People look forward to erecting their very own fence for privacy, safety, security and curb appeal. What they may not realize is that their neighbor might also has a stake in the fence and it may be considered shared property. It’s just one of the reasons that individuals need to thoroughly explore their community’s laws regarding fences prior to contacting a contractor.
The first thing to establish is exactly where their property line runs. That means the property will have to be surveyed. Some municipalities allow fences to be installed directly on the property line, meaning its shared property.
Other locations have a setback rule, indicating that it has to be installed back away from the property line. That would mean relinquishing up to 12 inches of an individual’s usable lawn space. However, if the fence rests entirely on one side of the property line, it belongs to the person that installed the fence.
Depending on the community, individuals may have to notify their neighbor of their intent to install a fence. If fencing is considered shared property, it’s a good idea to inform the neighbors of pertinent laws, especially since they’ll be equally liable for the structure’s upkeep.
It’s a responsibility and expense a neighbor may not be prepared to shoulder for any number of reasons, particularly since they won’t have any say in what type of fence is being installed. A fence isn’t so much of a problem if it’s just going across the front of a property. For those enclosing their entire yard, they’ll have to notify any neighbor whose property adjoins where the fence will be constructed.
If it’s a shared fence, neighbors will have the right to cut tree branches, trim bushes, and address problems with plants that may be infringing on the structure, as long as it’s on their side of the fence – even if it’s a prized possession of the person who installed the fence.
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