What are the rules for building a fence?

Verified 22 October 2021 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister), Ministry of city planning

A fence can be a hedge, a grid, perforated walls, a wall or any other element to close a field.

To put a fence, you must respect the city planning rules of your municipality and the rules of location in relation to the boundaries of neighboring land and the public domain.

General case

In principle, fences are exempt from formality. However, whatever the materials used, the installation of a fence may be concerned by the deposition of a Advance Work Statement (AD) in certain sectors:

  • Sector bounded by MORE: titleContent
  • Municipality or part of municipality where the municipal council has decided to make the walls subject to declaration
  • Marking Heritage Site Perimeter
  • Historical monuments approaches
  • Registered site, classified site, or site pending classification

One gate or a fence levante, which limit access to a property, follow the same rules.

The construction of wall more than 2 meters high is also subject to an RFP regardless of the municipality.

The MORE: titleContent may lay down rules concerning height, nature or external appearance. To limit the consequences of a flood risk, it may, for example, provide for the use of vegetated or permeable fences which do not prevent the free flow of water.

You can consult the PLU in town hall.

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your project must comply with the MORE: titleContent even if it is not subject to authorization.

If there are no wall height rules in your municipality, you must respect a minimum height.

If no local hedge distance and hedge height rules exist, the minimum distance to be respected from neighboring terrain depends on the height of your plantations.

Agricultural or forestry fence

If closure is necessary for agricultural or forestry activities, a city planning authorization need not be applied for.

However, the electrified agricultural fences are subject to specific regulations. Because of the potential danger, a Advance Work Statement (AD) accompanied by a certificate of approval of the equipment must be deposited at the city hall.

Before settling a fence, it is recommended that you limit your land to know the boundaries of ownership because, depending on its location, it will not have the same status.

If you implement it in removal of the property limit without encroaching on your neighbor's land, your fence is private. The construction and maintenance are then at your expense and you do not have to consult your neighbor.

If you implant it on the boundary separating your land from that of your neighbor, your adjacent fence. You then have to agree with your neighbor, because you pay the construction and maintenance costs together.

In a subdivision, you must comply with the specification on the height, the choice of materials, the colors and the appearance of the fence.

In a joint ownership, on co-ownership rules is imposed on each co-owner.

You must respect the easements existing in the field. Thus, you cannot raise a fence on a easement and prevent its beneficiary from accessing the public highway. You can't interfere with the natural flow of rainwater either.

You should not create an abnormal neighborhood disorder by raising a fence that deprives your neighbors of sight or sunlight.

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Land on the edge of the maritime public domain

Owners who live by the public domain of the sea can close their land. They must leave a strip of at least 3 meters wide along the coast to ensure the passage of pedestrians.

Land on the edge of the river public domain

The riverside owners of the public river domain can close their land. They must leave a strip of at least 3.25 meters wide along the river to ensure the passage of pedestrians.

Land on the edge of a dangerous road

If the land borders a dangerous lane in its accesses, it is necessary to get closer to the road manager before settling a fence.

Land on the edge of a public road

If your land is on the edge of a public road, you must consider thealignment which determines the boundary between the public domain and riparian properties. You should check with the City Hall to find out about these rules.

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Land on the edge of a rural road

It is forbidden to plant a hedge on the edge of a rural road. The construction or reconstruction of a wall or fence is the subject of an application for a bounding certificate from the City Hall.

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