Practical and legal matters related to fence building

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2022 | boundary and title disputes | 0 comments

How you interact with your neighbors can positively or negatively impact your quality of life. A good relationship leads to social enrichment and a feeling of peace, while a strained relationship can lead to disputes and even legal action.

Most homeowners who construct a fence around their property do so without causing any significant problems. But a fence in the wrong place – or a fence at all – could result in an escalating disagreement with a neighbor.

Those thinking about erecting a fence around their property should consider several issues.

The basics of fence building

The Spruce, an inspirational site that provides tips and insight into home projects, points out that homeowner should be aware of possible local codes and statutes that could apply to fence building.

In other words, property owners in certain jurisdictions cannot simply put up a fence without regard to appearance, location, and height, among others. Fence laws in your city likely differ in some respects from those in other communities. Most fence laws, however, cover a set of common concerns:

  • The distance from the property line
  • The responsibility of notifying your neighbor before building
  • The limitation of the height and the appearance of the fence

Certain fence laws even have provisions relating to so called “spite fences” – ones erected specifically to annoy a bordering neighbor.

The lowdown on sharing costs

Since a fence built on a property line could benefit both property owners, the issue of sharing costs sometimes comes up.

Homeowners can build a fence without seeking compensation from an adjoining neighbor, however, it does not grant that cost-bearing neighbor any extra rights. Alternately, some fence laws require both benefitting property owners to each pay half of the costs relating to installation, maintenance and repair.

Knowing the fencing laws in your town could help avoid future problems if you’re thinking about putting gone up. If unsure, seek the help of a property law attorney in your area.