Navigating the complexities of property lines and boundaries can be a challenging aspect of homeownership, especially when it comes to making alterations that involve your immediate neighbours. One question that often arises is whether you can install a fence in front of your neighbour's fence. The answer involves understanding legal, practical, and courteous considerations. This comprehensive blog will guide you through each of these aspects to help make informed decisions about installing a fence adjacent to your neighbour's.

Legal Considerations

Before making any changes to your property or installing a new fence, it's essential to familiarise yourself with local zoning laws and regulations. The legality of installing a fence in front of your neighbour's can vary significantly depending on where you live. Most local councils or municipalities have specific guidelines that regulate fence heights, materials, and how close you can build to property lines.

Property Lines and Boundaries

Determining accurate property lines is the first critical step. It's a common misconception that you can build a fence directly on the property line. In many areas, regulations require fences to be set back a certain distance from the property line, which could impact your plans to install a fence in front of your neighbour's. Hiring a professional surveyor to delineate your property lines accurately can prevent legal disputes with your neighbours and ensure compliance with local regulations.

Planning Permission

In some jurisdictions, installing a new fence, especially one that exceeds certain heights or is built with specific materials, may require planning permission from your local council. This process ensures that your proposed fence meets aesthetic and safety standards set out by local bylaws.

Practical Considerations

Once you've determined the legal feasibility of installing a new fence, there are practical matters to consider. Installing a fence in front of your neighbour's can have implications for maintenance, aesthetics, and relationships.

Maintenance and Accessibility

Consider how the installation of a new fence might affect the maintenance of both your fence and your neighbour's. For instance, there should be enough space between the two fences to allow for cleaning, painting, and repairs. Lack of accessibility can lead to deterioration over time, potentially causing disputes.


The appearance of having two fences in close proximity might not be appealing. Think about how your new fence will look from your property, your neighbour’s side, and the street. A poorly thought-out fencing project can adversely affect property values and neighbourhood aesthetics.

Neighbourly Courtesy

Discussing your fencing plans with your neighbour beforehand is not only courteous but can also prevent misunderstandings and disputes. Open communication can help you understand any concerns or objections they might have. They may also have suggestions or preferences that could influence your decisions.

Dispute Resolution

If your neighbour opposes your plans to install a new fence, it's beneficial to try and resolve these differences amicably. Mediation services can offer a neutral ground for discussion if an agreement can't be reached directly. It’s always better to maintain a good relationship with your neighbours, so consider compromise and collaboration over conflict.


Installing a fence in front of your neighbour’s requires careful consideration of legal requirements, practical implications, and neighbourly etiquette. By thoroughly researching local regulations, discussing plans with your neighbours, and considering the aesthetics and maintenance of a new fence, you can make an informed decision that respects both your property rights and your relationship with neighbours.

Remember, while you may have the right to install a fence within your property, it’s wise to approach such projects with sensitivity and respect for those living around you. Cooperation and communication are key to ensuring that your new fence serves its intended purpose without souring neighbourly ties.