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Laws Regarding Home Fencing

fencingThis spring homeowners may be thinking about sprucing up their properties’ curb appeal. Fences are a popular choice among homeowners to add instant curb appeal to a home. Fences not only aesthetically enhance a home, but they also act as privacy divider.  Are you contemplating installing a fence around your property?  If so, it is important that you know the fencing laws in your city to avoid legal disputes with your neighbors.

Below is a list of fencing laws enforced within the Brevard County in Florida.  However, most of these fencing laws are regularly enforced throughout cities across the United States.

1.)    Finished side must face outward towards neighbors.  It is common practice and polite etiquette to put the pretty side of the wood fence facing outwards.  No neighbor wants to look at an unfinished side of a wooden fence.  It is considered an eyesore that could depreciate the neighboring homes’ value.  It is for this reason many cities and towns create this law.

2.)    Obtain proper permits.  Before building a fence around your property, make sure you or your fencing contractor pull the proper building permits from the city.  City zoning committees typically need to approve off on fence drawings specifying height of the fence and the materials used.  They also need to verify property boundary limits to ensure there is no encroachment of neighboring property.  In Brevard County, both a copy of the boundary survey, along with specifications on fence height, building materials and location of fence need to be presented to the zoning committee before obtaining a permit.

3.)    Provide use of easements.  In some cases fencing a property may inadvertently block utility easements.  Cities and towns usually will only grant permits to owners if they agree in advance not hold the city responsible should they need in the future to destroy part of the fencing in order to repair, install or remove utilities.

By abiding by these laws, you will prevent conflicts from arising with the neighbors that could end up in the small claims court.  If planning to construct a fence around your property, research and read thoroughly the zoning laws for your city.  It would be a shame to spend the time and money putting up a fence, only for the city to demand it be torn down due to a coding violation.


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