When you’re installing a new fence on your property, it is important to follow all local laws and regulations. Here’s some tips on what to look out for.
It is very appealing to the eye to have a fence directly bordering on your property, especially if you’d like to have as much open area as possible for your garden or a play area for the children. However, there are a few factors to keep in mind when deciding how to install your new fence.
Where and how you install your fence can be influenced by your area of residence as well as how your neighbors feel about the prospect. If the fence you want is permitted in your neighborhood then you might feel ready to go ahead and start with installations. However, there are several rules to keep in mind before going forward with installation.
The Height Limit of Your Fence
Fencing laws in most states have a limit of four-foot-high artificial fences in front yards, while fences in backyards can be up to six feet high. These laws originate from local ordinances, which are set by cities and counties where the properties are located.
The fencing laws pertaining to height restrictions also apply to other boundary markers, such as those made by bushes or trees. Therefore, when you have a row of bushes or trees lining the border of your property, they will be defined as a fence. Natural fences have a height restriction of between 5 to 8 feet. This is important to keep in mind if you will be installing a hedge inside your fence.
Responsibility of Maintaining Boundary Fences
Boundary fences are customarily set on the property line between two adjacent pieces of property. These fences must conform to laws regarding fencing in the following regards.
The property owners on either side of the fence own the boundary border when both neighbors use it. Usage of the boundary border fence is defined differently in each state.
Here are the three main fencing determinations:
-How is the land stretching up to the fence used on both sides?
-Is there another fence attached to the boundary marking fence?
-Is the property owner’s entire property enclosed by other fences that are attached to to the property line fence?
State laws put responsibility of maintenance of the fence on each of the the owners that use the fence, unless there is an agreement that indicates otherwise. Therefore, both owners should share equal responsibility for the upkeeping of the fence. Costs for the repairing or upkeeping of the fence should be equally shared between the owners, and should one owner not want to co-operate, the other can take these steps:
-Write a friendly letter to neighbors explaining the predicament and the problem with the shared fence.
-Hire someone to complete the repairs, then reach out to your neighbor requesting your payment.
-Failing any cooperation, you could sue your neighbor for repair reimbursement.
Is the Fence’s Appearance Also Regulated?
There are some laws that help protect neighborhoods from unsightly fences. These laws are such as those pertaining to the fence’s height, where an owner can set a fence, what materials are prohibited to be used, how to maintain the fence, as well as what is dangerous fences.
Should a neighbor erect an ugly looking fence to spite a neighbor, there are laws in place to prevent “spite fences”. These laws indicate that a fence is not allowed when it is installed with the purpose of annoying a neighbor, or when it does not comply with fence height limits. Under such circumstances, others in the neighborhood may sue for the removal of the structure.
Of course, it is far better to cooperate with your neighbors to come to an agreement on what kind of fence should be used on the property and where it can be installed. Aluminum fences, with their elegant appearance and easy upkeep, are a solution many neighbors can agree on.