Fence Disputes with Neighbors

Unfortunately, disputes, even with the friendliest of neighbors, occur. When neighbors have disputes with each other over fences, also called fence disputes, tempers may flare and the matter may lead to attorneys. Even when this happens, most attorneys will hope to resolve these matters quickly and with a calm demeanor so that costly litigation is not the end result.

Fence disputes are often serious when the property line causes one neighbor to acquire a portion of the land that he or she did not originally purchase. This could due to a surveying error or occur over several years; resulting in the acquisition of the land legitimately through state laws. It is frequently only when the homeowner is attempting to improve the property, add on, or place new structures or similar matters that the fence dispute arises. One neighbor believes the land is his or hers while the other may have a deed or survey that shows how it is in his or her possession.

When fence disputes arises about fences and boundary lines, this could include the appearance of the fence, how much land is covered, how it blocks sunlight to other plants and similar concerns. The initial dispute may not be voiced to the person with the fence but to a HOA, community board or an agent that has power within the court. If the neighbor is unwilling to speak to the person with the fence, then it is more difficult to resolve the matter peacefully. The first steps usually include contact between parties (how can we work this out). Open dialogue is important. A resolution cannot even be considered until the conversation begins. Sometimes the two parties can have these conversations on their own while other times attorneys serve as both representation as well as intermediary conversation starters.

For a homeowner that has no fence or one that is falling apart, there are certain rules that should be followed to avoid possible conflicts with other neighbors. An open conversation about the changes and repairs that will be needed could lead to a peaceful relationship. If the individual or group of neighbors agrees to these substitutions or modifications, it is important to ensure these oral agreements become written word. While he or she may act nice to the face of the homeowner, he or she may later become difficult.

For changes, new fences, moving fenced areas and similar circumstances, the homeowner should consult a lawyer. A legal representative may be able to utilize tactics that are needed to avoid or solve fence disputes; ensuring that all paperwork is completed and sent to the correct officials for boundary issues, acquired land through fences and other concerns. A lawyer may be the intimidating factor needed.

The attorneys with Beyer, Pongratz, and Rosen are here to make sure the