Settling neighboring property disputes

When you buy a new property or piece of land, it is likely to share a border with one or more neighboring properties. This should not usually be an issue, but it means that the fencing area is a subject that concerns both parties. If you are interested in doing further renovations and potentially removing an unsightly fence, it might cause an issue between you and your neighbor. It can create confusion as to whose land the fence lies upon, and whose responsibility it is to choose and pay for any upgrades to the border fence.

This blog will provide a brief introduction into what the law says about property border disputes, so that you can understand how to move forward with your issue.

Local fencing regulations

Usually, there are local rules that give strict guidelines on the fence height, material, positioning and aspects of appearance. Therefore, a lot of the decisions to make about the fence are neither yours nor your neighbor's decisions to make. There may also be even stricter restrictions set by your homeowners' association. The restrictions are most often limited to a fence with a height of six feet for back gardens, and a height of four feet for front yards.

Boundary line fences

Fences that are located on boundary lines have equal ownership between neighbors unless otherwise designated. This means that if you have a wish to make any alterations to the boundary fence, you have a right to do so. However, you should always consult with the affected neighbor first.

Source: FindLaw, "Neighbor fence disputes," accessed Sep. 08, 2017

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