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What Is the California Good Neighbor Fence Law?

The fence is an excellent addition to the house that not only increases the beauty of your hour but its value as well. If you are from California, then having the knowledge of the “California Civil Code 841 or The Good Neighbor Fence Act of 2013” is mandatory. Because the fence has to be built under the law to protect your and the neighbor’s interests. The fence can help you solve privacy issues and arguments. It is your property line that forbids others to cross without your permission. The law also defines how the fence must be built by hiring a fence service so the rights of the neighbors are not violated. An expert must be consulted before you want to go ahead with your fencing plan. Below you can find some of the basic information about the California fence law that would help you get you started.

What is a good neighbor fence?

Before you start installing the fence without considering the neighbor's rights, it is important to understand the concept of a “good neighbor fence”. A fence is mostly installed by focusing on the personal benefits only. However, your neighbor is directly affected by your actions. For example, people tend to hire companies for fence installation by having a finish towards their side and the neighbor has to bear the ugly side of the fence. A good fence is a fence that is beneficial for both parties so they can benefit from the same fence at the same time. If you are not aware of the local fence laws, then it's better you talk to an expert today.

Local fence laws

Now that you have understood what a good fence actually means, now you have to look at the legal side of the fence as well. Because investing your money blindly on the fence isn’t a smart move because if it isn’t built under the law, then you might face consequences. The laws are usually related to three aspects including, aesthetic value, security, and privacy. The law bounds you to consider the neighbor’s rights as well. Just imagine that your neighbor has a beautiful setup in the front yard until you installed a fence. If the fence is not appealing aesthetically, then your neighbor can suffer from it. So, the law’s job is to ensure you respect the neighbor’s rights while you benefit from the fence.

Swimming pool fences

If you live in California and have a swimming pool in the house, then you are bound by the law to build a fence from the safety’s perspective if the pool is deeper than 18 inches. The shared fence should be at least 60 inches high and must be free of small gaps. The pool fence will also need to be self-latching and self-closing and the release mechanism must be placed at least 54 inches high. This is all to protect the younger ones. Your neighbor might have the pool and their child can get directly affected by your pool. Even if you are not bound by law, it is your moral and social responsibility to take care of your neighbors as well.

Fence materials

The definition of fence material is also important because given the circumstances it can also harm your neighbors. For example, the fence is installed to separate your area from the neighbor’s. However, in case of a fire accident, how do you think the fence would spread? The fire doesn’t respect any boundary and would reach the neighbors through the fence. It might sound like a rare event, but the law demands the use of a non-combustible material. This might make the whole idea of the fence even more expensive. Still, when there’s a law in place you can’t do much because it is there to protect your and the neighbor’s interests.

Masonry fences

If you plan to install a masonry fence, then the law covers that side as well. The fence must be built with minimum compressive strengths to make sure that it is sturdy and secure. The fence concrete should have at least compressive strength of 2500 pounds per square inch. While the mortar mix and grout need a minimum of 1800 and 2000 psi.

Fence specifics

The California building code demands a permit for any kind of fence over 6 feet unless the top 2 feet is barbed wire. Similarly, the maximum height of the wall can’t exceed 42 inches for the front yard. However, for the backyard, the maximum height is 72 inches.

The installation of the fence can take the beauty of your house to the next level, but it must be constructed under law. The neighbor’s rights are equally important and if you are not aware of the specifics, then you should talk to an expert before launching the fence project. This would make things easier for you.


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