Property Line and Fence Laws in Colorado

Of the various types of problems that neighbors have, disputes involving fences are some of the most contentious. One way to deal with these issues is to be proactive and avoid them in the first place. For instance, you can conduct a survey so that you know exactly where your property ends. However, even with careful planning, you can't always avoid conflict and must deal with neighbor disputes when they occur. Ideally, neighbors settle their disagreements informally; but when that fails to resolve the issue, they can look to Colorado's state laws for guidance on property line and fence law matters.

Fence Laws in Colorado

Typically, property disputes involving fences are near the top of the list of heavily litigated cases. An issue that often comes up between neighbors is whether there has been an encroachment of the legal boundary lines by an adjoining owner. Unless the property owners to a fence dispute mutually agree, fences that are located on the actual boundary line belong to both property owners. As such, both are responsible for maintaining the condition of the fence and the costs of any repairs.

The term "fence" can be interpreted broadly and encompasses not only all kinds of traditional fences, but also includes markers, bushes, and trees that can be considered a fence, as they serve as a partition between properties.

Tree Trimming Laws in Colorado

The handling and treatment of trees is another subject matter that causes disputes between neighbors. Under Colorado common law, property owners have the right to cut off roots and branches that extend over their property lines. However, if a person knowingly cuts down or damages a boundary tree, then they can be charged with a misdemeanor.

Colorado Property Line and Fence Laws at a Glance

The chart below provides a summary of laws related to property lines and fence laws in Colorado, including links to important code sections.

Statutes

Partition Fences

 

  • The owners of each property have the responsibility to build one-half of the fence.
  • The owners of each property must maintain and share the costs of maintaining the partition fence.

Partition Fences: Cost of Repairs

  • Unless they mutually agree otherwise, each owner is responsible for one-half of the cost of the repairs.
  • An owner may give the neighbor written notice that the fence needs repairs.
  • If the neighbor does not make repairs within 30 days, then the owner who served notice may make repairs and get compensation for one-half of the cost of the repairs.

Tree Damages

  • Property owners have the right to cut off roots and tree branches that cross into their property.
  • The person who trims the tree is responsible for all expenses associated with the trimming.
  • Knowingly cutting, altering, or removing a boundary tree is a class 2 misdemeanor.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Property Line and Fence Laws in Colorado: Related Resources

Resolve Your Property Dispute With the Help of a Local Attorney

Are you experiencing a dispute with your neighbor? Whether the disagreement involves fences or trees, neighborhood disputes can seriously disrupt your life and even affect your property value. That's why it is important to resolve the issues quickly and effectively. Learn more about your rights and options by contacting a local real estate attorney near you.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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