Texas Fence Laws: All the Information You Need

Texas has very little to no fence restrictions for property owners, in contrast to many other states. Since Texas has historically been a “open range” state, cattle producers are exempt from having to corral their animals in several counties.

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There are some situations where you really need to exercise caution, even if the Lone Star State may have liberal fence rules.

Having a fence with a neighbor, for example? Own a Homeowners Association?

At that point, your intentions for building a fence may be impacted by local and state regulations.

Thus, before you begin your search for a Texas fence firm to fulfill your fencing requirements—hold your horses—here are some things you should be aware of regarding Texas fence rules.


Texas is mostly a “open range” state when it comes to fence laws—a word that may evoke images of roving cattle and the Wild West. This idea effectively creates a “fence out” state for people who choose to keep livestock off their land since it exempts livestock owners from the common law need to fence in animals.

However, as is frequently the case, this rule might not apply to everyone.

First off, addenda to stock regulations in some Texas counties can override this broad open-range policy. These are locally passed rules that mandate that farmers maintain their livestock (sheep, cattle, jacks, jennies, horses, etc.) off public roads and highways, converting the open range to a closed range.

Therefore, it’s important to comprehend these subtleties before you just let your animals go freely. It could be legally necessary for you to have a fence in some situations.


When it comes to determining how a neighborhood is designed and maintained, Homeowners Associations (HOAs) frequently have a lot of influence. HOAs may establish rules restricting or completely prohibiting fences, depending on the particular HOA. These policies may be implemented to preserve a particular local aesthetic, protect unimpeded vistas, or address other particular issues.

In a different state, homeowner association fence regulations can stipulate that waterfront homes are not permitted to have fences in order to protect the community’s scenic vistas. That sounds like a fair request on the surface, one that would maximize everyone’s pleasure of a breathtaking natural location. However, Texas law follows a different beat.

HOA control over fence was restricted by Bill 1588, which was enacted by the Texas Senate in 2021. Thanks to this legislation, your homeowners association cannot outright forbid you from installing a fence if you are a property owner. You are legally permitted to construct a fence for security or safety, even if they may define the kinds of fences needed—perhaps a see-through mesh instead of a wood fence material.

Nevertheless, in order to preserve the surrounding lake vistas, fences on beachfront properties must be made of decorative wrought iron or tubular steel with at least 75% open space per linear foot, according to Code 157.02. Privacy fences built in compliance with this chapter’s regulations may be situated more than 35 feet from a lakefront lot’s back property border and completely behind the primary residential building.

FENCE HEIGHTS: In Texas, everything is bigger

The majority of states in the United States follow a same formula when it comes to residential fencing heights: backyard fences can be as high as six feet, while front yards are limited to four to five feet.

While Texas is known for beating its own drum, in residential neighborhoods it can occasionally adhere to these general rules. Code 157.02 states that the maximum height for a fence construction in a residential area that borders a street is four feet. Nonetheless, state rules permit an 8-foot maximum fence height if your property does not front on a roadway.

Fencing in agricultural areas must be constructed to “Provide for an open atmosphere” and may not be higher than five feet.


Similar to other states, Texas has a tendency to have different fence legislation when it comes to shared border fences.

Texas law regarding fences is less interventionist than California law, which requires joint responsibility. Every man for himself, it seems. A fence that you pay for is solely yours.

Unless there is a prior agreement, you are not required to share expenditures or upkeep for a fence that your neighbor creates. Therefore, you are not legally obligated to assist in the restoration of a boundary fence that has been destroyed by a storm or another natural disaster. On the other hand, if neighbors do decide to keep up the shared fence, then that agreement is enforceable.


Compared to other states in the union, Texas typically has less regulations on fence. However, there are still times when a property owner might be restrained by municipal, state, and HOA regulations. In order to have a fence constructed that satisfies state legislation as well as your demands, it is essential to understand when and how to handle these exceptions.

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