Has your neighbor built a fence that encroaches on your property? If you feel that the property next door is in violation of local fencing laws and your neighbors disagree, you’ll need to find a mutually beneficial solution. Luckily, there are plenty of ways for both of you to compromise and come to an agreement that will satisfy both parties. There’s no need to go directly to the zoning board or court system. As long as you know your rights and can back up your case with adequate proof, you should be able to resolve the situation in a safe, efficient, and responsible manner.
How to Deal With Fencing Laws And Your Neighbors
When it comes to dealing with fencing laws and your neighbors, you need to move with extreme caution. You don’t want to go over there and start reeling off fencing laws unless you really do have an adequate idea of what you are talking about. This is not an area in which you can afford to be hasty or shoot your mouth off. Your goal should be to resolve the issue in a peaceful and respectful manner without having to involve threats of an impending lawsuit.
Who is Responsible for a Fence that Stands Between Two Properties?
If the boundary of your property from that of your neighbor is divided by a fence, you may well be wondering who is responsible for its upkeep. This is all the more true if your neighbor has suddenly erected this fence without informing you beforehand. The case becomes even more complex and potentially annoying if you should feel that this fence encroaches on some of your own property.
As it turns out, it is the responsibility, first and foremost, of the person who put up the fence to comply with all city, county, and state zoning laws. Beyond that, if both parties agree to the presence of the fence, it will fall upon both of them to bear the responsibility for keeping the fence in good repair. This means that, should repairs or renovations be necessary, both of you will need to split the cost. This is why it’s so important for you to “speak now or forever hold your peace” if you do not agree that the fence needs to be there in the first place.
Can You Make Your Neighbor Take Down a Fence that is Too Ugly?
If the main issue concerning your dislike of the fence has to deal with the fact that it is unsightly, you have several options. It’s important to realize that the real issue is not the aesthetic value – or lack thereof – of the fence itself. It’s the damage that a potential eyesore can do to neighborhood property values, including your own property. No one wants to move into a neighborhood where ugly objects litter the landscape.
You can contact the zoning board to get a ruling on the matter. However, if the decision of the board is that the fence does not violate their aesthetic laws, you’ll pretty much have to let the matter drop. You will then have to find some other way of proving that the fence is in violation of your own property, or of local zoning laws.
What are the Best Ways to Deal Constructively with a Fencing Issue?
There are plenty of ways to deal peacefully and legally with a fencing issue. Some of these methods include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Write a letter to your neighbor.
- Arrange a mediation meeting with a legal representative present.
- Arrange for a visit from a professional “fence viewer” to determine if the fence needs renovation.
- If repair work is needed, do it yourself and send the bill to the neighbor.
- Contact your zoning board to request a ruling.
- If all else fails, take your neighbor to court.