Do you need your neighbor’s OK before putting up a new fence?

When it comes to putting up a new fence in California, many homeowners wonder whether they need their neighbor’s permission. Good fence etiquette can help avoid misunderstandings and foster good relationships with neighbors.

No matter what, it is a good idea to determine the exact location of property lines. They typically indicate where one person’s land ends and another’s begins. However, property lines can sometimes be unclear or disputed. Property surveys or local government records may help.

Shared responsibility

In California, neighbors generally share responsibility for maintaining boundary fences. This means that both parties are responsible for the costs associated with building and repairing a shared fence. Communicate openly with neighbors about any plans to construct or alter a fence.

Open communication can prevent misunderstandings and demonstrate respect for neighbors’ concerns. For example, it can bring to light that you and the neighbors have a boundary dispute. Additionally, discussing fence designs and materials with neighbors can help ensure that the fence complements the neighborhood aesthetic.

Permit requirements

In some cases, a permit may be necessary before installing a fence. Permit requirements vary depending on local regulations, the height of the fence and the type of material. Check with the local building department to ensure compliance with any permit requirements.

Height restrictions

California localities have specific regulations regarding fence height, especially in residential areas. These regulations help ensure privacy and safety without obstructing views or sunlight. Before constructing a fence, learn about local height restrictions to avoid potential conflicts with neighbors or authorities.

Despite best efforts to communicate and cooperate, disputes over fences can still arise. However, being as proactive as possible can be helpful.