One morning, I was in the backyard with my dog when I noticed that my neighbor connected to my fence without permission.
This is not something I expected, and there is no way it could have happened without me noticing, which means they did this on purpose.
It’s an interesting situation because we don’t know each other very well, but it seems like they wanted to be friendly by connecting our fences.
If you have a fence close to your property line, it’s important to know what happens if someone connects their fence to yours without permission. To figure this out, let’s explore the legalities of the situation.
What are our options? Well, I dug deeper, and here’s what I found out.
You may also read on what to do if your Neighbor keeps calling police on you.
Neighbor Connected to My Fence Without Permission: What to Do
When you build a fence, it’s usually for two reasons: to keep people or animals in — or out.
The latter reason led me to hire an attorney and sue my neighbor after discovering he recently connected his cable line to part of my property.
This is a common misconception about neighbors and shared fences or property lines.
Some think because it’s on your neighbor’s side of the lot, they can do whatever they want with it regardless if you gave them permission or not.
This isn’t true at all.
Your neighbor doesn’t have the right to build anything that affects your enjoyment of your own home, like planting trees overhanging into their yard onto yours or building walls that block sunlight from getting into your house through windows.
Unless you give them specific written consent to go ahead and make alterations in those areas specifically for what they want to accomplish.
So, here’s what you should do as a good neighbor.
1. Talk To Your Neighbor
They will most likely comply as they don’t want a fight over property either.
It’s okay to politely ask if they would be willing to not connect their wires right now or at all.
If this doesn’t work, you might consider filing a formal complaint.
Neighbors are always tricky businesses because there is no official rulebook for treating each other in close quarters like next-door neighbors.
However, that being said, it’s best just to go talk directly to them about it and see what happens.
Hopefully, things will get resolved quickly since everyone wants an amicable relationship between the two of you.
However, if things get a twisted turn, it’s important to walk away and follow proper legal channels.
2. Prove That You Legally Own the Fence
Even though this may sound dumb, it’s important to confirm your property’s title deeds to establish that the fence belongs to you.
On some occasion, you may find that fences are shared between properties, and if that’s the case with your fence, then your neighbor has the right to connect to your fence without your permission. (Source)
On the other hand, if the deed truly confirms that you are the sole owner of the fence, then it’s important to confirm with the papers if you are legally required to maintain and repair the fence.
If you own the fence, including repair and maintenance, then your neighbor has no business attaching things to the fence.
However, note that your neighbor could take legal actions against you if you don’t repair and maintain the fence, which would otherwise pose a danger to your neighbor if not well maintained.
3. Contact the Landlord
If your neighbor is a tenant, I would highly recommend you get in touch with their landlord and explain your current situation.
This is because the landlord is responsible for the property and its impact on the properties surrounding it.
Therefore, they’re required to have your neighbor get rid of the unwanted items they added to your fence and repair any damages caused.
On the other hand, if you’re a tenant, I highly recommend you contact your landlord and let them deal with the issue on your behalf.
4. Involve A Mediator
If talking to your neighbor didn’t work, then it may be high time for you to involve a mediator through a mediation service.
The mediator should be a person professionally trained to solve disputes.
The best part with a mediator is that they’re often cheaper than hiring a lawyer.
Additionally, they solve disputes so that they don’t ruin your good relationship with your neighbor.
5. Call The Cops
If you’ve proven that the fence is legally yours and your neighbor doesn’t stop connecting things to the fence, then it’s high time you involve the cops.
Unless your neighbor has a gun on you, you should contact the non-emergency line, and the cops will be able to start an official inquiry as soon as possible.
Once the cops are involved, you’ll be advised to cease any contact with your neighbor to allow them to proceed with proper investigation.
Can My Neighbor Take Down a Fence Without My Permission?
Yes, your neighbor can only take down a fence without your permission if it legally belongs to them- they are within their rights to do whatever they want with the fence.
On the other hand, if you legally own the fence, then nobody, not even your neighbor, has the right to remove or do anything whatsoever without your permission.
How To Prevent Fencing Issues With Your Neighbor
It’s always good to prevent fencing issues in the future so that you don’t keep repeating them. There are a few things you can do;
Talk to your neighbor about your boundaries when it comes to the property. Ensure they are aware of where they end, and yours start.
