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Everything to Know About Fences and Property Lines

Fences near property lines must comply with local zoning requirements. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about property line rules for fences in Texas.

Fences and Property Line Rules in Texas

Individual cities in Texas usually have their own rules regarding fences and property lines. When figuring out what’s allowed in your area, it’s best to check your city’s ordinances first.

Fence Distance from Property Line

In some cases, a fence or gate may need to be a certain distance back from the property line. Many jurisdictions have laws requiring fences to be set back a certain distance from public roads. Denton, for instance, has a 10 foot setback requirement.

Fence Permits

Fence permits are filed with your city. In most cases, you’ll need to apply for a permit, though the requirements vary with your jurisdiction. Approval is usually fairly quick unless your project happens to be out of the ordinary.

Fence Height

As with other requirements, fence height requirements vary by jurisdiction. Usually, you can’t build as high in front of your property as you can in the back, and if you’re on an intersection, you’ll need to follow certain rules to make sure your fence doesn’t obstruct vision for drivers.

What About Boundary Line Fences?

Texas has no specific laws regarding fences directly on the boundary line between neighbors, though your city or HOA might have more specific instructions. In general, if it’s on your side of the property line, you own it. If it’s directly on the property line, then you and your neighbor probably own it jointly.

About Fences Inside Your Property Line

When it comes to fences inside your property line, you’ll be responsible for maintaining it. That includes the area outside the fence up to the property line, so keep that in mind before installation.

Also note that if your neighbor ends up regularly using the space outside your fence, they may be able to claim legal access to it or even ownership.

What to Do Before Building a Fence Near a Property Line

Before building a fence anywhere near a property line, you’ll need to follow some legal steps and best practices.

  1. Consult with an Expert
    First, consult with an expert. Someone who is familiar with fence installation and local zoning laws can help you plan out a fence that complies with all local requirements while guiding you past common pitfalls.
  2. Talk to Your Neighbors
    It’s also worthwhile to talk to your neighbors, especially if you’re building on the boundary line. They’ll share ownership for boundary line fences, which means they’ll need to be on board for it (and probably help pay for it too).That said, even if it’s not on the boundary line, you’ll still want to know their feelings about building a fence near their property in order to prevent disputes in the future.
  3. Get a Boundary Survey
    Knowing where boundaries lie is vital to building a fence near the property line. Surveys can become outdated over time, so getting a boundary survey before starting your project is a good idea. Make sure you choose a surveyor who is experienced in your area (residential, commercial, industrial) and fully insured.
  4. Design a Fence with Local Rules in Mind
    After consulting with experts, your neighbors, and a surveyor, you’ll be prepared to design your fence. Keep local laws in mind when doing so. Again, an expert can help you keep in line with all zoning requirements during the design phase.
  5. Get a Permit
    With a fence design ready, you’ll be prepared to get a permit. Again, this step is often necessary for new fences on residential and commercial properties. There will also typically be a fee, so be ready for that.

FAQs on Fences and Property Lines

  • How close to a property line can I build a fence?
    For property lines between fences, about 2 to 8 inches is a good rule of thumb. However, your city’s rules may vary.
  • Can I build a fence on the property line?
    If your neighbor is okay with it and will help you build and maintain it, it shouldn’t be a problem. Your HOA may have additional requirements regarding boundary line fences, however.
  • Who owns a fence built on a property line in Texas?
    A fence is usually jointly owned by both neighbors if it’s directly on the property line.

Get a Free Estimate from an Expert

If you’re looking to install a fence near your property line, you’ll want someone with expertise to work with you through the design and installation process. At Buzz Custom Fence, we offer free estimates on fences and gates throughout Texas. To get started, get in touch.