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Did your neighbor build a fence on your property?

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2024 | Real Estate Disputes |

One common problem that crops up with property boundary issues is when one property owner builds a fence and the other person says that it’s on their property. They believe that their neighbor is trying to encroach on their land or even illegally steal some of that land by building the fence in the wrong place. 

If you find yourself in this position, the first thing to do is to talk to your neighbor. This may be something that you can easily rectify. They may be unaware that the fence is in the wrong place and happy to move it. Even if they’re not happy about it, you could inform them that they may illegally be trespassing on your land, and this may be enough to get them to remove or relocate the fence.

What if they refuse?

Of course, the biggest problem comes when your neighbor refuses. Maybe they say that the property line is in another location and that they are in the right position. If so, then you may need to have a survey done. This can give you the official property lines, proving which side the fence sits on once and for all.

One other important thing to remember at a time like this is that properties often have offsets from the property line, also called setback lines. This means that someone can’t build directly on the line, but has to be a set distance away. For instance, a fence may need to be offset from the property line by three feet, so it may be illegal even if it’s directly on the line.

This situation can become very complex, so be sure you understand exactly what legal steps to take.


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