Install a fence or any other physical barrier which shows where your property boundary lies.
Talk to a lawyer about drafting a property line agreement you can sign with your neighbor. The plan has to point out how you’ll deal with any encroachments in the future.
Though it might not be an effective solution, it at least gives you peace of mind knowing that you have an agreement.
Can I Paint My Neighbor’s Fence On My Side?
Painting your neighbor’s fence on your side might be an excellent way to enhance your home’s impression.
However, confirming with your neighbor first is good to ensure they are okay with the painting.
In case they agree with your idea there are things you should consider.
Ensure you’re using a high-quality paint that will withstand different weather
Clean up any drips or smudges that might remain after painting
Ensure you clean up the area once you are done painting.
The above steps may act as a chance to build bridges to improve the relationship with your neighbor.
Can I attach things to my side of the fence?
The answer will depend on your city’s laws. Do some homework before you start hanging things on your fence.
However, in most cases, as long as the item doesn’t pose any danger or damage to the fence, it should be okay to attach it to your side.
Also, ensure you’re considerate of the neighbors by not causing an inconvenience. You can seek professional help before making any changes to the fence.
Should I Let My Neighbor Connect To Your Fence
If their connection to your fence doesn’t affect you, you can give them the go-ahead. But if you feel they’ll be interfering with your property, consider checking your certificate of location.
If you can’t agree, the court can order the neighbor to move their fence inside the limits of their property.
Proper Fence Etiquette
If you have neighbors near, your fence may impact their property too. This means that one could get in trouble f they don’t use the proper fence etiquette.
There are guidelines that one can follow when it comes to proper fence etiquette.
Inspect Your House Blueprint For Boundary Markings
You can hire a land surveyor to make the boundaries if you’ve no house blueprint. You also don’t have to worry in case you misplaced it since the county records may have a copy.
Your property boundaries should be well defined using a goof fence etiquette
Landlords know where their property starts and ends, but putting a fence is another issue.
Before the law, you should not build a fence on land that doesn’t belong to you. Once you cross the boundaries, you may have to pull down the fence.
Get To Know Your Next-Door Neighbor
Not everyone wants a surprise, and even though it isn’t a must, it’s always good to talk to your neighbor and get to know them.
Talking to them can go a long way to avoiding fence arguments by being cooperative during installation. You may even join forces in developing a design for the fence if any of you have the plan.
Request Your Fencing Contractor
A fencing contractor can help you install a double-sided fence which acts as a good neighbor fence. Please don’t want to have the fence inside facing our yard in this kind of fence.
Maintain the fence around your property
If the fence isn’t maintained well, it may lean decay, losing the impression of your compound. Decayed one can be a danger to the pets or family members
Select The Best Fence Contractor
Picking the right contractor is crucial if you plan to install a strong and appealing fence.
Everyone would be proud if their fence attracted everyone who saw it. However, ensure that it gives you the right protection and privacy before adding the beauty
If Need be, Hire a Lawyer
If your neighbor has been connecting their fence to your property without permission, you may have to contact a lawyer in the property law field. They can give you legal options as you decide how to protect your rights.
Remember, you can also opt to negotiate with your neighbor without involving the courts. But, if the negotiations don’t yield anything positive, legal action may be the remaining option.
Only through the lawyer can one recover damages caused by unauthorized fencing.
Good fences make good neighbors, and good neighbors respect each other’s property.
Having a neighbor who connects to your fence without your permission is disrespectful and also annoying.
But before taking any drastic measures, why not head over to your neighbor’s home and have a friendly chat?
Talking to your neighbor and expressing how you feel about their action can make all the difference in the world without quarrels and arguments.
In some cases, your neighbor will be apologetic and rectify their mistake without taking any drastic measures.
Hello, I’m Tanya, the voice and passion behind Smart Yard Guide. With a lifelong love for nature and a keen eye for design, I embarked on this journey to share my expertise and experiences in landscaping, gardening, and outdoor design. As a dedicated homeowner myself, I understand the joys and challenges of curating a space that seamlessly blends nature with human creativity.
My background in horticulture and landscape architecture has given me a solid foundation to explore innovative ideas while respecting the time-tested principles of outdoor design. From selecting the perfect plants for your climate to mastering the art of harmonious hardscaping, I’m here to guide you every step of the way.