A Guide to Florida Fence Laws

Florida law does not require landowners to erect fencing around their property, but does require it around pools. Regulations vary by city and county.
Written by Andrew Biro
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Updated on Jul 07, 2022
Florida state law does not require homeowners to build fencing around their property and fences between adjoining landowners are not considered the fiscal responsibility of both parties. Florida does, however, require fencing to be erected around pools and other recreational water features.
Specific details regarding fence building codes, regulations, restrictions, and permits are set by local zoning authorities, meaning the process of building a fence in Florida will vary at the county and city levels.
Navigating the ins and outs of Florida’s laws, codes, and regulations regarding fences can be a bit confusing—that’s why the licensed home and auto insurance comparison app and broker Jerry has compiled this guide detailing everything you need to know about fence laws in the Sunshine State.
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Does Florida law require fences?

Florida law does not legally require homeowners to erect fences around their property and adjoining landowners have no legal obligation to divide their land with fencing. 

Fencing around pools

That being said, Florida does require fences to be built around public and private pools as well as other recreational water features like spas and hot tubs. Public pool fences must meet the requirements listed below.
  • Surround the entire perimeter
  • Must be at least 4-feet high
  • Gates must open away from the pool and be self-closing, lockable, self-latching, and at least 4-feet tall
  • Must have a gate within 10-feet of the closest point between the pool and equipment area 
  • Gate latches must be located on the pool-side of the gate at least 45-inches from the base and 3-inches from the top
The following requirements apply to private residential pools:
  • Have a height of at least 4-feet on the outside
  • Cannot feature any gaps, openings, holes, or protrusions that would allow a young child to feasibly climb through or over the fence
  • Be located at least 20-inches away from the water, so as to prevent immediate falls into water should the fence be breached
  • All horizontal members of the fence must be spaced at least 45-inches apart or located on the fence’s interior side
  • Gaps between horizontal and vertical members may not exceed 1.75-inches
  • Cannot be located close enough to a permanent structure (e.g. shed) that would allow someone to climb over the fence
  • Gates must open away from the pool and be lockable, self-closing, and self-latching, with the locking mechanism located on the pool-side of the gate
  • Gate latches must be located at least 54-inches from the ground and have no gaps larger than 0.5-inches within 18-inches of the latch
Key Takeaway Before building a fence around your pool, familiarize yourself with these guidelines and check whether or not you are subject to further requirements at the city or county level.

What about fences between neighbors?

If you decide to build a fence along the boundary line of your and your neighbor’s property, your neighbor is under no legal obligation to contribute in any way to the fence’s expenses or upkeep. That said, if you and an adjoining landowner buy property where a fence already exists, you are considered joint owners of the fence and thus have equal responsibility regarding maintenance and repairs.

Spite fences

Florida law also makes it illegal for you or your neighbor to build a “spite” fence or a fence that serves no legitimate purpose—such as to prevent trespassing or vandalism—other than to interfere with a neighbor’s property rights. Nuisance fences also fall under this category, especially if the fence interferes with or hinders the use of a roadway or public land.

How to legally build a fence in Florida

In order to build a fence in Florida, it must comply with legal statutes 588.01 and 588.011, which include these requirements:
  • Must be substantially constructed with logs, rails, post and railings, steel, iron, etc. and be no less than 5-feet tall
  • To the extent of 2-feet above ground, fences cannot contain gaps in the construction material which exceed 4-inches
  • Fences made of barbed or other soft wire must be at least 3-feet in height, have at least 3 strands, and be secured between supports no more than 20-feet apart to be considered legal fences
  • In regard to gateways and openings: all gates must be constructed to meet the requirement of a legal fence and any openings must be equipped by a livestock or cattle guard extending at least 6-feet in width from each end of the opening
Of course, depending on the city and county you live in, there will likely be other codes and requirements that dictate the design and construction of any fence you wish to build. Always do a site-specific inquiry with your local zoning and permit offices beforehand to ensure that your fence meets local requirements.

Does homeowners insurance cover fences?

In your standard homeowners insurance policy, fences will be considered as “additional” or “other” structures and will usually be covered for up to 10% of your home’s coverage limit. Because of this, fences will only be protected against the named perils—vandalism, windstorms, lightning damage, etc.—that your primary dwelling is protected against.
In the event that your fence is damaged by a wildfire, flooding, or even just a fallen branch from a neighbor’s tree, be sure to check which perils your home and additional structures are protected against before filing a claim.

How to save money on homeowners insurance in Florida

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