What You Need to Know About California Fence Laws

November 2, 2021
California Fence Laws

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Fencing is necessary for any home or property. It not only provides you with security and privacy but also adds aesthetic value to your home. These fences are required to define the boundaries of a property and are also part of the laws and building codes in many states. California building codes have predefined regulations for these fences and you should follow the rules and guidelines determined by law when installing a fence on your property. To avoid charges and fines, you should know these fence building codes and you should hire a fence service that is fully conversant with the fence rules. To help you out, this article will walk you through some important things you should know about California fence laws.

Installation Of The Fence

There are many arguments around fencing in California because homeowners don’t understand what fence laws are. The most common misunderstanding when it comes to fencing concerns the property line. If only one house is building a fence, it should be kept off the property of other owners. If there is a conflict as to the location of this property line, you may need to conduct an investigation that firmly establishes where one property ends and another begins. The new “Good Neighbor” law creates much more security in terms of the responsibilities of neighbors in front of their common fence. Additionally, masonry fences must be constructed with minimal compressive strengths to ensure strength and security.

The Height Uncertainty For The Fence

You can build fences around your building as long as you follow the height limits regulated by California building codes. For instance, a permit is not required if the fence is less than seven feet in height, and fences built in the front or outside yard must have a maximum height of forty-two inches, while fences in backyards. Fences greater than these heights will require a permit. To apply for a fence-building permit, contact your town hall and inquire.

Not all areas need a fencing permit, but some do. To find out if you will need it, contact your local government planning or zoning department. You should ask for a property inspection before installing fencing to see where the actual boundaries of your property are. You may also need to get permission from your neighbors before you build, depending on where you live and the size and location of the proposed fence.

Fence Maintenance Conflict

Another common misconception involves a fence that stands directly on the property line between two houses. In this situation, who is responsible for maintaining and maintaining the fence? California building codes state that a fence located directly on the property line also benefits both owners. Thus, the law states that both owners are equally responsible for the costs associated with repairs and maintenance. The costs involved must be “reasonable” and supported by evidence of need. If you plan to do any work or maintenance on a common fence, you must give the other owner at least thirty days’ notice before starting the work.

Pool Fencing Rules

To keep the neighborhood safe, homeowners should have a fence around any pool over eighteen inches deep. According to California building codes, all pools over eighteen inches deep must have a self-closing fence with release mechanisms positioned at least fifty-four inches from the ground.

The common fence should be at least sixty inches high and not have spaces small enough to accommodate a small child. This fence measurement should have a maximum vertical clearance of two inches from the ground to the bottom of the fence. There should not be any spaces, voids, or other features that could not allow a child under five years to jump over the fence.

The Fence Must Be Made Of Fire-Resistant Materials

When building your fence, you should make sure to use non-combustible or fire-resistant materials. The law states that all fences within five feet of a building must be made of non-combustible / fire resistant material or meet exterior wall fire resistance standards.

Sharing Of The Fence Cost And Benefits

When you are planning for a new fence installation, you will likely share the costs. Under the new Good Neighbor Act, “Homeowners are presumed to share an equal benefit from any fence dividing their properties and, unless the parties otherwise agree in a written agreement, they are presumed to be equally responsible for the reasonable costs of construction, necessary maintenance, or replacement of the fence.” Check local laws, or if there are any restrictions imposed by the homeowner’s association before installing your fence. Also note that the installation of the fence may be based on your location, check local laws and rules beforehand to make sure you know what the rules are.

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Emily Rose

She also shares her writings on GlobalMomsMagazine.Com

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