Installing a fence directly on top of your property line may appeal to you if you want the maximum area available to play, plant, and relax in your yard. Whether or not doing so is actually a good idea depends on a few factors, including where you live and your neighbor’s feelings on the new fence. In this post, we’ll help you figure out how close you can build your fence to your property line and discuss common concerns related to fence placement and property usage.
What to Do Before You Install Your Fence
Get a Survey
In order to know if your fence is on your property line, inside your property line, or even on your neighbor’s property (yikes!), you’ll need a survey. Your county deed and assessor’s office may already have a copy, or you may have paid for one when you purchased your house. If not, these usually cost $500 to $1000 from a qualified surveyor. While this may seem expensive, it will save numerous headaches in the long run if you accidentally put the fence where it doesn’t belong. No one wants to rebuild their fence or address the issue in court with their neighbors!
Check Rules and Regulations
Your jurisdiction may have laws about how far back a fence needs to be set on your property, which is typically 2, 4, 6 or 8 inches from the property line. Other areas will allow you to go right up to the property line. These laws may depend on where you live; think of a subdivision with large yards where the setback won’t matter vs. an urban row home where those few inches really make a difference! You’re more likely to be permitted to build right on the property line in a densely populated area, but it varies. If you live in an area with a homeowner’s association, they may also have rules about fence placement (not to mention what type of fence you can have in your front and back yards). Check your HOA covenants to make sure you are following the regulations.
If you build a fence directly on the property line, it may mean that responsibility is shared by you and your neighbor according to the law. This is great if your wants the fence too and is happy to split the cost, but if they’re not thrilled about it, you could find yourself in a nasty legal dispute.
Since we’re a fence company located in Jacksonville, FL, we’re well-acquainted with Florida fence law, which states that neighbors must share the cost of installation, maintenance, and repair if the fence is built on the property line. A good rule is to practice fence etiquette and discuss any fence you plan to build with your neighbor, and this is all the more vital if you’re encroaching on a shared property line.