lift your current space with a new fence installation? Trying to figure out if your neighbor’s fence is in your yard?

Fences are a great asset to any residential property but they’re not always as clear-cut as people imagine. Fences do not dictate a property line – property lines are pre-established and are up to homeowners to know and maintain.

If you bought a home and a fence was already built, you need to survey your property line to know for certain where it starts and ends.

If you’re looking to build a fence, you need to ensure your fence installers do a proper property line survey.

If you’re concerned about your neighbor’s fence, conduct a survey of the property lines to confirm the installation. 

Read on to learn more about how to find your property line, how to maintain your property line outside of your fence, and how to install a fence without encroaching on your neighbor’s space (and whose responsibility it is to maintain that fence).

Determining Property Lines vs Fence Discrepancies

A fence does not create a property line when installed. Property lines are exact locations that are determined by a property survey, conducted by a licensed surveyor.

Pre-existing fences may have been installed either slightly inside or outside of pre-determined property lines due to errors in previous surveys, which is why any new homeowner should always have a new survey conducted when purchasing a home.

Property on the outside of a fence is still the legal responsibility of the homeowner when it comes to upkeep, maintenance, and liability. Gaps between fences should always be maintained. If two neighbors share a fence on the property line they must agree on who holds responsibility for repairs.

Always ensure you know what property specifically falls under your legal ownership so you can tend to trees, branches, repairs, holes, and more without facing liabilities.

Fences in Maryland

An Overview of Maryland Fence Laws

In Maryland, fence laws are primarily governed by local ordinances and regulations. These laws vary depending on the specific county or city where the property is located.

Generally speaking, fences in Maryland must comply with zoning regulations and be constructed in a way that does not pose a hazard to public safety. Fences that are located on a property line are typically subject to shared responsibility and maintenance between the adjoining property owners.

Additionally, some counties may have specific regulations regarding the height, placement, and materials used in fence construction. HOAs may also impact these guidelines and restrictions. It is important for property owners to research and comply with these regulations to avoid any legal issues. Consulting with a professional fencing company in Maryland will help ensure all legal building needs are met, which is why DIY fence builds often end in disputes or broken property lines.

How to Ensure Your New Fence is Legal and On Your Property

fence installation

Build a New Fence in Maryland Today

Ready to take the step and build a new fence in Maryland today?

Evergreen Fence and Deck is happy to help! We are experienced and well-equipped with helping homeowners navigate property lines, maintenance agreements, and more. Protect yourself, liven up your property, and enrich your home’s value with a properly installed fence today.


Yes, your neighbor can build a fence on the property line, but it will typically be subject to shared responsibility and maintenance between you and your neighbor. It is important to establish this agreement in writing to prevent any disputes in the future.

If your neighbor builds a fence on your property, you should first try to communicate with them to resolve the issue. If this does not work, you may need to hire a lawyer or mediator to help resolve the dispute. It may also be necessary to obtain a court order to remove the fence.

Generally, you do not need your neighbor’s permission to build a new fence on your property, as long as it complies with local regulations and is not encroaching on their property. However, it is always a good idea to communicate with your neighbor about your fence plans and listen to any concerns they may have.

Fence posts can be installed either inside or outside the fence line, depending on the desired aesthetic and function of the fence. However, it is important to ensure that the fence complies with local zoning regulations and does not encroach on neighboring properties.

In most cases, the “good side” of a fence (i.e., the more aesthetically pleasing side) faces the neighbor’s property. This is because posts facing the outside can create a ladder or access for intruders – the fence is most secure when these access points are facing “in” and this also ensures the best property value viewed from the street. It is important to check local regulations and communicate with neighbors before constructing a fence to prevent any disputes.

Homeowners’ insurance may cover fences, but it depends on the specific policy and the cause of the damage. For example, if the fence was damaged in a storm or by a falling tree, it may be covered under the insurance policy’s “other structures” coverage. However, if the damage was caused by normal wear and tear or intentional damage, it may not be covered. It is important to review the specific policy and speak with the insurance company to understand what is covered.
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