Who Owns a Shared Fence?
When your house’s fence is falling apart and it needs repair, who is responsible for paying for repair? If you share a yard with a neighbor it can get confusing.
Here are a few simple guidelines to follow that will help you determine who is the owner of a shared fence.
Talk to your neighbor
It goes without saying, but simply talking to your neighbor will help settle many doubts about who owns what in a shared yard. Most considerate neighbors are willing to work together on deciding a style that looks best for both and paying their fair share of the bill.
However, there are situations where one will be unwilling to pay for their fair share. In this case, you can take care of the cost and build the fence on your property to claim full ownership. If the situation escalates it might be necessary to seek legal help in order to resolve the issue of your shared fence.
If your neighbor is unwilling to allow any project to continue until a proper property line is established, it might be necessary to get a home property survey done.
Get a home property survey done
By getting a home property survey done you’re able to determine if the fence is located on the property line or if it’s located solely on your property. There are times where a shared fence that appears to be on a property line will be solely located in someone else’s property.
This will also help clear up any doubts regarding trees and future home maintenance projects in shared yards. However, a home survey can be costly and often costs up to $1000 to do so it’s best to use this as a last resort.
What if my neighbor’s fence is on the property line?
If a shared fence is on a boundary line in between your property and your neighbor’s property, both owners are responsible for maintaining the fence. This means that both you and your neighbor are responsible for any costs associated with maintaining and replacing it if damage occurs.
Often called a boundary fence, partition fence, or even a division fence, these structures are commonly owned by both homeowners in a shared fence. This means that both are responsible for any repair that may be needed, and that permission is needed before it is torn down.
However, this can change depending on any agreements that might happen between the two. For example, your neighbor might have a dog and will want to ensure that the fence is repaired often to prevent it from escaping or causing damage. In this case, they might be willing to take care of all the costs related to the fence and claim ownership of it.
Splitting the costs is always the best option
While determining who is the owner of a shared fence is important, there are situations that can be easily resolved by simply splitting the bill with your neighbor.
Maintenance or repairing a broken fence post will benefit both of you since it will help improve the appearance of a shared yard. This also comes with the added benefit of getting your neighbor’s opinion about a project without having to worry of them not approving later on.
Most insurance companies are also used to splitting the costs in between multiple owners. This makes it easier for you and your neighbors to settle any costs in case there is any natural disaster or event that is covered by your policy.
Good fences make good neighbors
By respecting each other’s property and working together to choose a style that fits both of your needs you’ll be able to benefit from a sturdy fence.
Contact Ranchers Fencing today for help in installing or repairing your home’s fence. We offer a variety of options that will benefit both you and your neighbor’s yards.