Real estate Q&A: Who pays for a new fence?
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – June 29, 2017 – Question: Several years ago, my neighbor put up a wooden fence on the border of our properties without my consent. Because she has not done so, I have repainted my side several times and have placed lights on it during the holidays. Now my neighbor expects me to pay for half the repairs. I didn’t even want the thing. What’s my obligation? – A.J.
Answer: This may not seem fair, but you need to continue helping maintain the fence.
When an owner puts up a fence on a boundary line, the fence remains hers – unless the adjoining owner begins to use it, too.
Because you both benefit from the fence, it becomes a shared responsibility. Had you left the fence alone for her sole use, she would have been stuck with all the repair costs.
By the way, make sure the fence has been placed exactly on the boundary line. If it encroaches over to your side, you could lose that part of your yard because eventually the property line will change to match the fence line.
If you have a dispute, put it in writing so you avoid losing your rights over the encroached property.
Try not ruin a neighborly relationship over a fence that you’re now enjoying, even if you didn’t want it there in the first place.
About the writer: Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He practices real estate, business litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Fla. He is the chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is a co-host of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults on general real estate matters and trends in Florida with various companies across the nation.
Copyright © 2017 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Gary M. Singer. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. LINK TO ORIGINAL