We’re all accustomed to seeing fences around personal properties.
While there is no general obligation to put a fence around your home, fences help protect privacy in your backyard, keep kids and pets safely in, and establish property lines.
Fences also enhance your home’s curb appeal.
But what happens if your fence inadvertently encroaches on your neighbor’s property?
Can A Privacy Fence Be Relocated?
Well, pretty much anything can be done. While proper fences usually have their posts set in concrete, fences that encroach on additional yard space that rightly belongs to another person can be moved.
Whatever is your reason for wanting to move a fence, it is certainly possible. If it is your neighbor’s fence encroaching on your property, consider talking to your neighbor about the fence and advise them to move the fence.
What Should You Do If Your Neighbor Builds A Fence On Your Property?
Fences are one of the major causes of property disputes between neighbors, and one of the worst neighborly transgressions imaginable is your neighbor putting up a fence on your property.
While it is hard not to get angry and turn it into a dispute, there are a few things you can do to solve the conflict peacefully and preserve your good relationship with neighbors.
1. Check Your Property Survey
Fence disputes are so infamous. If you suspect that your neighbor’s fence is on your property, you will, however, need to make sure the fence actually is on your yard before starting a conflict.
For the most part, this means having your property surveyed, which will help you avoid negative feelings or embarrassment.
2. Check Your Neighbor’s Permit
Homeowners usually obtain permits before constructing fences.
Permits usually dictate where the fence to be constructed can and cannot go.
With a permit, you could tell if your neighbor built the fence in your yard intentionally or inadvertently.
3. Don’t Move The Fence Or Tear It Down Yourself
You will almost certainly get angry when you realize that your neighbor’s fence is built on your property.
While anger may send you to demolish the fence, try to avoid it by all means as it may end with you having to compensate your neighbor.
Importantly, you can tear down a fence illegally sitting on your property with the consent of the landowner whose fence is on your property.
4. Talk To Your Neighbor
Most established neighborhoods have harmony, and neighbors usually have great relationships, so talk to your neighbor before taking it out on the fence.
In many cases, your neighbor would immediately be sorry and willing to move the fence.
You can offer help if the neighbor is willing to move the part of their fence encroaching on your yard.
5. Seek Legal Help
Sometimes, your neighbor might not be willing to move the fence even after realizing that it is erected on your property.
In this case, you may consider informing your neighborhood’s HOA or contacting a lawyer.
If you have proof that the fence is on your property, the lawyer will likely advise you to take legal action.
In most cases, if it ends up going to court, your neighbor will likely be forced to move or remove the fence and possibly compensate for the money you spend.
While having conflicts with neighbors sounds completely absurd, sometimes situations may force you to do the unexpected.
If you realize that your neighbor’s fence is on land that rightly belongs to you, just remain diplomatic about the situation.
This can potentially trigger your neighbor to take a solution that satisfies you.
Importantly, there is a possible complication associated with property line disputes.
Your neighbor may assert an ownership claim based on adverse possession, even when it is clear that the alleged fence is on your property.
Why Should Anyone Move A Fence?
Most homeowners build fences to enhance privacy, security, keep pets enclosed, and add a spark of curb appeal.
While you may have the most beautiful fence in your neighborhood, there are a few reasons why you may want to move your fence or remove it entirely.
The common cause for people to move fences is when the fence is built on someone else’s property or encroaches on public property.
What most people forget when putting up fences around their property is that the outer face of the fence should be placed along the property line.
That said, if you unknowingly or inadvertently install your fence on your neighbor’s property, it is prudent to move it upon noticing.
Another perfect reason for moving a fence is when you want to remodel your house, and the fence is just a few inches away from your house.
If you are adding a structure to your home, say a garage to an existing manufactured home, you may also need to move your fence.
In this case, you can discuss your plans with your contractor before moving the fence.
Whatever is your reason for moving the fence, keep in mind that it can be labor-intensive, costly, and time-consuming.
Depending on the material used to construct your fence, it might be worth it to carefully excavate the posts and save the panels for re-use.
While you can put a fence on an easement, keep in mind that the utility company may take down a portion of your fence running over the easement, especially when they want to do some repair.
Can You Share Fence Building Expenses With A Neighbor?
Are you planning to install a fence around your home and wondering who should finance the project?
Or has your neighbor informed you that they want to put a fence in their yard?
Well, if you or your neighbor intends to put a fence along the property line, neither you nor your neighbor is required to seek compensation from each other as far as putting up the fence is concerned.
As long as you’re building a fence around your property, shouldering the cost of installing a fence doesn’t entitle you to any unique privileges over the desires and financial decisions of your neighbor.
But can you share the fencing costs? The simple answer is it depends.
Some states and counties have fence laws requiring landowners to share the cost of a partition fence.
Importantly, while it is undeniable that boundary fences usually benefit both homeowners, it doesn’t mean you should always share the cost of building a fence with neighbors.
When your neighbor initiates the project, you should think about all possibilities.
For instance, if you volunteer to pay for half of the fence, which is located solely on your neighbor’s property, you may end up losing the investment that went to fencing if you move out.
In case your current neighbor moves out, and the new neighbor decides to remove the fence which you already paid for and not on your property, the chances are you will lose the benefit and possibly not get your money.
Depending on where you live, it might be a good idea to put up a fence around your property.
Should you want to add a structure to your property years after installing the fence, the good news is that the fence can be moved.
Hopefully, you will find this post helpful, especially if you or your neighbor’s fence is on the property of each other.