Property Line and Fence Laws in Louisiana

People do not usually think about property boundaries until an issue develops. Suddenly, a neighbor wants to build a fence and you need to know the exact location of the property line. Many of these boundary issues are confirmed with the review of title insurance, inspection of a deed, and a survey of property which, when combined, typically establish the locations of property lines. However, even when these efforts are made, they can be unclear and can lead to conflicts between neighbors over fences, trees, and more. Fortunately, Louisiana's state laws can provide much needed clarity for homeowners.

Property Line and Fence Laws in Louisiana: Common Fences

A major area of property disputes between neighbors revolves around fences. Neighbors disagree about issues such as whether a fence is necessary, the construction of a fence, and the responsibilities related to the cost of maintenance and repairs. In Louisiana, a fence that is on the boundary is presumed to be a common fence. Both landowners have the right to compel the other to contribute to the shared fence based on the principle that the liability for the expenses of common fences is based on the common benefit.

Tree Laws in Louisiana

Trees can add a lot of beauty to a neighborhood, but they are often another area of neighbor disputes even if only from their natural growth over time. Louisiana law states that if you suffer any damage from trees planted on the boundary line, then you have the right to demand that the tree be torn down, or if the roots extend onto your property, you have the right to trim them up to the property line, but you must get your neighbor's consent to enter his or her property.

If someone damages your tree, you can recover not only your actual damages (what you paid for the tree or replacement costs), but Louisiana also allows you to recover additional damages (triple the damages) when someone deliberately damages your tree.

Louisiana Property Lines and Fence Laws at a Glance

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

Statutes

Boundary Fence

  • A fence on the boundary line is presumed to be a common fence unless there is proof otherwise.
  • An owner may compel his neighbor to contribute to the expenses of maintaining and repairing common fences.

Boundary Trees

  • Trees, bushes, or plants on the boundary are presumed to be common unless there is proof otherwise.

Tree Laws

  • An owner has the right to demand that the branches or roots of a neighbor's trees that extend over or into his/her property be trimmed at the expense of the neighbor; an owner does not have this right if the roots/branches do not interfere with the enjoyment of the property.
  • It is illegal to injure a tree without the owner's consent.
  • If someone deliberately damages an owner's tree, they are liable to the owner for triple damages.

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 Louisiana: Related Resources

A Local Real Estate Attorney Can Help With Your Property Dispute

If you're having conflicts with a neighbor because of a boundary fence, tree trimming, or another property line dispute, then it's important to understand your rights and obligations under the law. Consider reaching out to a real estate attorney near you to learn more about your options and to help you determine your next steps.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.