When it comes time to replace a fence, you might not know who exactly owns it. Fences that separate two neighboring yards are called boundary fences and are shared amongst the property owners.
What Is a Boundary Fence?
A boundary fence is a fence constructed on a property line between two neighboring plots of land. Because the fence is partially on both of the neighbor’s land, the ownership of the fence is shared. The boundary fence is located right along the property line and is equally in both neighbor’s yards.
The best way to tell if your fence is a boundary fence is to consult zoning maps or have a property survey conducted on your land. A property survey will tell you exactly where the property line of your plot of land is, and determine the type of fence that you own.
If you are looking to replace your fence, Discount Fence USA offers a free on-site consultation to walk you through the process and determine the state of your land. During the consultation we can determine whether or not your fence is on a property line.
Boundary Fence Ownership
A boundary fence must be equally shared among the neighbors and the cost of any improvements, maintenance, or replacement should be split equally. The fence is only shared if both neighbors are benefiting from it. If one of the neighbors does not have a fenced-in backyard or does not have a fence connecting to the boundary, then they are not responsible for the maintenance or replacement.
If a neighbor decided to fence in their yard later, they will then be liable for the cost and maintenance of the boundary fence moving forward in time.
How To Find Your Property Line
A property line is a geographic boundary that is used to distinguish land ownership and zoning. A property line can be accurately determined, but is a difficult process that requires a property assessor.
Property line maps may be available online at your county assessor’s office website. You will be able to put in your address and other ownership information to find the exact placement of your parcel. These maps are accurate to a certain degree, but not always available.
Your deed may include a description of your property boundaries but in some cases, it is written instead of shown on a map. Written deeds will use landmarks like trees, rocks, and roads and descriptions of distance and direction to map out the property. These descriptions are somewhat vague and are best used for general estimates rather that exact placements.
Can I Remove a Boundary Fence?
Both parties must agree that the fence can be removed before any action can be taken. If there is a disagreement between the fence and whether it should be removed the argument can be settled in court. Most arguments arise around who is responsible for the payment of the fence.If a fence is deemed dangerous, out of code, or is in disrepair the court may require for the fence to be replaced.
Building a New Boundary Fence
If you are planning on building a new boundary fence it is best to consult your neighbor about fence types available. Depending on the state of the fence and the type if connecting fencing you will be able to work out what type of fence to install.